A Celebration of Women Writers

"Roman Girl's Song" by Felicia Hemans (1793-1835) Records of Woman: With Other Poems. Edinburgh: William Blackwood, & London: T. Cadell, 1828, second edition. pp. 292-295.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

[Page 292] 


Roma, Roma, Roma!
Non è più come era prima.

ROME, Rome! thou art no more
  As thou hast been!
On thy seven hills of yore
  Thou satst a queen.

Thou hadst thy triumphs then
  Purpling the street,
Leaders and sceptred men
  Bow'd at thy feet.

[Page 293] 

They that thy mantle wore,
  As gods were seen–
Rome, Rome! thou art no more
  As thou hast been!

Rome! thine imperial brow
  Never shall rise:
What hast thou left thee now?–
  Thou hast thy skies!

Blue, deeply blue, they are,
  Gloriously bright!
Veiling thy wastes afar
  With colour'd light.

Thou hast the sunset's glow,
  Rome, for thy dower,
Flushing tall cypress-bough,
  Temple and tower!

[Page 294] 

And all sweet sounds are thine,
  Lovely to hear,
While night, o'er tomb and shrine,
  Rests darkly clear.

Many a solemn hymn,
  By starlight sung,
Sweeps thro' the arches dim,
  Thy wrecks among.

Many a flute's low swell,
  On thy soft air
Lingers, and loves to dwell
  With summer there.

Thou hast the South's rich gift
  Of sudden song,
A charmed fountain, swift,
  Joyous, and strong.

[Page 295] 

Thou hast fair forms that move
  With queenly tread;
Thou hast proud fanes above
  Thy mighty dead.

Yet wears thy Tiber's shore
  A mournful mien:–
Rome, Rome! thou art no more
  As thou hast been!


Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom