Through cloudless skies, in silvery sheen,
Full beams the moon on Actium’s coast:
And on these waves, for Egypt’s queen,
The ancient world was won and lost.
And now upon the scene I look,
The azure grave of many a Roman;
Where stern Ambition once forsook
His wavering crown to followa Woman.
Florence! whom I will love as well
(As ever yet was said or sung.
Since Orpheus sang his spouse from Hell)
Whilst thou art fair and I am young;
Sweet Florence! those were pleasant times,
When worlds were staked for Ladies’ eyes:
Had bards as many realms as rhymes,
Thy charms might raise new Antonies.
Though Fate forbids such things to be,
Yet, by thine eyes and ringlets curled!
I cannot lose a world for thee,
But would not lose thee for a World.