Dedication To The Prophecy Of Dante.

A poem by Lord George Gordon Byron

Lady! if for the cold and cloudy clime
Where I was born, but where I would not die,
Of the great Poet-Sire of Italy
I dare to build[276] the imitative rhyme,
Harsh Runic[277] copy of the South's sublime,
Thou art the cause; and howsoever I
Fall short of his immortal harmony,
Thy gentle heart will pardon me the crime.
Thou, in the pride of Beauty and of Youth,
Spakest; and for thee to speak and be obeyed
Are one; but only in the sunny South
Such sounds are uttered, and such charms displayed,
So sweet a language from so fair a mouth - [278]
Ah! to what effort would it not persuade?

Ravenna, June 21, 1819.

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