At Verona


How steep the stairs within Kings’ houses are 
    For exile-wearied feet as mine to tread, 
    And O how salt and bitter is the bread 
Which falls from this Hound’s table,—better far 
That I had died in the red ways of war, 
    Or that the gate of Florence bare my head, 
    Than to live thus, by all things comraded 
Which seek the essence of my soul to mar. 

“Curse God and die: what better hope than this? 
    He hath forgotten thee in all the bliss 
    Of his gold city, and eternal day”— 
Nay peace: behind my prison’s blinded bars 
    I do possess what none can take away, 
    My love, and all the glory of the stars. 


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