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An August Voice
by [?]


“Una voce augusta.”– Monitore Toscano.

I.

You’ll take back your Grand-duke?
I made the treaty upon it.
Just venture a quiet rebuke;
Dall’ Ongaro write him a sonnet;
Ricasoli gently explain
Some need of the constitution:
He’ll swear to it over again,
Providing an “easy solution.”
You’ll call back the Grand-duke.

II.

You’ll take back your Grand-duke?
I promised the Emperor Francis
To argue the case by his book,
And ask you to meet his advances.
The Ducal cause, we know
(Whether you or he be the wronger),
Has very strong points;–although
Your bayonets, there, have stronger.
You’ll call back the Grand-duke.

You’ll take back your Grand-duke?
He is not pure altogether.
For instance, the oath which he took
(In the Forty-eight rough weather)
He’d “nail your flag to his mast,”
Then softly scuttled the boat you
Hoped to escape in at last,
And both by a “Proprio motu.”
You’ll call back the Grand-duke.

IV.

You’ll take back your Grand-duke?
The scheme meets nothing to shock it
In this smart letter, look,
We found in Radetsky’s pocket;
Where his Highness in sprightly style
Of the flower of his Tuscans wrote,
“These heads be the hottest in file;
Pray shoot them the quickest.” Quote,
And call back the Grand-duke.

V.

You’ll take back your Grand-duke?
There are some things to object to.
He cheated, betrayed, and forsook,
Then called in the foe to protect you.
He taxed you for wines and for meats
Throughout that eight years’ pastime
Of Austria’s drum in your streets–
Of course you remember the last time
You called back your Grand-duke?

VI.

You’ll take back the Grand-duke?
It is not race he is poor in,
Although he never could brook
The patriot cousin at Turin.
His love of kin you discern,
By his hate of your flag and me–
So decidedly apt to turn
All colours at the sight of the Three.[1]
You’ll call back the Grand-duke.

VII.

You’ll take back your Grand-duke?
‘T was weak that he fled from the Pitti;
But consider how little he shook
At thought of bombarding your city!
And, balancing that with this,
The Christian rule is plain for us;
… Or the Holy Father’s Swiss
Have shot his Perugians in vain for us.
You’ll call back the Grand-duke.

VIII.

Pray take back your Grand-duke.
–I, too, have suffered persuasion.
All Europe, raven and rook,
Screeched at me armed for your nation.
Your cause in my heart struck spurs;
I swept such warnings aside for you:
My very child’s eyes, and Hers,
Grew like my brother’s who died for you.
You’ll call back the Grand-duke?

IX.

You’ll take back your Grand-duke?
My French fought nobly with reason,–
Left many a Lombardy nook
Red as with wine out of season.
Little we grudged what was done there,
Paid freely your ransom of blood:
Our heroes stark in the sun there
We would not recall if we could.
You’ll call back the Grand-duke?

X.

You’ll take back your Grand-duke?
His son rode fast as he got off
That day on the enemy’s hook,
When I had an epaulette shot off.
Though splashed (as I saw him afar–no
Near) by those ghastly rains,
The mark, when you’ve washed him in Arno,
Will scarcely be larger than Cain’s.
You’ll call back the Grand-duke?

XI.

You’ll take back your Grand-duke?
‘T will be so simple, quite beautiful:
The shepherd recovers his crook,
… If you should be sheep, and dutiful.
I spoke a word worth chalking
On Milan’s wall–but stay,
Here’s Poniatowsky talking,–
You’ll listen to him to-day,
And call back the Grand-duke.

XII.

You’ll take back your Grand-duke?
Observe, there’s no one to force it,–
Unless the Madonna, Saint Luke
Drew for you, choose to endorse it.
I charge you, by great Saint Martino
And prodigies quickened by wrong,
Remember your Dead on Ticino;
Be worthy, be constant, be strong–
Bah!–call back the Grand-duke!!

FOOTNOTES:

[1] The Italian tricolor: red, green, and white.