O Roma, Roma, at thy feet I lay this barren gift of song! For, ah! the way is steep and long That leads unto thy sacred street.
And yet what joy it were for me To turn my feet unto the south, And journeying towards the Tiber mouth To kneel again at Fiesole!
And wandering through the tangled pines That break the gold of Arno's stream, To see the purple mist and gleam Of morning on the Apennines
By many a vineyard-hidden home, Orchard and olive-garden grey, Till from the drear Campagna's way The seven hills bear up the dome!
A pilgrim from the northern seas - What joy for me to seek alone The wondrous temple and the throne Of him who holds the awful keys!
When, bright with purple and with gold Come priest and holy cardinal, And borne above the heads of all The gentle Shepherd of the Fold.
O joy to see before I die The only God-anointed king, And hear the silver trumpets ring A triumph as he passes by!
Or at the brazen-pillared shrine Holds high the mystic sacrifice, And shows his God to human eyes Beneath the veil of bread and wine.