Page:Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow monochrome.djvu/201

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175
AUTOBIOGRAPHY.

prayed that his way might be opened in Switzerland for carrying forth the work of the Lord in that interesting country. In a few days afterwards, Elder Stenhouse proceeded on his mission.

O Italy ! Thou birthplace and burial ground of the proud Cæsars—thou that swayed the sceptre of this mundane creation—land of literature and arts, and once the centre of the world's civilization. Who shall tell all the greatness which breathes in the story of thy past? And who, O who shall tell all the corruption which broods on thy bosom now?

Land of flowers and fruitfulness of the vine—the olive and orange—all that blushes in beauty and charms with delicacy, is spread o'er thy green fields, or grows in thy empire garden; but thy children are deep in pollution, and spring like thorns and thistles amid thy floral scenes of endless enchantment. From the wave-swept shores of the Mediterranean to the base of the bleak Alpine region, thy sunny plains lie spread like a fairy realm.

Here reposes the dust of millions that were mighty in ages gone by, and flooded the earth with the fame of their deeds. Here are the fields that have been crimsoned with the blood of royalty, and have become the grave of dynasties. Poets who sung the praise of nations, and princes that wielded the sceptre of power during many a crisis of the world's history, are laid low beneath the dust of thy fields and vineyards!

But is there nought here save the tomb of the past? O, Italy! Hath an eternal winter followed the summer of thy fame, and frosted the flowers of thy genius, and clouded the sunbeams of thy glory? No: the future of thy story shall outshine the past, and thy children shall yet be more renowned than in the ages of old. Though the triple crown of earth's proudest apostate shed a tinsel splendor over thy boundless superstition, Truth shall yet be victorious amid thy Babylonish regions. Where triumphant warriors were stained