Quantum Mutata

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Quantum Mutata
by Oscar Wilde

There was a time in Europe long ago

Where no man died for freedom anywhere,
But England's lion leaping from its lair

Laid hands on the oppressor! it was so
While England could a great Republic show.

Witness the men of Piedmont, chiefest care
Of Cromwell, when with impotent despair

The Pontiff in his painted portico
Trembled before our stern ambassadors.

How comes it then that from such high estate
We have thus fallen save that Luxury

With barren merchandise pils up at the gate
Where noble thoughts and noble deeds should enter by:

Else might we still be Milton's heritors.