The Italian Bootblack

WHAT right divine gives me the kingly place
O’er him my youthful subject bending low?
Strive as I may, not mine his thoughts to know;—
Only to watch with what unconscious grace
(Each flashing gesture telltale of his race)
His eager hands fly swiftly to and fro.
Soft-syllabled his alien accents flow; —
He lifts his eyes; at last I see his face.
No menial soul bows in that gaze to me.
Out of such depths the pallid Florentine
Saw down to Hell, looked up to Paradise!
Lorenzo’s orbs are his that darkly shine!
A nation’s history is in these eyes, —
Thy pathos and thy promise, Italy!