Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Italy
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Italy: Vols. XI–XIII.  1876–79.
 
Mola di Gaeta
Lines
Anna Brownell Jameson (1794–1860)
 
Written at Mola di Gaeta, near the Ruins of Cicero’s Formian Villa

WE wandered through bright climes, and drank the beams
Of southern suns: Elysian scenes we viewed,
Such as we picture oft in those day-dreams
That haunt the fancy in her wildest mood.
Upon the sea-beat vestiges we stood,        5
Where Cicero dwelt, and watched the latest gleams
Of rosy light steal o’er the azure flood;
And memory conjured up most glowing themes,
Filling the expanded heart, till it forgot
Its own peculiar grief! O, if the dead        10
Yet haunt our earth, around this hallowed spot,
Hovers sweet Tully’s spirit, since it fled
The Roman Forum,—Forum now no more!
Though cold and silent be the sands we tread,
Still burns the “eloquent air,” and to the shore        15
There rolls no wave, and through the orange shade
There sighs no breath, which doth not speak of him,
The “Father of his Country”: and though dim
Her day of empire, and her laurel crown
Torn and defaced, and soiled with blood and tears,        20
And her imperial eagles trampled down,
Still with a queenlike grace, Italia wears
Her garland of bright names,—her coronal of stars,
(Radiant memorials of departed worth!)
That shed a glory round her pensive brow,        25
And make her still the worship of the earth.
 
 
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