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.
 
Naples
Naples
Statius (c. 45–c. 96 A.D.)
 
(From To His Wife Claudia)
Translated by C. A. Elton

FAIR stand the peopled towns: by Phœbus’ fane
Auspicious graced, walls rose beside the main:
Puteoli spreads smooth its haven’s sand,
And shores, the shelter of the world, expand.
Here Capua’s streets with Rome imperial vie,        5
Where Capys fixed his Trojan colony:
Near lies the native city of my love;
The mild soil Phœbus, by the guiding dove,
Showed to Parthenope; the siren maid
Crossed the wide seas, and here her Naples laid.        10
Hither I seek to bear thee: not my race
Springs from wild Lybia, nor from barbarous Thrace.
Tempered by breezy summers, winters bland,
The waveless seas glide slumbering to the land:
Safe peace is here; life’s careless ease is ours;        15
Unbroken rest, and sleep till morning hours.
No courts here rage; no bickering brawls are known:
The laws of men are in their manners shown;
And Justice walks unguarded and alone.
*        *        *        *        *
Nor less the various charms of life are found        20
Where the wide champaign spreads its distant bound:
Whether thou haunt warm Baiæ’s streaming shore,
Or the prophetic sibyl’s cave explore;
Or mount, made famous by Misenus’ oar;
Or Gaurus’ vineyards, or the Caprean isle,        25
Where sailors mark the watch-tower’s moony pile;
Surrentum’s hills, where acrid clusters twine,
And where my Pollius dwells, and tends the vine:
Ænaria’s healing lakes; and from the main
The rocks of Statina emerged again.        30
A thousand pleasures could my verse expand,
And darling loves of this my native land.
 
 
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