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.
 
Rome, Ruins of
Birds in the Baths of Diocletian
Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814–1902)
 
EGERIAN warbler! unseen rhapsodist!
Whose carols antedate the Roman spring;
Who, while the old gray walls, thy playmates, ring,
Dost evermore on one deep strain insist;
Flinging thy bell-notes through the sunset mist!        5
Touched by thy song rich weeds and wall-flowers swing
As in a breeze, the twilight crimsoning
That sucks from them aerial amethyst,—
O for a sibyl’s insight to reveal
That lore thou sing’st of! Shall I guess it? nay!        10
Enough to hear thy strain,—enough to feel
O’er all the extended soul the freshness steal
Of those ambrosial honeydews that weigh
Down with sweet force the azure lids of day.
 
 
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