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.
 
Appendix: Etna, the Mountain
Etna
Matthew Arnold (1822–1888)
 
(From Empedocles on Etna. Act II)

THROUGH the black, rushing smoke-bursts
Thick breaks the red flame;
All Etna heaves fiercely
Her forest-clothed frame.
 
Not here, O Apollo!        5
Are haunts meet for thee.
But where Helicon breaks down
In cliff to the sea,
 
Where the moon-silvered inlets
Send far their light voice        10
Up the still vale of Thisbe,
O, speed, and rejoice!
 
On the sward at the cliff-top
Lie strewn the white flocks;
On the cliff-side the pigeons        15
Roost deep in the rocks;
 
In the moonlight the shepherds,
Soft lulled by the rills,
Lie wrapt in their blankets,
Asleep on the hills.        20
 
What forms are these coming
So white through the gloom?
What garments out-glistening
The gold-flowered broom?
 
What sweet-breathing presence        25
Outperfumes the thyme?
What voices enrapture
The night’s balmy prime?
 
’T is Apollo comes leading
His choir, the Nine.        30
The leader is fairest,
But all are divine.
 
They are lost in the hollows!
They stream up again!
What seeks on this mountain        35
The glorified train?
 
They bathe on this mountain,
In the spring by their road;
Then on to Olympus,
Their endless abode!        40
 
Whose praise do they mention?
Of what is it told?
What will be forever;
What was from of old.
 
First hymn they the Father        45
Of all things; and then
The rest of immortals,
The action of men.
 
The day in his hotness,
The strife with the palm;        50
The night in her silence,
The stars in their calm.
 
 
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