Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Greece
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Greece and Turkey in Europe: Vol. XIX.  1876–79.
Introductory to Greece
James Thomson (1834–1882)
(From Liberty)

HAIL, Nature’s utmost boast! unrivalled Greece!
My fairest reign! where every power benign
Conspired to blow the flower of human kind,
And lavished all that genius can inspire.
Clear, sunny climates by the breezy main,        5
Ionian or Ægean, tempered kind:
Light, airy soils: a country rich, and gay
Broke into hills with balmy odors crowned,
And, bright with purple harvest, joyous vales:
Mountains, and streams, where verse spontaneous flowed;        10
Whence deemed by wondering men the seat of gods,
And still the mountains and the streams of song.
All that boon Nature could luxuriant pour
Of high materials, and my restless arts
Frame into finished life. How many states,        15
And clustering towns, and monuments of fame,
And scenes of glorious deeds, in little bounds?
From the rough tract of bending mountains, beat
By Adria’s here, there by Ægean waves;
To where the deep adorning Cyclade Isles        20
In shining prospect rise, and on the shore
Of farthest Crete resounds the Libyan main.

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