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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
An Italian Sunset
By Lord Byron (1788–1824)
 
From ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’

  THE MOON is up, and yet it is not night—
    Sunset divides the sky with her—a sea
  Of glory streams along the Alpine height
    Of blue Friuli’s mountains; Heaven is free
    From clouds, but of all colors seems to be,        5
  Melted to one vast Iris of the West,
    Where the Day joins the past Eternity;
  While, on the other hand, meek Dian’s crest
Floats through the azure air—an island of the blest!
 
  A single star is at her side, and reigns        10
    With her o’er half the lovely heaven; but still
  Yon sunny sea heaves brightly, and remains
    Rolled o’er the peak of the far Rhætian hill,
    As Day and Night contending were, until
  Nature reclaimed her order:—gently flows        15
    The deep-dyed Brenta, where their hues instil
  The odorous purple of a new-born rose,
Which streams upon her stream, and glassed within it glows,
 
  Filled with the face of heaven, which from afar
    Comes down upon the waters; all its hues,        20
  From the rich sunset to the rising star,
    Their magical variety diffuse:
    And now they change; a paler shadow strews
  Its mantle o’er the mountains; parting day
    Dies like the dolphin, whom each pang imbues        25
  With a new color as it gasps away,
The last still loveliest, till—’tis gone—and all is gray.
 
 
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