Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Italy
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Italy: Vols. XI–XIII.  1876–79.
Virgil (70–19 B.C.)
(From Æneid)
Translated by C. P. Cranch

CLOSE to the neighboring Ceraunia now
We sail, whence lies our way to Italy,
The shortest course by sea. Meanwhile the sun
Goes down; the shadowy mountains hide in night.
On the earth’s welcome lap we throw ourselves,        5
Beside the waves, the watch being set on board,
And here and there along the sandy beach
Refresh ourselves with food. Our weary limbs
Are bathed in sleep. Not yet the night had reached
Her middle course, when Palinurus leaves        10
His bed,—no sluggard he,—and all the winds
Essays, listening to catch their sounds; and notes
In the still sky the softly gliding stars,
Arcturus, and the rainy Hyades,
And the two Bears, and armed Orion bright        15
With gold. And when he sees that all is still
Amid the heavens serene, he from the stern
Gives the clear signal. Then we strike our tents,
And try the voyage, with our wingéd sails.
And now Aurora reddens in the east;        20
The stars had vanished; when, far off, we see
The dusky mountains and the long low shore
Of Italy. And “Italy” rings first
Achates’ voice, and Italy with shouts
Of joy my comrades greet. My father then        25
Wreathes a great cup, and fills it up with wine,
And, standing in the stern, invokes the gods:
“Ye potent deities of sea and land,
And of the storms, grant us a passage safe,
And favoring breezes.” Soon the wished-for winds        30
Freshen, and wider grows the harbor now;
Minerva’s temple on a height appears;
We furl the sails, and turn our prows to land.

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