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.
Monte Gargano
Monte Gargano
Felicia Hemans (1793–1835)
(From The Widow of Crescentius)

WHERE, through Gargano’s woody dells,
O’er bending oaks the north-wind swells,
A sainted hermit’s lowly tomb
Is bosomed in umbrageous gloom,
In shades that saw him live and die        5
Beneath their waving canopy.
’T was his, as legends tell, to share
The converse of immortals there;
Around that dweller of the wild
There “bright appearances” have smiled,        10
And angel wings at eve have been
Gleaming the shadowy boughs between.
And oft from that secluded bower
Hath breathed, at midnight’s calmer hour,
A swell of viewless harps, a sound        15
Of warbled anthems pealing round.
O, none but voices of the sky
Might wake that thrilling harmony,
Whose tones, whose very echoes, made
An Eden of the lonely shade!        20
Years have gone by; the hermit sleeps
Amidst Gargano’s woods and steeps;
Ivy and flowers have half o’ergrown
And veiled his low sepulchral stone:
Yet still the spot is holy, still        25
Celestial footsteps haunt the hill;
And oft the awe-struck mountaineer
Aerial vesper-hymns may hear
Around those forest-precincts float,
Soft, solemn, clear, but still remote.        30
Oft will Affliction breathe her plaint
To that rude shrine’s departed saint,
And deem that spirits of the blest
There shed sweet influence o’er her breast.

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