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.
William Sotheby (1757–1833)
SPIRIT! who lovest to live unseen,
  By brook or pathless dell,
Where wild woods burst the rocks between
And floods, in streams of silver sheen,
  Gush from their flinty cell!        5
Or where the ivy waves her woof,
  And climbs the crag alone,
Haunts the cool grotto, daylight proof,
Where loitering drops that wear the roof
  Turn all beneath to stone.        10
Shield me from summer’s blaze of day,
  From noontide’s fiery gale,
And, as thy waters round me play,
Beneath the o’ershadowing cavern lay,
  Till twilight spreads her veil.        15
Then guide me where the wandering moon
  Rests on Mæcenas’ wall,
And echoes at night’s solemn noon
In Tivoli’s soft shades attune
  The peaceful waterfall.        20
Again they float before my sight
  The bower, the flood, the glade;
Again on you romantic height
The Sibyl’s temple towers in light,
  Above the dark cascade.        25
Down the steep cliff I wind my way
  Along the dim retreat,
And mid the torrents’ deafening bray
Dash from my brow the foam away,
  Where clashing cataracts meet.        30
And now I leave the rocks below,
  And, issuing forth from night,
View on the flakes that sunward flow,
A thousand rainbows round me glow,
  And arch my way with light.        35
Again the myrtles o’er me breathe,
  Fresh flowers my path perfume,
Round cliff and cave wild tendrils wreathe,
And from the groves that bend beneath
  Low trail their purple bloom.        40
Thou grove, thou glade of Tivoli,
  Dark flood and rivulet clear,
That wind, where’er you wander by,
A stream of beauty on the eye,
  Of music on the ear;        45
And thou that, when the wandering moon
  Illumed the rocky dell,
Didst to my charmed ear attune
The echoes of night’s solemn noon,—
  Spirit unseen! farewell!        50
Farewell!—o’er many a realm I go,
  My natal isle to greet,
Where summer sunbeams mildly glow,
And sea-winds health and freshness blow
  O’er freedom’s hallowed seat.        55
Yet there, to thy romantic spot
  Shall fancy oft retire,
And hail the bower, the stream, the grot,
Where earth’s sole lord the world forgot,
  And Horace smote the lyre.        60

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