Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
July 19
Petrarch’s Tomb
By Lord Byron (1788–1824)
From “Childe Harold”

(Died July 19, 1374)

THERE is a tomb in Arqua;—rear’d in air
Pillar’d in their sarcophagus, repose
The bones of Laura’s lover: here repair
Many familiar with his well-sung woes,
The pilgrims of his genius. He arose        5
To raise a language, and his land reclaim
From the dull yoke of her barbaric foes:
Watering the tree which bears his lady’s name
With his melodious tears he gave himself to fame.
They keep his dust in Arqua, where he died;        10
The mountain-village where his latter days
Went down the vale of years; and ’tis their pride—
An honest pride—and let it be their praise,
To offer to the passing stranger’s gaze
His mansion and his sepulchre; both plain        15
And venerably simple, such as raise
A feeling more accordant with his strain
Than if a pyramid form’d his monumental fame.
And the soft quiet hamlet where he dwelt
Is one of that complexion which seems made        20
For those who their mortality have felt,
And sought a refuge from their hopes decay’d
In the deep umbrage of a green hill’s shade,
Which shows a distant prospect far away
Of busy cities, now in vain display’d,        25
For they can lure no further; and the ray
Of a bright sun can make sufficient holiday.

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