Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Italy
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Italy: Vols. XI–XIII.  1876–79.
 
Genoa
Andrea Doria
Samuel Rogers (1763–1855)
 
(From Italy)

THIS house was Andrea Doria’s. Here he lived;
And here at eve relaxing, when ashore,
Held many a pleasant, many a grave discourse
With them that sought him, walking to and fro
As on his deck. ’T is less in length and breadth        5
Than many a cabin in a ship of war;
But ’t is of marble, and at once inspires
The reverence due to ancient dignity.
  He left it for a better; and ’t is now
A house of trade, the meanest merchandise        10
Cumbering its floors. Yet, fallen as it is,
’T is still the noblest dwelling, even in Genoa!
And hadst thou, Andrea, lived there to the last,
Thou hadst done well; for there is that without,
That in the wall, which monarchs could not give,        15
Nor thou take with thee, that which says aloud,
It was thy country’s gift to her deliverer.
  ’T is in the heart of Genoa (he who comes
Must come on foot) and in a place of stir;
Men on their daily business, early and late,        20
Thronging thy very threshold. But, when there,
Thou wert among thy fellow-citizens,
Thy children, for they hailed thee as their sire:
And on a spot thou must have loved, for there,
Calling them round, thou gav’st them more than life,        25
Giving what, lost, makes life not worth the keeping.
There thou didst do, indeed, an act divine;
Nor couldst thou leave thy door or enter in,
Without a blessing on thee.
                        Thou art now
Again among them. Thy brave mariners,        30
They who had fought so often by thy side,
Staining the mountain-billows, bore thee back;
And thou art sleeping in thy funeral-chamber.
  Thine was a glorious course; but couldst thou there
Clad in thy cere-cloth,—in that silent vault,        35
Where thou art gathered to thy ancestors,—
Open thy secret heart and tell us all,
Then should we hear thee with a sigh confess,
A sigh how heavy, that thy happiest hours
Were passed before these sacred walls were left,        40
Before the ocean-wave thy wealth reflected,
And pomp and power drew envy, stirring up
The ambitious man, that in a perilous hour
Fell from the plank.
 
 
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