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.
 
Nemi
Nemi
John Edmund Reade (1800–1870)
 
(From Italy)

  HARK! from dark Nemi’s plantain-woods, where twining
  The tendrilled vine the branches clasps along,
  Where glows through olives the bright cactus shining,
  Echo the sounds of laughter and of song!
  Lo, trooping forth, wild-flowers their hair among,        5
  Albano’s dark-browed daughters! from their eyes
  Joy flashing lightning, a Bacchante throng:
  Forms such as danced beneath Idalian skies,
Or trod the flowery fields of golden Arcadies.
 
  It is Gensano’s flower-fête! the streets shine        10
  Strewn o’er with irises of living blue,
  Galaxied thick with star-eyed jessamine,
  And the rose shedding its rich lustre through:
  We tread on living tapestry whose hue
  Mocks the faint rainbow, an Hesperian shore        15
  Its glory darkening on the aching view:
  Yet hath Art wrought on that mosaic floor
Religion’s pictured forms that call ye to adore;
 
  There glows Madonna with her Son, o’erhung
  Their brows with lilies: hark! song fills the air,        20
  Winged infants lead the choir with censers swung:
  Shedding flower-odors from their raven hair,
  With white veils floating from their shoulders bare,
  Frascati’s daughters elevate above
  The sacred Host: Religion watches there,        25
  Her spirit still with olden fable wove,
Wedding great Nature thus, bride-like, with human love.

END OF VOL. I.
 
 
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