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.
 
Pæstum
Pæstum
Christopher Pearse Cranch (1813–1892)
 
(From Ode to Southern Italy)

THERE, down Salerno’s bay,
In deserts far away,
Over whose solitudes
The dread malaria broods,
No labor tills the land,—        5
Only the fierce brigand,
Or shepherd, wan and lean,
O’er the wide plains is seen.
Yet there, a lovely dream,
There Grecian temples gleam,        10
Whose form and mellowed tone
Rival the Parthenon.
The Sybarite no more
Comes hither to adore,
With perfumed offering,        15
The ocean god and king.
The deity is fled
Long since, but, in his stead,
The smiling sea is seen,
The Doric shafts between;        20
And round the time-worn base
Climb vines of tender grace,
And Pæstum’s roses still
The air with fragrance fill.
 
 
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