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.
 
Pompeii
Sir Walter Scott at Pompeii
Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802–1838)
 
        
(From Black Linn of Linklater)
    “A fête was given at Pompeii in honor of Scott. All the guests took some character from the Waverley novels. The deserted city echoed with music; lamps flung their light over walls so long unconscious of festivity. The city of the dead suited well the festival of the dying. Sir Walter was present, but unconscious; he sat wan, exhausted, and motionless,—‘the centre of the glittering ring’ formed by his own genius.”

I SEE the ancient master pale and worn,
Though on him shines the lovely southern heaven,
And Naples greets him with festivity.
 
The dying by the dead: for his great sake
They have laid bare the city of the lost;        5
His own creations fill the silent streets;
The Roman pavement rings with golden spurs,
The Highland plaid shades dark Italian eyes,
And the young king himself is Ivanhoe.
 
But there the old man sits,—majestic, wan,        10
Himself a mighty vision of the past;
The glorious mind has bowed beneath its toil;
He does not hear his name on foreign lips
That thank him for a thousand happy hours;
He does not see the glittering groups that press        15
In wonder and in homage to his side;
Death is beside his triumph.
 
 
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