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.
 
Introductory
Lines on Leaving Italy
Adam Gottlob Oehlenschläger (1779–1850)
 
Anonymous translation

ONCE more among the old gigantic hills
    With vapors clouded o’er;
The vales of Lombardy grow dim behind,
    The rocks ascend before.
 
They beckon me, the giants, from afar,        5
    They wing my footsteps on;
Their helms of ice, their plumage of the pine,
    Their cuirasses of stone.
 
My heart beats high, my breath comes freer forth,—
    Why should my heart be sore?        10
I hear the eagle and the vulture’s cry,
    The nightingale’s no more.
 
Where is the laurel, where the myrtle’s blossom?
    Bleak is the path around:
Where from the thicket comes the ringdove’s cooing?        15
    Hoarse is the torrent’s sound.
 
Yet should I grieve, when from my loaded bosom
    A weight appears to flow?
Methinks the Muses come to call me home
    From yonder rocks of snow.        20
 
I know not how, but in yon land of roses
    My heart was heavy still,
I startled at the warbling nightingale,
    The zephyr on the hill.
 
They said the stars shone with a softer gleam,—        25
    It seemed not so to me;
In vain a scene of beauty beamed around,
    My thoughts were o’er the sea.
 
 
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