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.
 
Taranto (Tarentum)
Tarentum
Virgil (70–19 B.C.)
 
(From Æneid, Book III)
Translated by C. P. Cranch

AND next Tarentum’s bay,
Named, if report be true, from Hercules,
Is seen; and opposite lifts up her head
The goddess of Lacinia; and the heights
Appear of Caulon, and the dangerous rocks        5
Of Sylaceum. Then far off we see
Trinacrian Ætna rising from the waves;
And now we hear the ocean’s awful roar,
The breakers dashing on the rocks, the moan
Of broken voices on the shore. The deeps        10
Leap up, and sand is mixed with boiling foam.
“Charybdis!” cries Anchises; “lo, the cliffs,
The dreadful rocks that Helenus foretold!
Save us,—bear off, my men! With equal stroke
Bend on your oars!” No sooner said than done.        15
With groaning rudder Palinurus turns
The prow to the left, and the whole cohort strain
With oar and sail, and seek a southern course.
The curving wave one moment lifts us up
Skyward, then sinks us down as in the shades        20
Of death. Three times amid their hollow caves
The cliffs resound; three times we saw the foam
Dashed,—that the stars hung dripping wet with dew.
Meanwhile, abandoned by the wind and sun,
Weary, and ignorant of our course, we are thrown        25
Upon the Cyclops’ shore.
 
 
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