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.
 
Venice
Lido
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)
 

I RODE one evening with Count Maddalo
Upon the bank of land which breaks the flow
Of Adria towards Venice: a bare strand
Of hillocks, heaped from ever-shifting sand,
Matted with thistles and amphibious weeds,        5
Such as from earth’s embrace the salt ooze breeds,
Is this, an uninhabited sea-side,
Which the lone fisher, when his nets are dried,
Abandons; and no other object breaks
The waste, but one dwarf tree and some few stakes        10
Broken and unrepaired, and the tide makes
A narrow space of level sand thereon,
Where ’t was our wont to ride while day went down.
This ride was my delight. I love all waste
And solitary places, where we taste        15
The pleasure of believing what we see
Is boundless, as we wish our souls to be;
And such was this wide ocean, and this shore
More barren than its billows: and yet more
Than all, with a remembered friend I love        20
To ride as then I rode;—for the winds drove
The living spray along the sunny air
Into our faces; the blue heavens were bare,
Stripped to their depths by the awakening north;
And from the waves sound like delight broke forth        25
Harmonizing with solitude, and sent
Into our hearts aerial merriment.
 
 
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