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.
 
Appendix: Catania
Catania
James Gates Percival (1795–1856)
 
CATANIA! on thy famed and classic shore
I long to plant my foot, and stand between
A paradise, all blooming, gay, and green,
And thy earth-circled ocean’s gentle roar,
Along whose peaceful waves the sunbeams pour,        5
From stainless skies, deep amber, and imbue
The ruffled waters with an iris hue,
Like torchlight sparkling in a vault of ore,—
And turning I behold thy fields of grain
Waving in yellow floods o’er vale and plain,        10
And meadows mantled in a waste of flowers,
And hills whereon the golden orange glows,
And purpling with the ripe vine’s nectared bowers,
And breathing with the myrtle and the rose;
And higher still, flame-crested Ætna towering,        15
A belt of giant oak and chestnut waves
In gloomy verdure, like the cypress louring
With shade of solemn night o’er Eastern graves;
And loftier, in its virgin robe of white,
The snow-cap, pillowed on the cloudless sky,        20
Seems like a floating column of pure light,
And round its pointed cone dark volumes lie
Rolled from the volcan’s jaws, and sheets of flame
Dart on their path to Heaven, and flowing o’er
The glowing torrent rolls its flashing stream,        25
And from the mountain’s womb comes forth a sullen roar.
 
 
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