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.
 
Euganean Hills
The Euganean Hills
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)
 
*        *        *        *        *
’MID the mountains Euganean,
I stood listening to the pæan
With which the legioned rooks did hail
The sun’s uprise majestical;
Gathering round with wings all hoar,        5
Through the dewy mist they soar
Like gray shades, till the eastern heaven
Bursts, and then, as clouds of even,
Flecked with fire and azure, lie
In the unfathomable sky,        10
So their plumes of purple grain,
Starred with drops of golden rain,
Gleam above the sunlight woods,
As in silent multitudes
On the morning’s fitful gale        15
Through the broken mist they sail;
And the vapors cloven and gleaming
Follow down the dark steep streaming,
Till all is bright and clear and still
Round the solitary hill.        20
 
Beneath is spread like a green sea
The waveless plain of Lombardy,
Bounded by the vaporous air,
Islanded by cities fair.
Underneath day’s azure eyes,        25
Ocean’s nursling, Venice lies,—
A peopled labyrinth of walls,
Amphitrite’s destined halls,
Which her hoary sire now paves
With his blue and beaming waves.        30
Lo! the sun upsprings behind,
Broad, red, radiant, half reclined
On the level quivering line
Of the waters crystalline;
And before that chasm of light,        35
As within a furnace bright,
Column, tower, and dome, and spire,
Shine like obelisks of fire,
Pointing with inconstant motion
From the altar of dark ocean        40
To the sapphire-tinted skies;
As the flames of sacrifice
From the marble shrines did rise
As to pierce the dome of gold
Where Apollo spoke of old.
*        *        *        *        *
        45
Lo, the sun floats up the sky,
Like thought-wingéd Liberty,
Till the universal light
Seems to level plain and height;
From the sea a mist has spread,        50
And the beams of morn lie dead
On the towers of Venice now,
Like its glory long ago.
*        *        *        *        *
Noon descends around me now:
’T is the noon of autumn’s glow,        55
When a soft and purple mist
Like a vaporous amethyst,
Or an air-dissolvéd star
Mingling light and fragrance, far
From the curved horizon’s bound,        60
To the point of heaven’s profound,
Fills the overflowing sky;
And the plains that silent lie
Underneath. The leaves unsodden
Where the infant frost has trodden        65
With his morning-wingéd feet,
Whose bright print is gleaming yet;
And the red and golden vines,
Piercing with their trellised lines
The rough, dark-skirted wilderness;        70
The dun and bladed grass no less,
Pointing from this hoary tower
In the windless air; the flower
Glimmering at my feet; the line
Of the olive-sandalled Apennine        75
In the south dimly islanded;
And the Alps, whose snows are spread
High between the clouds and sun;
And of living things each one;
And my spirit, which so long        80
Darkened this swift stream of song,
Interpenetrated lie
By the glory of the sky;
Be it love, light, harmony,
Odor, or the soul of all        85
Which from heaven like dew doth fall,
Or the mind which feeds this verse
Peopling the lone universe.
Noon descends, and after noon
Autumn’s evening meets me soon,        90
Leading the infantine moon,
And that one star, which to her
Almost seems to minister
Half the crimson light she brings
From the sunset’s radiant springs:        95
And the soft dreams of the morn
(Which like winged winds had borne
To that silent isle, which lies
’Mid remembered agonies,
The frail bark of this lone being,)        100
Pass, to other sufferers fleeing,
And its ancient pilot, Pain,
Sits beside the helm again.
*        *        *        *        *
 
 
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