Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Greece
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Greece and Turkey in Europe: Vol. XIX.  1876–79.
 
Greece: Ithaca
Town and Harbor of Ithaca
Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802–1838)
 
BY another light surrounded
Than our actual sky;
With the purple ocean bounded
Does the island lie
            Like a dream of the old world.        5
Bare the rugged heights ascending
Bring to mind the past,
When, the weary voyage ending,
Was the anchor cast,
            And the stranger sails were furled        10
            Beside the glorious island
            Where Ulysses was the king.
 
Still does Fancy see the palace
With its carvéd gates;
Where the suitors drained the chalice,        15
Mocking at the Fates.
            Stern and dark and veiled are they,
Still their silent thread intwining
Of our wretched life;
With their cold, pale hands combining        20
Hate and fear and strife.
            Hovers the avenging day
            O’er the glorious island
            Where Ulysses was the king.
 
Grant my fancy pardon        25
If amid these trees
Still it sees the garden
Of old Laertes,
            Where he met his glorious son.
The apple boughs were drooping        30
Beneath their rosy fruit,
And the rich brown pears were stooping
To the old man at their foot,
            While his daily task was done
            In the glorious island        35
            Where Ulysses was the king.
 
’T is a vain and cold invention,
’T is the spirit’s wrong,
Which to some small mind’s pretension
Would subdue that song,        40
            Shrined in manhood’s general heart.
One almighty mind, one only,
Could such strain have sung;
Ever be the laurel lonely
Where such lyre is hung.        45
            Be the world a thing apart
            Of the glorious island
            Where Ulysses was the king.
 
 
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