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O sound of wheels or hoof-beat breaks

The silence of the summer day, As by the loveliest of all lakes

I while the idle hours away.

I pace the leafy colonnade

Where level branches of the plane Above me weave a roof of shade

Impervious to the sun and rain.

At times a sudden rush of air

Flutters the lazy leaves o’erhead, And gleams of sunshine toss and flare

Like torches down the path I tread.

By Somariva's garden gate

I make the marble stairs my seat, And hear the water, as I wait,

Lapping the steps beneath my feet.

The undulation sinks and swells

Along the stony parapets, And far away the floating bells

Tinkle upon the fisher's nets.

Silent and slow, by tower and town

The freighted barges come and go, Their pendent shadows gliding down

By town and tower submerged below.

The hills sweep upward from the shore

With villas scattered one by one Upon their wooded spurs, and lower

Bellaggio blazing in the sun.

And dimly seen, a tangled mass

Of walls and woods, of light and shade, Stands beckoning up the Stelvio Pass

Varenna with its white cascade.

I ask myself, Is this a dream ?

Will it all vanish into air?
Is there a land of such supreme

And perfect beauty anywhere ?

Sweet vision! Do not fade away;

Linger until my heart shall take Into itself the summer day,

And all the beauty of the lake.

Linger until upon my brain

Is stamped an image of the scene,
Then fade into the air again,
And be as if thou hadst not been.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.



AVE where Garganus, with low-ridgéd bound,

Surveys one sea of gently swelling ground,

A fitly moulded “ Orchestra of War."

Here Aufidus, between his humble banks

With wild thyme plotted, winds along the plain, A devious path, as when the serried ranks

Passed over it, that passed not back again.

The long-horned herds enjoy the cool delight,

Sleeping half-merged, to shun the deep sun-glow, Which, that May-morning, dazed the Roman sight,

But fell innocuous on the subtler foe.

We feel the wind upon our bosoms beat,

That whilom dimmed with dust those noble eyes, And rendered aimless many a gallant feat,

And brought disgrace on many a high emprise.

And close beside us rests the ancient well,

Where at the end of that accursed day, Apulian peasants to their grandsons tell,

The friend and follower of wise Fabius lay;

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Here fainting lay, compelled by fate to share

Shame not his own, — here spurned the scanty time Still left for flight, lest, living he might bear

Hard witness to his colleague's generous crime.

I have seen many fields where men have fought

With mightier issues, but not one, I deem,
Where history offers to reflecting thought
So sharp a check of greatness so supreme.

Lord Houghton.

Capri, the Island.


What the mountainous Isle Seen in the South ? 'T is where a monster dwelt, Hurling his victims from the topmost cliff; Then and then only merciful, so slow, So subtle, were the tortures they endured. Fearing and feared be lived, cursing and cursed; And still the dungeons in the rock breathe out Darkness, distemper. Strange, that one so vile Should from his den strike terror through the world; Should, where withdrawn in his decrepitude, Say to the noblest, be they where they might, Go from the earth !” and from the earth they went: Yet such things were, and will be, when mankind, Losing all virtue, lose all energy ; And for the loss incur the penalty, Trodden down and trampled.

Samuel Rogers. CAPRI.

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WHERE is an isle, kissed by a smiling sea,

Where all sweet confluents meet: a thing of heaven, A spent aërolite, that well may be The missing sister of the starry Seven. Celestial beauty nestles at its knee, And in its lap is naught of earthly leaven. 'Tis girt and crowned with loveliness; its year, Eternal summer; winter comes not near.

'Tis small, as things of beauty ofttimes are,
And in a morning round it you may row,
Nor need a tedious haste your bark debar
From gliding inwards where the ripples flow
Into strange grots whose roofs are azure spar,
Whose pavements liquid silver. Mild winds blow
Around your prow, and at your keel the foan,
Leaping and laughing, freslily wafts you home.
They call the island Capri, — with a name
Dulling an airy dream, just as the soul
Is clogged with body palpable, - and Fame
Hath long while winged the word from pole to pole.
Its human story is a tale of shame,
Of all unnatural lusts a gory scroll,
Record of what, when pomp and power agree,
Man once hath been, and man again may be.

Terrace and slope from shore to summit show
Of all rich climes the glad-surrendered spoil.

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