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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: Corfu, the Island

A Night at Corfu

By Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814–1902)

A HOARY gleam through boughs prevailing

Tells me how near the ocean lies,

Here caged in many a waveless lake

By cypressed ridge and shadowy brake:

Far off the nightingale is wailing:

More near the watery grot replies.

The forest growths are rocked and dandled

By airs with midnight odors faint,

Soft, separate airs, o’er feathered grass

That pass me often and repass,

Like naked feet of nymphs unsandalled

That tread each lawn and alley quaint.

No voice is heard of mortal creature!

No voice,—yet I am not alone:

Nausicaa and her virgin train

Still haunt the woodland, skirt the main,

And deck for me with human feature

Each glimmering branch and white-browed stone.

When with those maids the exile sported

The fireflies lit, as now, the glen:

That rose its blush to-day which gave

And bosom to the aspiring wave,

Descends from one old Ocean courted,

On the same cliff it may be, then!

I see not now those hills whose summits

In August keep their ermined robes;

But feel their freshness, know that round

They gird the steely gulfs profound

With feet that mock the seamen’s plummets,

And foreheads crowned with starry globes.

But see! vast beams divide the heaven;

The orange-groves their blossoms show;

Over yon kindling deep the Moon

Will lash her snowy coursers soon:

Now, by her brow the east is riven!

And now the west returns the glow!