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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Italy: Vols. XI–XIII. 1876–79.

Val d’ Arno

An Evening Picture

By Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864)

WHERE three huge dogs are ramping yonder,

Before that villa with its tower,

No braver boys, no father fonder,

Ever prolonged the moonlight hour.

Often to watch their sports unseen,

Along the broad stone bench he lies,

The oleander-stems between,

And citron boughs to shade his eyes.

The clouds now whiten far away,

And villas glimmer thick below,

And windows catch the quivering ray,

Obscure one minute’s space ago.

Orchards and vine-knolls maple-propped

Rise radiant round; the meads are dim,

As if the milky-way had dropped

And filled Valdarno to the brim.

Unseen beneath us, on the right,

The abbey with unfinished front

Of checkered marble, black and white,

And on the left the Doccia’s font.

Eastward, two ruined castles rise

Beyond Maiano’s mossy mill,

Winter and Time their enemies,

Without their warder, stately still.

The heaps around them there will grow

Higher, as years sweep by, and higher

Till every battlement laid low

Is seized and trampled by the brier.

That line so lucid is the weir

Of Rorezzano; but behold

The graceful tower of Giotto there,

And Duomo’s cross of freshened gold.

We cannot tell, so far away,

Whether the city’s tongue be mute,

We only hear some lover play

(If sighs be play) the sighing flute.