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


Approach to Genoa

By Samuel Rogers (1763–1855)

(From Italy)

AT length the day departed, and the moon

Rose like another sun, illumining

Waters and woods and cloud-capt promontories,

Glades for a hermit’s cell, a lady’s bower,

Scenes of Elysium, such as Night alone

Reveals below, nor often,—scenes that fled

As at the waving of a wizard’s wand,

And left behind them, as their parting gift,

A thousand nameless odors. All was still;

And now the nightingale her song poured forth

In such a torrent of heartfelt delight,

So fast it flowed, her tongue so voluble,

As if she thought her hearers would be gone

Ere half was told. ’T was where in the northwest,

Still unassailed and unassailable,

Thy pharos, Genoa, first displayed itself,

Burning in stillness on its craggy seat;

That guiding star so oft the only one,

When those now glowing in the azure vault

Are dark and silent. ’T was where o’er the sea

(For we were now within a cable’s length)

Delicious gardens hung; green galleries,

And marble terraces in many a flight,

And fairy arches flung from cliff to cliff,

Wildering, enchanting; and, above them all,

A palace, such as somewhere in the East,

In Zenastan or Araby the blest,

Among its golden groves and fruits of gold,

And fountains scattering rainbows in the sky,

Rose, when Aladdin rubbed the wondrous lamp;

Such, if not fairer; and, when we shot by,

A scene of revelry, in long array,

As with the radiance of the setting sun,

The windows blazing. But we now approached

A city far-renowned; and wonder ceased.