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

Rome, Ruins of

Birds in the Baths of Diocletian

By Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814–1902)

EGERIAN warbler! unseen rhapsodist!

Whose carols antedate the Roman spring;

Who, while the old gray walls, thy playmates, ring,

Dost evermore on one deep strain insist;

Flinging thy bell-notes through the sunset mist!

Touched by thy song rich weeds and wall-flowers swing

As in a breeze, the twilight crimsoning

That sucks from them aerial amethyst,—

O for a sibyl’s insight to reveal

That lore thou sing’st of! Shall I guess it? nay!

Enough to hear thy strain,—enough to feel

O’er all the extended soul the freshness steal

Of those ambrosial honeydews that weigh

Down with sweet force the azure lids of day.