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

Monte Circello


By Virgil (70–19 B.C.)

(From Æneid)
Translated by C. P. Cranch

THEY skirt the nearest shores to Circe’s land,

Where she, the sumptuous daughter of the Sun,

Fills her secluded forests with the sounds

Of her assiduous singing, while within

Her palace proud the fragrant cedar burns,

Her nightly torch; and through her gauzy web

The whistling shuttle runs. Here, late at night,

The roar of angry lions in the dark

Chafing against their prison bars, was heard;

And bristly boars and raging bears, pent up,

And howling wolves of size immense. All these,

From human shapes, by means of potent herbs,

The cruel goddess Circe had transformed

To faces and to bodies of wild beasts.

Then, lest the pious Trojans should endure

Such monstrous fate, when brought into the port,

Nor touch a coast so dreadful, Neptune filled

Their sails with favoring winds, to aid their flight,

And wafted them beyond the boiling shoals.