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



By Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814–1902)

AH! what avails it, Genoa, now to thee

That Doria, feared by monarchs, once was thine?

Univied ruin! in thy sad decline

From virtuous greatness, what avails that he

Whose prow descended first the Hesperian sea,

And gave our world her mate beyond the brine,

Was nurtured, whilst an infant, at thy knee?—

All things must perish,—all but things divine.

Flowers, and the stars, and virtue,—these alone,

The self-subsisting shapes, or self-renewing,

Survive. All else are sentenced. Wisest were

That builder who should plan with strictest care

(Ere yet the wood was felled or hewn the stone)

The aspect only of his pile in ruin!