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


In Genoa

By Cora Kennedy Aitkin

Night at the Paradiso

HOW sweet the stars are, trembling in the sky,

As I look up across the shadowy trees,

Whose branches softly melt in heaven’s seas,

And mix with stars as griefs with destinies.

How sweet they are that overhead do fly

And reel and burn like sweet dreams born divine

That high in heaven grow restless if too fine

For human uses. Sweet the sleepy air

That scarce can hold the moonlight in its arms,

For dreaming and for sleeping; sweet the stair

Of clouds that winds to God, upheld in palms

Of planets poised in the dark atmosphere;

Sweet all things here atwixt the seas and skies,—

Sights, sounds, and odors of this Paradise!