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



By Virgil (70–19 B.C.)

(From Æneid)
Translated by C. P. Cranch

CLOSE to the neighboring Ceraunia now

We sail, whence lies our way to Italy,

The shortest course by sea. Meanwhile the sun

Goes down; the shadowy mountains hide in night.

On the earth’s welcome lap we throw ourselves,

Beside the waves, the watch being set on board,

And here and there along the sandy beach

Refresh ourselves with food. Our weary limbs

Are bathed in sleep. Not yet the night had reached

Her middle course, when Palinurus leaves

His bed,—no sluggard he,—and all the winds

Essays, listening to catch their sounds; and notes

In the still sky the softly gliding stars,

Arcturus, and the rainy Hyades,

And the two Bears, and armed Orion bright

With gold. And when he sees that all is still

Amid the heavens serene, he from the stern

Gives the clear signal. Then we strike our tents,

And try the voyage, with our wingéd sails.

And now Aurora reddens in the east;

The stars had vanished; when, far off, we see

The dusky mountains and the long low shore

Of Italy. And “Italy” rings first

Achates’ voice, and Italy with shouts

Of joy my comrades greet. My father then

Wreathes a great cup, and fills it up with wine,

And, standing in the stern, invokes the gods:

“Ye potent deities of sea and land,

And of the storms, grant us a passage safe,

And favoring breezes.” Soon the wished-for winds

Freshen, and wider grows the harbor now;

Minerva’s temple on a height appears;

We furl the sails, and turn our prows to land.