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

Como, the Lake

Lake of Como

By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

From “The Prelude

AND, Como! thou, a treasure whom the earth

Keeps to herself, confined as in a depth

Of Abyssinian privacy. I spake

Of thee, thy chestnut woods, and garden plots

Of Indian-corn tended by dark-eyed maids;

Thy lofty steeps, and pathways roofed with vines,

Winding from house to house, from town to town,

Sole link that binds them to each other; walks,

League after league, and cloistral avenues,

Where silence dwells if music be not there:

While yet a youth undisciplined in verse,

Through fond ambition of that hour, I strove

To chant your praise; nor can approach you now

Ungreeted by a more melodious song,

Where tones of nature smoothed by learned art

May flow in lasting current. Like a breeze

Or sunbeam over your domain I passed

In motion without pause; but ye have left

Your beauty with me, a serene accord

Of forms and colors, passive, yet endowed

In their submissiveness with power as sweet

And gracious, almost might I dare to say,

As virtue is, or goodness; sweet as love,

Or the remembrance of a generous deed,

Or mildest visitation of pure thought,

When God, the giver of all joy, is thanked

Religiously, in silent blessedness;

Sweet as this last herself, for such it is.