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



By Alessandro Tassoni (1565–1635)

(From La Secchia Rapita; Or, The Rape of the Bucket)
Translated by James Atkinson

MODENA stands upon a spacious plain,

Hemmed in by ridges to the south and west,

And rugged fragments of the lofty chain

Of Apennine, whose elevated crest

Sees the last sunbeam in the western main,

Glittering and fading on its rippling breast;

And on the top with ice eternal crowned,

The sky seems bending in repose profound.

The flowery banks where beautifully flow

Panaro’s limpid waters, eastward lie;

In front Bologna, on the left the Po,

Where Phaeton tumbled headlong from the sky;

North, Secchia’s rapid stream is seen to go,

With changeful course in whirling eddies by,

Bursting the shores, and with unfruitful sand

Sowing the meadows and adjacent land.