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


Naples, 1866

By John Bruce Norton (1815–1883)

“E quindi uscimmi rivedere le stelle.”—Dante.

I THINK not, when I gaze upon thy bay,

That clasps, as with a lover’s arms, the sea

Tripping to kiss the curved shore smilingly,

O! Naples, of thy charms, though poets say,

“See Naples, and in death then pass away.”

I have no eye nor ear but for the glee,

The tide, the bustle, the activity,

Thronging thy streets, as ’t were a festive day.

To me, an exile, for how many a year,

In death-like India, thou art as the gate

Of life, or morning’s advent after night;

As welcome as to Dante was the light,

When issuing from the realms of woeful fate,

He saw the blessed stars once more appear.