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



By Statius (c. 45–c. 96 A.D.)

(From To His Wife Claudia)
Translated by C. A. Elton

FAIR stand the peopled towns: by Phœbus’ fane

Auspicious graced, walls rose beside the main:

Puteoli spreads smooth its haven’s sand,

And shores, the shelter of the world, expand.

Here Capua’s streets with Rome imperial vie,

Where Capys fixed his Trojan colony:

Near lies the native city of my love;

The mild soil Phœbus, by the guiding dove,

Showed to Parthenope; the siren maid

Crossed the wide seas, and here her Naples laid.

Hither I seek to bear thee: not my race

Springs from wild Lybia, nor from barbarous Thrace.

Tempered by breezy summers, winters bland,

The waveless seas glide slumbering to the land:

Safe peace is here; life’s careless ease is ours;

Unbroken rest, and sleep till morning hours.

No courts here rage; no bickering brawls are known:

The laws of men are in their manners shown;

And Justice walks unguarded and alone.


Nor less the various charms of life are found

Where the wide champaign spreads its distant bound:

Whether thou haunt warm Baiæ’s streaming shore,

Or the prophetic sibyl’s cave explore;

Or mount, made famous by Misenus’ oar;

Or Gaurus’ vineyards, or the Caprean isle,

Where sailors mark the watch-tower’s moony pile;

Surrentum’s hills, where acrid clusters twine,

And where my Pollius dwells, and tends the vine:

Ænaria’s healing lakes; and from the main

The rocks of Statina emerged again.

A thousand pleasures could my verse expand,

And darling loves of this my native land.