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



By Samuel Rogers (1763–1855)

(From Italy)

THIS region, surely, is not of the earth.

Was it not dropt from heaven? Not a grove,

Citron or pine or cedar, not a grot

Sea-worn and mantled with the gadding vine,

But breathes enchantment. Not a cliff but flings

On the clear wave some image of delight,

Some cabin-roof glowing with crimson flowers,

Some ruined temple or fallen monument,

To muse on as the bark is gliding by.

And be it mine to muse there, mine to glide,

From daybreak, when the mountain pales his fire

Yet more and more, and from the mountain-top,

Till then invisible, a smoke ascends,

Solemn and slow, as erst from Ararat,

When he, the Patriarch, who escaped the Flood,

Was with his household sacrificing there,

From daybreak to that hour, the last and best,

When, one by one, the fishing-boats come forth,

Each with its glimmering lantern at the prow,

And, when the nets are thrown, the evening hymn

Steals o’er the trembling waters.