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



By John Bruce Norton (1815–1883)

BRIGHT was the sky and blue the sea, when I

On the paved causeway of Pompeii stood,

Perplexed at my amazing solitude:

The silent forum, open to the sky,

The empty barracks of the soldiery,

The stone mills fixed to grind the daily food,

The houses of the rich and poorer brood,

Bath, temple, theatre, I sauntered by.

Surely, methought, the folk hath left its home

But for excursion or high holiday;

And soon shall I behold them swarming back,

Like busy bees that buzz about their comb,

Or those gregarious birds whose aery track

Instinctive, nestward, points their evening way.