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



By Leigh Hunt (1784–1859)

(From The Story of Rimini)

’T IS morn, and never did a lovelier day

Salute Ravenna from its leafy bay:

For a warm eve and gentle rains at night

Have left a sparkling welcome for the light,

And April, with his white hands wet with flowers,

Dazzles the bride-maids, looking from the towers:

Green vineyards and fair orchards, far and near,

Glitter with drops; and heaven is sapphire clear,

And the lark rings it, and the pine-trees glow,

And odors from the citrons come and go,

And all the landscape—earth and sky and sea—

Breathes like a bright-eyed face, that laughs out openly.

’T is nature, full of spirits, waked and loved.

E’en sloth, to-day, goes quick and unreproved;

For where ’s the living soul—priest, minstrel, clown,

Merchant, or lord—that speeds not to the town?

Hence happy faces, striking through the green

Of leafy roads, at every turn are seen;

And the far ships, lifting their sails of white

Like joyful hands, come up with scattered light,—

Come gleaming up, true to the wished-for day,

And chase the whistling brine, and swirl into the bay.