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

Reggio (Rhegium)


By John Edmund Reade (1800–1870)

(From Italy)

AND shouldst thou doubt the visible prophecies

Of Nature, in her forms embodying

Imaginative dreams, when the sun lies

On Reggio’s shore, go mark its ruins fling

Their shadows on the stream, till gathering,

Embattled towers rise slowly from the deep,

Pillars and castled walls, gates opening

On serried armies, marshalled horse that leap

Along the flying plains, and charging squadrons sweep.

And cliffs cloud-capped, deep vales, white herds far seen,

And shepherds with their flocks, and mountains bare,

Looking repose: lo! in the silvery sheen

Floating above the wave, they melt to air,

Reflection but of ruins! woven there

From mist and shadow, but they finger forth

Truths that oracular Nature doth declare

To thee, fallen Italy! regenerate birth

Thus shall be thine from death, freedom and pristine worth.