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



By Samuel Greene Wheeler Benjamin (1837–1914)

A PLEASANT land looms up against the sky:

Green hills and slopes, bright with perennial spring,

And domes and airy spires, faint glittering

Through their light wreaths of sea-mist, greet the eye,

While, floating wildly o’er the deep-blue sea,

The boatman’s music lulls the enchanted ear.

Sicilia’s island this, the sister fair

Who sweetly smiles on vine-clad Italy:

Alike the sharer of her sons of song,

Her black-eyed maids, her heroes, and her arts;

And drunk alike with blood of patriot hearts,

She rises, phœnix-like, from tyrants’ wrong,

And asks thee, traveller, if thy wandering e’en

Have ever gazed upon a lovelier scene.