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

Rome, the Campagna

The Appian Way

By Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814–1902)

AWE-STRUCK I gazed upon that rock-paved way,

The Appian Road; marmorean witness still

Of Rome’s resistless stride and fateful will,

Which mocked at limits, opening out for aye

Divergent paths to one imperial sway.

The nations verily their parts fulfil;

And war must plough the fields which law shall till;

Therefore Rome triumphed till the appointed day.

Then from the Catacombs, like waves, upburst

The host of God, and scaled, as in an hour,

O’er all the earth the mountain-seats of power.

Gladly in that baptismal flood immersed

The old Empire died to live. Once more on high

It sits; now clothed with immortality!