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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 Campagna Seen from St. John Lateran

By Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814–1902)

WAS it the trampling of triumphant hosts

That levelled thus yon plain, sea-like and hoary;

Armies from Rome sent forth to distant coasts,

Or back returning clad with spoils of glory?

Around it loom cape, ridge, and promontory:

Above it sunset shadows fleet like ghosts,

Fast-borne o’er keep and tomb, whose ancient boasts,

By Time confuted, name have none in story.

Fit seat for Rome! for here is ample space,

Which greatness chiefly needs,—severed alone

By yonder aqueducts, with queenly grace

That sweep in curves concentric ever on

(Bridging a world subjected as a chart),

To that great city, head of earth, and heart.