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


The Cathedral of Milan

By Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814–1902)

WITH steps subdued, silence, and labor long,

I reached the marble roofs. Awe vanquished dread.

White were they as the summit of Mont Blanc,

When noontide parleys with that mountain’s head.

The far-off Alps, by morning tinged with red,

Blushed through the spires that round in myriads sprung:

A silver gleam the wind-stirred poplars flung

O’er Lombardy’s green sea below me spread.

Of these I little saw. In trance I stood;

Ere death, methought, admitted to the skies;

Around me, like a heavenly multitude

Crowning some specular mount of Paradise,

Thronged that angelic concourse robed in stone:

The sun, ascending, in their faces shone!