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


The Fig-Trees of Gherardesca

By Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864)

YE brave old fig-trees! worthy pair!

Beneath whose shade I often lay

To breathe awhile a cooler air,

And shield me from the dusts of day.

Strangers have visited the spot,

Led thither by my parting song;

Alas! the stranger found you not,

And curst the poet’s lying tongue.

Vanished each venerable head,

Nor bough nor leaf could tell them where

To look for you, alive or dead;

Unheeded was my distant prayer.

I might have hoped (if hope had ever

Been mine) that time or storm alone

Your firm alliance would dissever,—

Hath mortal hand your strength o’erthrown?

Before an axe had bitten through

The bleeding bark, some tender thought,

If not for me, at least for you,

On younger bosoms might have wrought.

Age after age your honeyed fruit

From boys unseen through foliage fell

On lifted apron; now is mute

The girlish glee! Old friends, farewell!