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

Torcello, the Island

The Island of Torcello

By Anonymous

(From Beatrice)

HOW pretty this! The waters seek

So wooingly this bosky creek;

How lovingly the moonlight falls

On leafy cliff and cottage walls!

How all its peaks and edges glimmer,

And all its myrtles softly shimmer;

Reared of shadows and of light,

Sweet creation of the night!

From the rock’s projecting crest,

Venturous as a martlet’s nest,

The cot o’erhangs the water’s breast.

Nets are clinging on the wall,

Spars and tackling loosely lie,

And the patched boat high and dry,

Gaff and anchor rusted all;

O’er the waters softly swelling,

This thread of light, so pure and shy,

Seaward slanting from on high,

Glimmers from a fisher’s dwelling.