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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Germany: Vols. XVII–XVIII. 1876–79.


The Juvenis Adorans

By Nathaniel Langdon Frothingham (1793–1870)

  • This antique statue, a youth praying, dug up from the Tiber in the pontificate of Clement XI., was presented by that Pope to Prince Eugene of Savoy. From him it passed into the possession of Prince Lichtenstein. Frederic II. of Prussia bought it for ten thousand thalers, and placed it in his palace at Potsdam. It is now one of the finest ornaments of the sculpture-gallery at Berlin.

  • TIBER’S yellow flood

    Darkest tales can tell,

    Where the mightiest stood,

    How the haughtiest fell.

    Tiber’s sedgy banks

    Rustle with the past.

    Ah, that Rome’s bright ranks

    Should fade to this at last!

    Tiber’s muddy bed!

    Beneath thy burial lid—

    If true what men have said—

    Treasures of spoil lie hid.

    And we were truly told.

    From those foul deeps they raise

    A form of vigorous mould;

    And behold! he prays.

    Not crouchingly he stands,

    Not kneeling as in dread,

    Not clasped his eager hands,

    Not bowed his noble head.

    His gaze is on the sky,

    As if his trust were there;

    His arms stretched wide and high,

    As if his thanks were prayer.

    His youth breathes strong of hope,

    And life’s full, generous fires,

    As towards that heavenly cope

    He worships and aspires.

    So at the Easter-tide

    The churches rose and stood;

    Throwing all stoop aside,

    And every mournful mood.

    O genius of new days!

    Hail from thine ancient tomb;

    Now let thy spirit’s blaze

    Chase the old world of gloom.

    Bright one! thine influence pour

    On man so prone and sad;

    And teach him how to adore,

    And to be free and glad.