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

Po (Eridanus), the River

The River Po

By Lucan (39–65 A.D.)

Translated by Joseph Addison

THE PO, that, rushing with uncommon force,

O’ersets whole woods in its tumultuous course,

And, rising from Hesperia’s watery veins,

The exhausted land of all its moisture drains.

The Po, as sings the fable, first conveyed

Its wondering current through a poplar shade:

For when young Phaëton mistook his way,

Lost and confounded in the blaze of day,

This river, with surviving streams supplied,

When all the rest of the whole earth were dried,

And nature’s self lay ready to expire,

Quenched the dire flame that set the world on fire.