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

Cuma (Cumæ)

The Sibyl’s Cave at Cuma

By Sir Aubrey de Vere (1788–1846)

CUMEAN Sibyl! from thy sultry cave

Thy dark eyes level with the sulphurous ground

Through the gloom flashing, roll in wrath around.

What see they? Coasts perpetual earthquakes pave

With ruin; piles half buried in the wave;

Wrecks of old times and new in lava drowned;—

And festive crowds, sin-steeped and myrtle-crowned,

Like idiots dancing on a parent’s grave.

And they foresee. Those pallid lips with pain

Suppress their thrilling whispers. Sibyl, spare!

Could Wisdom’s voice divide yon sea, or rear

A new Vesuvius from its flaming plane,

Futile the warning! Power despised! forbear

To deepen guilt by counsel breathed in vain!