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



By John Edmund Reade (1800–1870)

(From Italy)

AND where breathes Nature deeper oracles

Than in thy depths, romantic Tivoli!

Here, where the spirit of past ages dwells,

Lulled by the waters’ voice of prophecy,

Endiademed with craggy majesty,

And plumed with woods that shed a horror round?

From the deep olive grove lift up thine eye;

Lo, on yon airy cliff’s extremest bound

The Sibyl’s temple reared against the blue profound.


Where the wrecked image of the beautiful,

Conscious of faded hues and felt decline,

Looks down an eloquence that doth o’errule

The heart far more than language, though divine

Were he who spake; full swells the flowing line

Of light and delicate proportion there;

Time’s gray tints mellowing that ruined shrine,

Impart a speaking sadness to its air,

A venerable grace that doth his wrongs repair.