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


To Venice

By Vasile Alecsandri (1821–1890)

Translated by Henry Stanley

TO the much-desired Venice

My thoughts fly with longing

When, in the clouded night,

My painful feelings

Are oppressed by bitter regret.

Thus the bird wounded

By a venomous serpent

Flies, flies, till wearied out,

And, deadened, drops

Beside its flowery nest.

O most magnificent Venice!

Whosoever has been able to taste

The sweetness of love

Amid thy life of poesy

For eternity will not forget thee!

I love thee in thy desolation,

In thy vestment of mourning;

And in thy gondolas

Which lose themselves among the canals,

Like an uncompleted dream.

I love thee with fervent regret,

For thy beautiful Past,

And for the reminiscences

Of the sacred love,

And of the being I have lost.