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



By Alfred de Musset (1810–1857)

Translated by C. F. Bates

ON rosy Venice’ breast

The gondola ’s at rest;

No fisher is in sight,

Not a light.

Lone seated on the strand,

Uplifts the lion grand

His foot of bronze on high

Against the sky.

As if with resting wing

Like herons in a ring,

Vessels and shallops keep,

Their quiet sleep

Upon the vapory bay;

And when the light winds play,

Their pennons, lately whist,

Cross in the mist.

The moon is now concealed,

And now but half revealed,

Veiling her face so pale

With starry veil.

In convent of Sainte-Croix

Thus doth the abbess draw

Her ample-folded cape

Round her fair shape.

The palace of the knight,

The staircases so white,

The solemn porticos

Are in repose.

Each bridge and thoroughfare

The gloomy statues there,

The gulf which trembles so

When the winds blow,

All still, save guards who pace,

With halberds long, their space,

Watching the battled walls

Of arsenals.