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


Venice in the Evening

By Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814–1902)

ALAS! mid all this pomp of the ancient time,

And flush of modern pleasure, dull Decay

O’er the bright pageant breathes her shadowy gray.

As on from bridge to bridge I roam and climb,

It seems as though some wonder-working chime

(Whose spell the vision raised and still can sway)

To some far source were ebbing fast away;

As though, by man unheard, with voice sublime

It bade the sea-born Queen of Cities follow

Her sire into his watery realm far down,—

Beneath my feet the courts sound vast and hollow;

And more than evening’s darkness seems to frown

On sable barks that, swift yet trackless, fleet

Like dreams o’er dim lagune and watery street.