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

Vesuvius, the Mountain


By Martial (c. 40–c. 104 A.D.)

Translated by Joseph Addison

VESUVIO, covered with the fruitful vine,

Here flourished once, and ran with floods of wine,

Here Bacchus oft to the cool shades retired,

And his own native Nisa less admired;

Oft to the mountain’s airy tops advanced,

The frisking Satyrs on the summits danced;

Alcides here, here Venus graced the shore,

Nor loved her favorite Lacedæmon more.

Now piles of ashes, spreading all around,

In undistinguished heaps deform the ground,

The gods themselves the ruined seats bemoan,

And blame the mischiefs that themselves have done.