Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Written in Petrarch’s House

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


Written in Petrarch’s House

By Richard Monckton Milnes, Lord Houghton (1809–1885)

PETRARCH! I would that there might be

In this thy household sanctuary

No visible monument of thee:

The fount that whilom played before thee,

The roof that rose in shelter o’er thee,

The low fair hills that still adore thee,—

I would no more; thy memory

Must loathe all cold reality,

Thought-worship only is for thee.

They say thy tomb lies there below;

What want I with the marble show?

I am content,—I will not go:

For though by poesy’s high grace

Thou saw’st, in thy calm resting-place,

God, love, and nature face to face;

Yet now that thou art wholly free,

How can it give delight to see

That sign of thy captivity?