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Lord Byron (1788–1824). Poetry of Byron. 1881.

II. Descriptive and Narrative

An August Evening in Italy

(Childe Harold, Canto iv. Stanzas 27–29.)

THE MOON is up, and yet it is not night—

Sunset divides the sky with her—a sea

Of glory streams along the Alpine height

Of blue Friuli’s mountains; Heaven is free

From clouds, but of all colours seems to be

Melted to one vast Iris of the West,

Where the Day joins the past Eternity;

While, on the other hand, meet Dian’s crest

Floats through the azure air—an island of the blest!

A single star is at her side, and reigns

With her o’er half the lovely heaven; but still

Yon sunny sea heaves brightly, and remains

Roll’d o’er the peak of the far Rhætian hill,

As day and Night contending were, until

Nature reclaim’d her order:—gently flows

The deep-dyed Brenta, where their hues instil

The odorous purple of a new-born rose,

Which streams upon her stream, and glass’d within it glows,

Fill’d with the face of heaven, which, from afar,

Comes down upon the waters; all its hues,

From the rich sunset to the rising star,

Their magical variety diffuse:

And now they change; a paler shadow strews

Its mantle o’er the mountains; parting day

Dies like the dolphin, whom each pang imbues

With a new colour as it gasps away,

The last still loveliest, till—’tis gone—and all is gray.