Home  »  The Book of Georgian Verse  »  Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864)

William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

Farewell to Italy

Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864)

I LEAVE thee, beauteous Italy! no more

From the high terraces, at eventide,

To look supine into thy depths of sky,

Thy golden moon between the cliff and me,

Or thy dark spires of fretted cypresses

Bordering the channel of the milky-way.

Fiesole and Valdarno must be dreams

Hereafter, and my own lost Affrico

Murmur to me but in the poet’s song.

I did believe (what have I not believed?)

Weary with age, but unoppressed by pain,

To close in thy soft clime my quiet day

And rest my bones in the Mimosa’s shade.

Hope! Hope! few ever cherished thee so little;

Few are the heads thou hast so rarely raised;

But thou didst promise this, and all was well.

For we are fond of thinking where to lie

When every pulse hath ceased, when the lone heart

Can lift no aspiration—reasoning

As if the sight were unimpaired by death,

Were unobstructed by the coffin-lid,

And the sun cheered corruption! Over all

The smiles of nature shed a potent charm,

And light us to our chamber at the grave.