The lovely beams of morning mild,
That oʼer the Lecco mountains break, 1
And red their summits piled;
That, high above their olive shore
Their weary winter garments bore.
The broad boat lay along the tide;
The light waves lapped its sloping side,
And soft perfume of orange‐trees
By fits came on the landward breeze.
The trouts shot through the waters blue,
Like small stars in the heaven glancing;
Or hid them where the broad weeds grew,
With wavy motion dancing.
Away, away, across the lake 2
How fast retires yon myrtle brake,
All sprinkled with a silver shower,
Through the dark leaves of lemon flower.
Clear, as if near,—nor faint, though far,
Shines on the mountain, like a star,
The rock born torrentʼs milky spray.
And many a small boat on its way
Urged by a breeze that bore them well,
Though unfelt as invisible,
With sunshine on their winglike sail
Past, like young eaglets on the gale.
The waters sparkling, clear, and deep;
The rock was high, the cavern dark,
Scarce lit up by the jewelled spark
Of the cold stream that under earth
Was darkling buried at its birth; 3
Nor once its wave had sunned, nor seen
Aught but dark rock, and ice caves green,
Where the dark waters, as a home,
Received the torrentʼs churned foam.
We launched again, and downward bore
A while beside the centre shore;
Then left the shadowy eastern lake,—
Crossed through thick vines the wooded cape,—
Struck the clear wave with long, light oar,—
Left a white wake that sought the shore;
High oʼer the boat the awning spread,
And, quick as sunned waves a flashed before,
Toward the southward fled.