"Cadenabbia" [poem]
CADENABBIA.
OH! coolly came, on Comoʼs lake,
The lovely beams of morning mild,
That oʼer the Lecco mountains break, 1
And red their summits piled;
That, high above their olive shore
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5

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.
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10

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
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15

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,
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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
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Past, like young eaglets on the gale.
The steps were broken, mossed, and steep;
The waters sparkling, clear, and deep;
The rock was high, the cavern dark,
Scarce lit up by the jewelled spark
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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,
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Received the torrentʼs churnèd 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,—
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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.
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