"Genoa" [poem]
Now rouse thee, ho! For Genoa straight!
We did not for the dawning wait;
The stars shone pale on Noviʼs gate, 1
And on the airy Apennine,
Whose towery steeps, with morn elate,
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Lay southward in a lengthened line.
And we knew,—and we knew,—and we knew
That from Elba to the Alps, 2 oʼer the seaʼs broad blue, a
Where the wild waves wander and white ripples shine,
Looked the cloudy crest of the tall Apennine!
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From the torrentʼs barren bed,
Bound by blocks of granite red,
Came the gay cicadaʼs song;
Wheresoeʼer the dew was dank
On the tree, the shrub, the bank,
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All our scorching road along
Came the gay cicadaʼs song. 3
While, beside our path, was seen
Of various trees a vista green, b
Into the streamlet looking down,
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Whose living crystal shot between,
All trembling with the leafy gleam.
And coolly on a high arch span
The sportive light reflected ran
Hither and thither fast; c and through
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That natural arched avenue
There showed a rich and mighty plain,
Rolling its wooded waves away;
And, through the stretch of that champaign,
A noble river wound its way. 4
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And on the horizon to the north
Pale gleams of icy sun came forth d
From the St. Bernardʼs fastnesses;
White as the wreathed salt sea‐spray,
With the snow wreaths that ever press
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Upon that heaven girt boundary,— 5
Boundary meet for Italy,—
Most meet for such a lovely clime,
As it looks oʼer Marengoʼs sea 6
Unto the Apennine.
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ʼTis sweet, a topmost mountain‐ridge
Impatiently to climb,
And there to stand, and dream away
A little space of time. 7
Oh! is there one remembers not
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When first he saw the living deep,
With panting bosom, crimson shot,
Call its smooth billows firom their sleep, e
That shout “the morn!” from steep to steep,—
When far away to seaward show
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Her first beamʼs solitary glow? f
Whoeʼer thou art, who hast not felt
Thou lovedʼst to be where sea‐birds dwelt,—
To wander on the weary beach,
Just on the line the wild waves reach,
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Or watch the petrels flit before
The marching tempestʼs warning roar,
And ocean‐eagles dark and proud,
And white winged ospreys skim the cloud;—
And if thou neʼer hast felt as if
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The ocean had a mind,
Nor held communion with the deep,
And converse with the wind,
When broad, black waves before it roll,—
I would not think thou hadʼst a soul.
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