"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 broad seaʼs 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‐archèd 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 wreathèd 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 from their sleep, e
That shout “the morn!” from steep to steep?
Whoeʼer thou art, who hast not felt
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Thou lovedʼst to be where sea‐birds dwelt,—
To wander on the weary beach,
Just on the line the wild waves reach,
Or watch the petrels flit before
The marching tempestʼs warning roar,
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And ocean‐eagles dark and proud,
And white‐winged ospreys skim the cloud;—
And if thou neʼer hast felt as if
The ocean had a mind,
Nor held communion with the deep,
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And converse with the wind,
When broad, black waves before it roll,—
I would not think thou hadʼst a soul.