"It was an eve of summer, mild" ["Lago Maggiore"]" [poem]
IT was an eve of summer, mild
As ever looked the pale moon through,
That the deep waters were beguiled
Into such rest, that, as the blue,—
The moveless blue of the high heaven,—
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Such sleep was to the low lake given
That, as in lethargy, it lay 1
Waveless and tideless, soft and grey
As chasmless glacier. Voicelessly
The little barks came gliding by
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Apparently without a wind,
Leaving long ripply wakes behind.
It would have seemed a lifeless sea,
But there arose colossally, 2
Beyond the mist‐horizon, where
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The waters mingled with the air,
The spirits of gigantic things,—
Lords of the earth, and air, and sky, 3
Where, while heavenʼs cloud around them flings
Concealment everlastingly,
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The mountain‐snow, like scattered flocks,
Speckled on high the red‐ribbed rocks,
Or down the ravineʼs rolling blue
Its crisped surge oʼer the green fields threw,
Flinging the ice‐waves far and wide,
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Like the tortured spray of the ocean‐tide
Breaking broad on the mountain‐side.
Yet was there such a softness shed
Upon the rude Alpsʼ stormy head,
On massive wood and russet brake,
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Flashing river and polished lake
So broadly stretched in sapphire sheet,— b
Another heaven beneath our feet
Of deeper, darker, lovelier blue,—
It seemed that we were looking through
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Those æther fields, so pure, so high,
Above the concave of the sky,
Where nor storm nor tempest cometh nigh,
And the moon she sits in her majesty.