"Lago di Como" [poem]
“We took boat on the little recessed lake of Chiavenna, and
rowed down the whole way of waters, passing another Sunday at
Cadenabbia, and then, from villa to villa, across the lake, and
across to Como, and so to Milan by Monza.” (Praeterita, I. vi.)
ALL along that quiet a bay 1
A range of little shipping lay,
With their red flags drooped downward right,
And sheltered by their awnings white
From the high sunʼs red, scorching look,
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That oʼer the living waters shook
A blaze of hot and swarthy glow.
When we had launchèd from below
The shade of the tall cliffs, 2 and came
Where Como rolled his breast of flame,
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Down southward winding far away,
The oliveʼs tints of gentle grey
Stooped to his borders, from between
The hillsʼ uncultivated green.
And orange‐groves him girded round,
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Blossoming oʼer him fragrantly;
And in the sleep of his profound
White villages shone silently. b
And from our prow the rippleʼs flash
Threw forth its little sparkles paly;
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The light sound of the oar [bladesʼ] dash c
Came dancing on the waters gaily.
There was blue above, and blue below,
And the gleam of the eternal snow. d
And all along the shore, whereʼer
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The storm‐winds wont to chafe the wave,
The crucifix is shrinèd there;
That Christ may hear the passioned prayer
—May hear, may pity, and may save!