Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  Farewell to Italy

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Walter Savage Landor 1775–1864

Farewell to Italy


I LEAVE thee, beauteous Italy! no more

From the high terraces, at even-tide,

To look supine into thy depths of sky,

Thy golden moon between the cliff and me,

Or thy dark spires of fretted cypresses

Bordering the channel of the milky way.

Fiesole and Valdarno must be dreams

Hereafter, and my own lost Affrico

Murmur to me but in the poet’s song.

I did believe (what have I not believ’d?),

Weary with age, but unoppress’d by pain,

To close in thy soft clime my quiet day

And rest my bones in the mimosa’s shade.

Hope! Hope! few ever cherish’d thee so little;

Few are the heads thou hast so rarely rais’d;

But thou didst promise this, and all was well.

For we are fond of thinking where to lie

When every pulse hath ceas’d, when the lone heart

Can lift no aspiration—reasoning

As if the sight were unimpair’d by death,

Were unobstructed by the coffin-lid,

And the sun cheer’d corruption! Over all

The smiles of Nature shed a potent charm,

And light us to our chamber at the grave.