James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

February 29


By John Todhunter (1839–1916)

  • Gioachino Antonio Rossini, the famous Italian composer, was born Feb. 29, 1792.

  • THE GHOSTLY wind of Weber’s northern pines,

    With its luxurious dread, ne’er haunted thee;

    Maddening the heart like bright Circean wines,

    Thy siren songs float o’er the sunlit sea;

    Thy Faun-like childhood caught a Pagan glee

    From mellow clusters, bending trellised vines

    In some warm Tuscan vale, where sunset shines

    On vintage dance and jocund minstrelsy.

    If life were but a Bacchanal procession

    Of sensuous joys, thou wert its great high-priest,

    Old Pan of music, who, half-god, half-beast,

    On the shy nymph of tears mak’st bold aggression:

    Yet in thy bowers we sit at endless feast,

    And of thy gorgeous realm take rich possession.