Home  »  library  »  poem  »  February in Rome

C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

February in Rome

By Edmund Gosse (1849–1928)

From ‘On Viol and Flute’

WHEN Roman fields are red with cyclamen,

And in the palace gardens you may find,

Under great leaves and sheltering briony-bind,

Clusters of cream-white violets, oh then

The ruined city of immortal men

Must smile, a little to her fate resigned,

And through her corridors the slow warm wind

Gush harmonies beyond a mortal ken.

Such soft favonian airs upon a flute,

Such shadowy censers burning live perfume,

Shall lead the mystic city to her tomb;

Nor flowerless springs, nor autumns without fruit,

Nor summer mornings when the winds are mute,

Trouble her soul till Rome be no more Rome.