Make haste! There is but one more turning!
The horses cannot go too fast,
So eagerly our hearts are yearning
To see the longed-for home at last!
Here is the shrine, the lamp still burning,
Beside the vineyard’s massive wall;
And see, to welcome our returning,
The banners on the flagstaffs tall!
Before the gate, our servants, wearing
Their brightest smiles, together stand,
In quaint, Tyrolean style preparing
To kiss respectfully the hand.
Now, too, the dogs perceive their master,
And rush to meet our carriage wheels;
The loyal Leo first and faster,
The dackels close upon his heels!
How wild the joy, how loud the chorus
Our old, familiar tones excite!
Dear, faithful creatures that adore us,
How genuine their keen delight!
The door is passed, the hall is entered!
How true it is, where’er we roam,
That here alone our hearts are centered,
That no place hath the charm of Home!
Here smile the pictures ranged above us;
Here stand our books, the best of friends;
Here those we love and those who love us
Are happy that our absence ends.
We prize the intellectual treasures
On History’s famous sites amassed;
And precious are the varied pleasures
From Art’s great glories of the past;
But well we know, when once more seated
Within these rooms with volumes lined,
That,—now the journey is completed—,
The best of Rome is in the mind.
Sweet garden, wreathed in fruits and flowers,
And domed by blue Tyrolean skies,
Within thy rose-encircled bowers,
Secluded from all curious eyes,
I find a peaceful paradise.
Without, the world’s fierce strife and yearning
In floods of passion ebb and flow;
Within, as in a shrine, is burning,—
Reflecting fires of long ago,—
A stormy life’s calm afterglow.
How sumptuous is the golden splendor
Thy yellow roses give my walls!
Like yonder glow, so sweet and tender,
That o’er the snow at sunset falls,
And by its spell the soul enthralls.
How swiftly pass the happy hours
Beside thy palms, beneath thy pines,
As through the fountain’s crystal showers
I watch the sunlight gild thy vines
Against the snow-peaks’ silvered lines!
I lean upon my loggia’s railing
And view the vineyard’s saffron sheen,—
Its amber leaves in glory veiling
The purpling grapes, that hang between
Its long arcades of gold and green.
And at the sight my heart is beating
With rapture hitherto unknown,
As with delight I keep repeating
In love’s triumphant undertone,—
“All this is mine, my very own”!
Then with a chill, like that which steals
Across the vale at set of sun,
A solemn thought the truth reveals,—
How transient is the prize thus won!
How short a time my lease can run!