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Denis Florence MacCarthy
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 123 pages of information about Poems.

Cool the paths, by plane-trees shaded,
Which thy slopes ascend;
Grand the loggia, old and faded,
Where those pathways end;—­
Noble arches, well recalling
Mighty works of old,
Columns which, when night is falling,
Turn to shafts of gold.

In that loggia, fringed with roses,
All my soul expands;
Every arch a view discloses
Of historic lands;
Southward lies fair Comacina,
Famed in classic lore,
Northward Pliny’s Tremezzina
And Bellagio’s shore.

Miles of liquid opalescence
Stretch on either hand,
Curving into lovely crescents,
Each with sylvan strand;
While on Alpine peaks lie sleeping
Realms of stainless snow,
Whence the milk-white streams come leaping
To the lake below.

Many a far-off promontory
Melts in silvery haze,
Many a scene of song and story
Tells of Roman days;
Real and unreal, past and present,
Make the vision seem
Like the rapture evanescent
Of a happy dream.

Yet this point, so well selected,—­
Peerless in its day—­,
Now, abandoned and neglected,
Sinks to slow decay;
Sculptured saints, with broken fingers,
Line the ancient walls,
Like a loyal guard that lingers
Till the rampart falls;

Vases, o’er the portal standing,
Crumble into lime;
Steps, ascending from the landing,
Show the touch of time;
And its one lone gardener, weeping
As he tells his fears,
Faithful watch has here been keeping
Many, many years!

Even he must leave it lonely,
When the night grows late;
Then the mouldering statues only
Guard its rusty gate;
Then no eye its charm discovers,
And its moonlit bowers
Wait in vain for happy lovers
Through the silent hours.

Will no champion protect thee,
Fairest spot on earth? 
Doth a busy world neglect thee,
Careless of thy worth? 
Even so, thy site elysian
Still remains supreme,—­
Acme of the painter’s vision
And the poet’s dream.

AT LENNO

    By Lake Como’s sylvan shore,
    Where the wavelets evermore
Seem to rhythmically murmur of the classic days of yore,
    Cease, O boatman, now to row! 
    While the Alpine summits glow,
Let me dream that I am floating on the lake of long ago.

    Where the Tremezzina ends,
    And the bay of Lenno bends
Till the shadow of the mountain to its placid wave descends,
    On this strand of silver foam
    Stood the Younger Pliny’s home,
When the world at last lay subject to the dominance of Rome.

    Here he passed his sweetest hours
    ’Mid his statues, books, and flowers
With a life and list of pleasures not dissimilar to ours,
    For the city’s rush and roar
    Never reached this tranquil shore,
And his writings prove completely that he yearned for them no more.

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