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In Italy

by Bayard Taylor

Dear Lillian, all I wished is won!
I sit beneath Italia's sun,
Where olive-orchards gleam and quiver
Along the banks of Arno's river.

Through laurel leaves, the dim green light
Falls on my forehead as I write,
And the sweet chimes of vesper, ringing,
Blend with the contadina's singing.

Rich is the soil with Fancy's gold;
The stirring memories of old
Rise thronging in my haunted vision,
And wake my spirit's young ambition.

But as the radiant sunsets close
Above Val d'Arno's bowers of rose,
My soul forgets the olden glory,
And deems our love a dearer story.

Thy words, in Memory's ear, outchime
The music of the Tuscan rhyme;
Thou standcst here—the gentlehearted—
Amid the shades of bards departed.

I see before thee fade away
Their garlands of immortal bay,
And turn from Petrarch's passion glances
To my own dearer heart-romances.

Sad is the opal glow that fires
The midnight of the cypress spires,
And cold the scented wind that closes
The heart of bright Etruscan roses.

A single thought of thee effaced
The fair Italian dream I chased;
For the true clime of song and sun
Lies in the heart which mine hath won!

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