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At Florence too what golden hours,
What drives about the fresh Cascinè,
Or walks in Boboli's ducal bowers.
In bright vignettes, and each complete,
Of tower or duomo, sunny-sweet,
Or palace, how the city glitter'd, Thro' cypress avenues, at our feet.
But when we crost the Lombard plain Remember what a plague of rain ;
Of rain at Reggio, rain at Parma ; At Lodi, rain, Piacenza, rain.
And stern and sad (so rare the smiles Of sunlight) look'd the Lombard piles ;
Porch-pillars on the lion resting,
And sombre, old, colonnaded aisles.
O Milan, O the chanting quires,
The giant windows' blazon'd fires,
The height, the space, the gloom, the glory!
A mount of marble, a hundred spires !
I climb'd the roofs at break of day;
Sun-smitten Alps before me lay.
I stood among the silent statues, And statued pinnacles, mute as they.
How faintly-flush'd, how phantom-fair,
Was Monte Rosa, hanging there
A thousand shadowy-pencilld valleys And snowy dells in a golden air.
Remember how we came at last
To Como; shower and storm and blast
Had blown the lake beyond his limit,
And all was flooded ; and how we past
From Como, when the light was gray,
And in my head, for half the day,
The rich Virgilian rustic measure Of Lari Maxume, all the way,
Like ballad-burthen music, kept,
As on The Lariano crept
To that fair port below the castle
Or hardly slept, but watch'd awake
The moonlight touching o'er a terrace One tall Agavè above the lake.
What more? we took our last adieu,
And up the snowy Splugen drew,
But ere we reach'd the highest summit I pluck'd a daisy, I gave it you.
It told of England then to me,
O love, we two shall go no longer
To lands of summer across the sea;
So dear a life your arms enfold
Yet here to-night in this dark city,
I found, tho' crush'd to hard and dry,
Still in the little book
And where you tenderly laid it by:
And I forgot the clouded Forth,
The bitter east, the misty summer
gray metropolis of the North.