Saturday, February 11, 2017

February in Rome / Edmund Gosse

February in Rome

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.

Edmund Gosse (1849-1928)
from New Poems, 1879

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Edmund Gosse biography

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