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by William Cullen Bryant


Fair is thy sightSorrentogreen thy shore

Black crags behind thee pierce the clear blue skies;

The seawhose borderers ruled the world of yore

As clear and bluer still before thee lies. -

Vesuvius smokes in sightwhose fount of fire

Outgushingdrowned the cities on his steeps;

And murmuring Naplesspire o'ertopping spire

Sits on the slope beyond where Virgil sleeps. -

Here doth the earthwith flowers of every hue

Prank her green breast when April suns are bright;

Flowers of the morning-redor ocean-blue

Or like the mountain-frost of silvery white. -

Currents of fragrancefrom the orange tree

And sward of violetsbreathing to and fro

Mingleandwandering out upon the sea

Refresh the idle boatsman where they blow. -

Yet even hereas under harsher climes

Tears for the loved and early lost are shed;

That soft air saddens with the funeral-chimes

Those shining flowers are gathered for the dead. -

Here once a childa smiling playful one

All the day long caressing and caressed

Died when its little tongue had just begun

To lisp the names of those it loved the best. -

The father strove his struggling grief to quell

The mother wept as mothers use to weep

Two little sisters wearied them to tell

When their dear Carlo would awake from sleep. -

Within all inner room his couch they spread.

His funeral-couch; with mingled grief and love

They laid a crown of roses on his head

And murmured"Brighter is his crown above." -

They scattered round himon the snowy sheet

Laburnum's strings of sunny-colored gems

Sad hyacinthsand violets dim and sweet

And orange-blossoms on their dark-green stems. -

And now the hour is comethe priest is there;

Torches are lit and bells are tolled; they go

With solemn rites of blessing and of prayer

To lay the little one in earth below. -

The door is opened; hark! that quick glad cry;

Carlo has wakedhas wakedand is at play;

The little sisters laugh and leapand try

To climb the bed on which the infant lay. -

And there he sits aliveand gayly shakes

In his full hands the blossoms red and white

And smiles with winking eyeslike one who wakes

From long deep slumbers at the morning light. - -