Frances Anne Kemble

(27 November 1809 - 15 January 1893 / London, England)

Farewell To Italy - Poem by Frances Anne Kemble

Farewell awhile, beautiful Italy!
My lonely bark is launched upon the sea
That clasps thy shore, and the soft evening gale
Breathes from thy coast, and fills my parting sail.
Ere morning dawn, a colder breeze will come,
And bear me onward to my northern home;
That home, where the pale sun is not so bright,
So glorious, at his noonday's fiercest height,
As when he throws his last glance o'er the sea,
And fires the heavens, that glow farewell on thee.
Fair Italy! perchance some future day
Upon thy coast again will see me stray;
Meantime, farewell! I sorrow, as I leave
Thy lovely shore behind me, as men grieve
When bending o'er a form, around whose charms,
Unconquered yet, death winds his icy arms:
While leaving the last kiss on some dear cheek,
Where beauty sheds her last autumnal streak,
Life's rosy flower just mantling into bloom,
Before it fades for ever in the tomb.
So I leave thee, oh! thou art lovely still!
Despite the clouds of infamy and ill
That gather thickly round thy fading form:
Still glow thy glorious skies, as bright and warm,
Still memory lingers fondly on thy strand,
And genius hails thee still her native land.
Land of my soul's adoption! o'er the sea,
Thy sunny shore is fading rapidly:
Fainter and fainter, from my gaze it dies,
Till like a line of distant light it lies,
A melting boundary 'twixt earth and sky,
And now 'tis gone;—farewell, fair Italy!

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010

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