Farewell To Italy

Incomparable Italy, farewell!
Tears not unmanly trespass to the eyes,
From thy soft touch and glance unspeakable
Compelled to turn and suffer other skies.
E'en as I leave thee, the maternal vine
Under the weight of clustering fruitage bends;
And the plump fig, beyond where tendrils twine,
Shows greener, moister, as the sap ascends.
When I return, as I most surely will,
Me will salute the thirst-dispelling grape,
Purple or opal, and when noon is still,
The snow-cold fruit provoke permitted rape.
Even, dear land, flourish thy fortunes so,
Which, formed, need only interval to grow.

by Alfred Austin

Comments (1)

Lew Welch has been one of my favorite poets since I first read his work over twenty years ago. 'After Anacreon' is a fine example of Lew at his most lyrical even as he proves once more that language is speech. An accessible poem, this one can be read successfully to academic audiences and to taxi drivers at the bar after work. These lines prove that our everyday language is most effective in addressing poems to each other.