Vignettes Overseas


I. Off Gilbatrar

Beyond the sleepy hills of Spain,
The sun goes down in yellow mist,
The sky is fresh with dewy stars
Above a sea of amethyst.
Yet in the city of my love
High noon burns all the heavens bare
For him the happiness of light,
For me a delicate despair.

II. Off Algeirs

Oh give me neither love nor tears,
Nor dreams that sear the night with fire,
Go lightly on your pilgrimage
Unburdened by desire.
Forget me for a month, a year,
But, oh, beloved, think of me
When unexpected beauty burns
Like sudden sunlight on the sea.

III. Naples

Nisida and Prosida are laughing in the light,
Capri is a dewy flower lifting into sight,
Posilipo kneels and looks in the burnished sea,
Naples crowds her million roofs close as close can be;
Round about the mountain's crest a flag of smoke is hung-
Oh when God made Italy he was gay and young!

IV. Capri

When beauty grows too great to bear
How shall I ease me of its ache,
For beauty more than bitterness
Makes the heart break.
Now while I watch the dreaming sea
With isles like flowers against her breast,
Only one voice in all the world
Could give me rest.

V. Night Song at Amalfi

I asked the heaven of stars
What I should give my love
It answered me with silence,
Silence above.
I asked the darkened sea
Down where the fishers go
It answered me with silence,
Silence below.
Oh, I could give him weeping,
Or I could give him song
But how can I give silence
My whole life long?

VI. Ruins of Paestum

On lowlands where the temples lie
The marsh-grass mingles with the flowers,
Only the little songs of birds
Link the unbroken hours.
So in the end, above my heart
Once like the city wild and gay,
The slow white stars will pass by night,
The swift brown birds by day.

VII. Rome

Oh for the rising moon
Over the roofs of Rome,
And swallows in the dusk
Circling a darkened dome!
Oh for the measured dawns
That pass with folded wings
How can I let them go
With unremembered things?

VIII.    Florence

The bells ring over the Arno,
Midnight, the long, long chime;
Here in the quivering darkness
I am afraid of time.
Oh, gray bells cease your tolling,
Time takes too much from me,
And yet to rock and river
He gives eternity.

IX.    Villa Serbelloni, Bellaggio

The fountain shivers lightly in the rain,
The laurels drip, the fading roses fall,
The marble satyr plays a mournful strain
That leaves the rainy fragrance musical.
Oh dripping laurel, Phoebus sacred tree,
Would that swift Daphne's lot might come to me,
Then would I still my soul and for an hour
Change to a laurel in the glancing shower.

X.    Stresa

The moon grows out of the hills
A yellow flower,
The lake is a dreamy bride
Who waits her hour.
Beauty has filled my heart,
It can hold no more,
It is full, as the lake is full,
From shore to shore.

XI.    Hamburg

The day that I come home,
What will you find to say,
Words as light as foam
With laughter light as spray?
Yet say what words you will
The day that I come home;
I shall hear the whole deep ocean
Beating under the foam.


facebook share button twitter share button google plus share button tumblr share button reddit share button email share button share on pinterest pinterest

Create a library and add your favorite stories. Get started by clicking the "Add" button.
Add Vignettes Overseas to your own personal library.

Return to the Sara Teasdale Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; Villa Serbelloni, Bellaggio

Anton Chekhov
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Susan Glaspell
Mark Twain
Edgar Allan Poe
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Herman Melville
Stephen Leacock
Kate Chopin
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson