Verona Arena

Nicholas Michell

But to our theme: The pilgrim comes to trace
Verona's ruins, not bright Nature's face;
Be still, chase lightsome fancies, ere thou dare
Approach yon pile, so grand yet softly fair:
The mighty circle, breathing beauty, seems
The work of genii in immortal dreams.
So firm the mass, it looks as built to vie
With Alps' eternal ramparts towering nigh.
Its graceful strength each lofty portal keeps,
Unbroken round the first great cincture sweeps;
The marble benches, tier on tier, ascend,
The winding galleries seem to know no end.
Glistening and pure, the summer sunbeams fall,
Softening each sculptured arch and rugged wall.
We tread the arena; blood no longer flows,
But in the sand the pale-eyed violet blows,
While ivy, covering many a bench, is seen,
Staining its white with lines of liveliest green —
Age-honouring plant! that weds not buildings gay,
With love, still faithful, clinging to decay.
How calm the lonely scene! distinct is heard
From loftiest gallery e'en a whispered word:
Lured by the wall-flower's breath, the bee hath come,
And hark! ye catch her faint and drowsy hum!