Alfred De Musset

On rosy Venice' breast
The gondola's at rest;
No fisher is in sight,
Not a light.

Lone seated on the strand,
Uplifts the lion grand
His foot of bronze on high
Against the sky.

As if with resting wing
Like herons in a ring,
Vessels and shallops keep
Their quiet sleep

Upon the vapory bay;
And when the light winds play,
Their pennons, lately whist,
Cross in the mist.

The moon is now concealed,
And now but half revealed,
Veiling her face so pale
With starry veil.

In convent of Sainte-Croix
Thus doth the abbess draw
Her ample-folded cape
Round her fair shape.

The palace of the knight,
The staircases so white,
The solemn porticos,
Are in repose.

Each bridge and thoroughfare,
The gloomy statues there,
The gulf which trembles so
When the winds blow,

All still, save guards who pace,
With halberds long, their space,
Watching the battled walls
Of arsenals.

Translated by Charlotte Fiske Bates

Main Location:

Venice, Italy