AMID the arbor’s amber-tarnished vine,
Faint fluttering to the south wind’s languid sigh,
Under this drowsy haze of mellow sky,
The ripe grapes droop their clustered globes of wine!
And even amid these bland luxurious hours,
They seem like exiles reft of cherished rights,
Here in our treacherous North, whose autumn nights
Drop chilly dews upon the dying flowers !
Fair clusters, while our woods in ruin flame,
Do yearnings through your rich blood vaguely thrill
For glimmering vineyard, olive-mantled hill,
And Italy, which is summer’s softer name?
Or do you dream of some old ducal board,
Blazing with Venice glass and costliest plate,
Where princely banqueters caroused in state,
And through the frescoed hall the long feast roared ?
Or how brocaded dame and plumed grandee
Saw your imperial-colored fruit heaped up
On radiant salver or in chiseled cup,
Where some proud marble gallery faced the sea?
Or yet do your strange yearnings, loath to cease,
Go wandering on, till dearer visions rise
Of the pale temples and the limpid skies,
The storied shores and haunted groves of Greece?
Greece, where the god was yours, of such renown —
That sleek-limbed reveling boy, supremely fair,
Who, with the ambrosial gold of his wild hair,
Would wreathe your purple opulence for a crown!
Edgar Fawcett.