Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Russia
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Russia: Vol. XX.  1876–79.
 
Black Sea (the Euxine)
Ovid in Pontus
Bryan Waller Procter (1787–1874)
 
HARD by the banished Euxine (a black doom!)
Haunted the poet Ovid. He was sent,
With love upon his soul, to banishment,
And sank, an amorous meteor, quenched in gloom.
Bright tears were lost when Ovid died. A man        5
Who loved and mourned so sweetly well might win
Melodious sorrow for his unknown sin.
All ages wept his fate: Politian
Developed his brave wrath in ten-foot verse,
And many a nameless scribbler rhymed a curse:        10
Only Augustus, in his timorous pride,
Exiled the poet from his beauty’s side,
Sending him, fettered, to the banished sea.
But who may chain the poet’s spirit free?
He thought and murmured—oh! and late and long        15
Bestowed the music of his soul in song;
Bequeathed to every wind that kissed that shore,
Sighs for lost Rome, which he must see no more;
Regrets, repinings (of all hope bereft),
And tears for Cæsar’s daughter, loved and left!        20
And so it was he wept long years away
By savage waters; so did he rehearse,
Throughout the paleness of the winter’s day,
The many sorrows of his love-crowned verse,
Until, in the end, he died. His grave is lost;        25
Somewhere it lies beyond all guess, all reach,
Though bands of wandering lovers, passion-crossed,
Have sought to find it on that desert beach.
 
 
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