No sound of wheels or hoof-beat breaks
 The silence of the summer day,
As by the loveliest of all lakes
 I while the idle hours away.

I pace the leafy colonnade,
 Where level branches of the plane
Above me weave a roof of shade
 Impervious to the sun and rain

At times a sudden rush of air
 Flutters the lazy leaves o'erhead,
And gleams of sunshine toss and flare
 Like torches down the path I tread

By Somariva's garden gate
 I make the marble stairs my seat,
And hear the water, as I wait,
 Lapping the steps beneath my feet.

The undulation sinks and swells
 Along the stony parapets,
And far away the floating bells
 Tinkle upon the fisher's nets.

Silent and slow, by tower and town
 The freighted barges come and go,
Their pendent shadows gliding down
 By town and tower submerged below

The hills sweep upward from the shore,
 With villas scattered one by one
Upon their wooded spurs, and lower
 Bellaggio blazing in the sun

And dimly seen, a tangled mass
 Of walls and woods, of light and shade,
Stands, beckoning up the Stelvio Pass,
 Varenna with its white cascade.

I ask myself, Is this a dream?
 Will it all vanish into air?
Is there a land of such supreme
 And perfect beauty anywhere?

Sweet vision! Do not fade away:
 Linger, until my heart shall take
Into itself the summer day,
 And all the beauty of the lake;

Linger, until upon my brain
 Is stamped an image of the scene;
Then fade into the air again,
 And be as if thou hadst not been.
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