by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)

The Venetian Gondolier
Language: English 
Here rest the weary oar! - soft airs
   Breathe out in the o'erarching sky;
And Night! - sweet Night - serenely wears
   A smile of peace; her noon is nigh.

Where the tall fir in quiet stands,
   And waves, embracing the chaste shores,
Move o'er sea-shells and bright sands,-
   Is heard the sound of dipping oars.

Swift o'er the wave the light bark springs,
   Love's midnight hour draws lingering near:
And list! - his tuneful viol strings
   The young Venetian Gondolier.

Lo! on the silver-mirrored deep,
   On earth, and her embosomed lakes,
And where the silent rivers sweep,
   From the thin cloud fair moonlight breaks

Soft music breathes around, and dies
   On the calm bosom of the sea;
Whilst in her cell the novice sighs
   Her vespers to her rosary.

At their dim altars bow fair forms,
   In tender charity for those,
That, helpless left to life's rude storms,
   Have never found this calm repose.

The bell swings to its midnight chime,
   Relieved against the deep blue sky!-
Haste! - dip the oar again! - 'tis time
   To seek Genevra's balcony.

First published in United States Literary Gazette, 1825


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-06-29
Line count: 28
Word count: 181