Lake Como

Lake Como

The following untitled verse on a separate letterpress page by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow accompanies the four paginated plates, each titled Lake Como:

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.

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.

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

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.

H. W. Longfellow.

This photograph, one of a series of views of Lake Como, was originally taken in either 1885 or 1886 by Roome.

Lake Como

Image Dimensions11.9 x 17.7 cm

Support Dimensions23.6 x 31.9 cm