Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/498

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Lo, Nemi![1] navelled in the woody hills
So far, that the uprooting Wind which tears
The oak from his foundation, and which spills
The Ocean o'er its boundary, and bears
Its foam against the skies, reluctant spares
The oval mirror of thy glassy lake;
And calm as cherished hate, its surface wears[2]
A deep cold settled aspect nought can shake,
All coiled into itself and round, as sleeps the snake.


And near, Albano's scarce divided waves
Shine from a sister valley;—and afarN31
The Tiber winds, and the broad Ocean laves
The Latian coast where sprung the Epic war,
"Arms and the Man," whose re-ascending star

Rose o'er an empire:—but beneath thy right[3]
  1. The village of Nemi was near the Arician retreat of Egeria, and, from the shades which embosomed the temple of Diana, has preserved to this day its distinctive appellation of The Grove. Nemi is but an evening's ride from the comfortable inn of Albano.

    [The basin of the Lago di Nemi is the crater of an extinct volcano. Hence the comparison to a coiled snake. Its steel-blue waters are unruffled by the wind which lashes the neighbouring ocean into fury. Hence its likeness to "cherished hate," as contrasted with "generous and active wrath."]

  2. And calm as speechless hate——.—[MS. M.]
  3. [The spectator is supposed to be looking towards the Mediterranean from the summit of Monte Cavo. Tusculum,