A Shakespearean sonnet, it was first published in the January 1837 issue of the Southern Literary Messenger. The poem praises the beauty of the island Zante. The last two lines, written in Italian, are also used in Poe’s earlier poem “Al Aaraaf.”
Fair isle, that from the fairest of all flowers,
Thy gentlest of all gentle names dost take!
How many memories of what radiant hours
At sight of thee and thine at once awake!
How many scenes of what departed bliss!
How many thoughts of what entombed hopes!
How many visions of a maiden that is
No more — no more upon thy verdant slopes!
No more! alas, that magical sad sound
Transforming all! Thy charms shall please no more —
Thy memory no more! Accursed ground
Henceforth I hold thy flower-enameled shore,
O hyacinthine isle! O purple Zante!
“Isola d’oro! Fior di Levante!”
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53