S. Francesco Del Deserto


Peace in smooth summer hour
Paces the seas awhile;
But Peace has built her tower
Upon this chosen isle.

Scarcely a ripple stirs
In this lone shore’s recess,
Scarcely a motion blurs
The mirrored cypresses

Ranked on a crumbling wall,
O’er slopes of flowery grass;
Where their long shadows fall,
Butterflies gleam and pass.

The idle sunshine sleeps
Before a porch; within,
Cool the white cloister keeps
Peace that has always been.

Beyond, a tangled plot
Of garden and tall trees,
Soothing its fragrance hot
In freshness from the seas.

There young monks slowly pace
With seldom–lifted eyes,
With world–unwritten face,
Not mournful yet nor wise.

Have they in this fair fold
Lost the fierce world in truth?
Or must the storms of old
Still shake the heart of youth?

Far in blue northern haze
The vast Alps glimmer pale,
Faint through the slumbrous blaze
Comes the white sea–gull’s wail.

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