On alien ground, breathing an alien air,
A Roman stood, far from his ancient home,
And gazing, murmured,
'Ah, the hills are fair,
But not the hills of Rome!'

Descendant of a race to Romans-kin,
Where the old son of Empire stood, I stand.
The self-same rocks fold the same valley in,
Untouched of human hand.

Over another shines the self-same star,
Another heart with nameless longing fills,
Crying aloud, 'How beautiful they are,
But not our English hills!'

More verses by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

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