Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HELEN, THE SAD QUEEN, by PAUL VALERY



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HELEN, THE SAD QUEEN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Azure, 'tis I! From the caves of death withdrawn
Last Line: Stretch toward me their indulgent, graven arms.
Subject(s): Solitude


Azure, 'tis I! from the caves of death withdrawn
To hear the waves break rhythmic on the shores,
To see swift galleys clear, across the dawn,
Lifting from darkness on the blades of golden oars.

My lonely hands now summon forth the kings
Whose salt-grey beards amuse my chaste fingers. ...
I wept. ... And each his gloomy triumph sings
And behind the stern of his bark the furrow lingers.

I hear sonorous conchs and clarion calls
Marking the lift of the oars and their even falls.
The clear chant of the undulant oarsmen charms

The tumult; and the gods! heroic at the prow,
With their olden smile and the spray hurled at their brow,
Stretch toward me their indulgent, graven arms.





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