Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BALLAD OF BITTER FRUIT, by THEODORE FAULLAIN DE BANVILLE



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THE BALLAD OF BITTER FRUIT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: In the wood with its wide arms overspread
Last Line: This is king lewis his orchard-ground.
Subject(s): Fruit


IN the wood with its wide arms overspread,
Where the wan morn strives with the waning night,
The dim shapes strung like a chaplet dread
Shudder, and sway to the left, the right;
The soft rays touch them with fingers white
As they swing in the leaves of the oak-tree browned,
Fruits that the Turk and the Moor would fright --
This is King Lewis his orchard-ground.

All of these poor folk, stark and sped,
Dreaming (who knows!) of what dead despight,
In the freshening breeze by the morning fed
Twirl and spin to the mad wind's might;
Over them wavers the warm sun bright;
Look on them, look on them, skies profound,
Look how they dance in the morning light! --
This is King Lewis his orchard-ground.

Dead, these dead, in a language dead,
Cry to their fellows in evil plight,
Day meanwhile thro' the lift o'erhead
Dazzles and flames at the blue vault's height;
Into the air the dews take flight;
Ravens and crows with a jubilant sound
Over them, over them, hover and light; --
This is King Lewis his orchard-ground.

ENVOY.

PRINCE, we wot of no sorrier sight
Under the whispering leafage found,
Bodies that hang like a hideous blight; --
This is King Lewis his orchard-ground.





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