Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE FONT-GEORGES, by THEODORE FAULLAIN DE BANVILLE



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TO THE FONT-GEORGES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Silent fields where I was glad
Last Line: Silver flow'rs.
Subject(s): Children; Fields; Love; Childhood; Pastures; Meadows; Leas


SILENT fields where I was glad
When I was a little lad,
And my happy days did hold
Threads of gold!

O Font-Georges that once I knew
Where the robin-redbreasts flew,
And the nightingale also
Singing low!

Cottage white whereon the vine
Long of stem and serpentine
Drank the dew-drops with its leaves
From the eaves!

Crystal stream that once did roll
Shadowed by the upright bole
Of a hollow walnut-tree
Steadfastly!

Chilly streams and freshets who
Feeling for the griefs I knew,
Trembled in the time gone by
At my cry!

Pool where washerwomen were
Full of song and void of care
Beating on the board with might
Linen white!

Centenarian elder-tree
Whose hoar forehead I did see,
Thunder-stricken thrice and yet
Firmly set!

Arbours cool and copses wild
In the grassy sward enisled,
Where to every wind that played
Poplars swayed!

Heavy purple grapes that hung
On the hillside vines and clung
To the laden stems that went
Earthward bent;

Where when autumn-time came in
In her merriment would spin
Round the press the vintage-sprite
At twilight!

Briars whose ruddy fruit doth bleed,
In the ravines thrown for seed,
As of oaks the acorns are
Sown afar!

Osier-stems whose murmurs light
Fill the ring-dove with affright,
Willow blue, the far away's
Sunset blaze!

Boughs with ruddy cherries bent,
Reaping girls surprised that went
Wading where the waters fleet
With bare feet!

Leafy arbours, rills, and lanes;
Smell of leaves and grasses; plains,
Shades, and rocks that often drew
Me to you!

Rivers! forests! silence stilled!
O what joys my childhood filled!
My fond soul to you doth feel
Far less leal

Than to this poor joyless plot
Where green leaf and rose are not,
And the antique yew-trees raise
Sombre sprays,

To this sandy path that is
Dearer for the untold bliss
Of the hour when first I heard
Her soft word!

Where my love, with musing mind
Gently her sweet self resigned,
Leaning on my arm, and so
Speaking low,

Thoughts adrift, the while she tore
Leaf by leaf the flower she bore
With a heedless hand that left
All bereft,

At the hour when from the brink
Trembling stars emerge, and link
On the sky that shines or low'rs
Silver flow'rs.





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