Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE TOMB OF GAUGIN, by PIERRE CAMO



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THE TOMB OF GAUGIN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Women of tahiti, when time's pace
Last Line: And the infinite love of the archipelago!
Subject(s): Death; Graves; Memory; Rest; Women; Dead, The; Tombs; Tombstones


Women of Tahiti, when time's pace
Forever under the blue trees has destroyed
Your dusky bodies and your pagan grace,
Not all will sleep within the shady void.

Of those fine faces and those rich, nude forms,
Those tresses purple with hibiscus flowers,
That gestured welcome where desire swarms
And the green and the gold fruit that the hand showers,

There will remain enchanting memory
Deeply designed, where blending colors smile,
And you will live and charm eternally
With the displayed and trafficked charm of your flowered isle!

You will retain forever your rustic grace,
Bronze youth with limbs like supple reeds,
Guiding across a shadowed lonely place
A troop of red and white native steeds,

And all you faces unidentified,
Little maids with collars of white jasmine, fair
Women seated at the ocean side
Under the breadfruit trees and the palms' flare.

For the master of features and of fine nuances
Has with his faithful brush forever unfurled
Your charms, and you symbolize the far romances
To us, and the allure of another world.

We who would cross all countries to immerse
Our questing soul in beauty's flowered breath,
We bear today the homage of our verse
To the artist sleeping on the bosom of death.

He rests in the calm of the distant ocean
Where unknown woods and blue gulf waters meet;
Around his grave there is no alien motion
Save the sea-sound, and the patter of naked feet.

Young women, put you on the funeral veil,
The purple flowers; taste the honey; bite
The golden fruit; the ancestral gift impale,
The supreme sacrifice in holy rite.

For he in the highest, women of dear delight
On the Pacific shores where melting measures flow,
Desired your beauty, sumptuous as the night,
And the infinite love of the archipelago!





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