Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FIRST APPOINTMENT, by PAUL FORT



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FIRST APPOINTMENT, by            
First Line: Intoxication of spring! The plot of grass is whirling round the statue
Last Line: * * * * * * *
Subject(s): Birds; Singing & Singers; Spring; Songs


Intoxication of spring! The plot of grass is whirling round the statue of
Voltaire. -- In the green dress vernal sunbeams bring, 'tis an idyllic spot,
Monge Square: green grass, green gratings, benches green, green guardian. In
warm sunlight swirled, 'tis a fair corner of the world. -- Intoxication of
spring! The plot of grass is whirling round the statue of Voltaire.

And birds are thronging through the branches pale where heaven unfolds its
flowers of blue. -- The pigeons love with tender coo. The sparrows flirt a
jaunty tail. I wait. What happiness I gain in this delay's delicious pain! I am
gay. I am mad! A lover true! -- And birds are thronging through the branches
pale where heaven unfolds its flowers of blue.

Upon a bench the hue of hope I mount, or rather poise with balanced stance, o'er
the arches of the gay parterre, before the statue of Voltaire. Long life to all,
to me, to France! In my breast springs hope's eternal fount. I have the wings of
young romance. -- To quit the earth upon a bench I mount, or rather poise with
balanced stance.

"At one," she said. It is no more than noon. To those who love the hour is
fleet. -- Birds sing. The languid sun-beams swoon. Each time that Eve and Adam
meet they need a paradise complete. The omnibus, in torpid state, muses on this
beyond the gate. -- "At one," she said. It is no more than noon. To those who
love the hour is fleet.

Before the statue, two cats, tawny and white -- and one is a she, the tawny one,
-- roll, tumble on the sunny lawn, cuff at each other miaul and fight. The
sunlight amplifies your smile, O mild Voltaire, my worthy faun. -- Before your
statue two cats, tawny and white. roll and tumble on the sunny lawn.

To the song of birds the trees put forth their leaves. I feel the bud of my
heart unfold! -- And I tremble only to behold the diamonds that the sprinkler
sprays o'er the grass, a haze of droplets fine. A rainbow leaves the sage's
spine and through a spreading chestnut weaves. -- To the song of birds the trees
put forth their leaves. I feel the bud of my heart unfold!

The azure flames. 'Neath the bench where the guardian sleeps, a dog sniffs a dog
with quivering nose. -- Her skipping-rope a school-girl leaps. At her heels come
others, rows on rows. The concourse of their shadows sweeps now large, now
small, along the ground, while rivalling voices chant the round: "Little flame!
Great flame! 'Tis to light the Blessed Name!" -- The azure flames. 'Neath the
bench where the guardian sleeps a dog sniffs a dog with quivering nose.

Here is the vendor of cocoa musical. Charged with gold taps he comes before us.
His taps are gleaming serpents all whence squirts his beverage sonorous in cups
the clamouring children hold. Our appetite let us content. Quick, of your brew a
penny-worth, dazzling Laocoon! I toast all Nature and the teeming earth. I toast
thy bronze ebullient, thou who art smiling at me there, good, old Voltaire, sly,
genial host. -- Here is the vendor of cocoa musical. His taps are gleaming
serpents all.

Ah, Spring, what fire arises from the ground! What fire descends from heavens
fair! -- Before the statue of Voltaire I await my Manon, newly found. And yet,
though she is late, Voltaire still sits urbanely pondering. I follow his regard
to where an Easter daisy breaks the turf. I wait -- I wait, O heaven! I wait, O
earth! I wait 'neath all the flames of Spring.

'Tis two o'clock. Let us pluck this marguerite. "A little, much, most
passionately. . . ." Most passionately, Manon, be fleet! Come soon, come soon, I
beg of thee. -- Cynic you smile at me as though scant content to my soul to
bring. Wretched encyclopaedist! -- O! . . . She comes 'neath all the flames of
Spring! . . .

And the trees revolve, and all the grass-plot turns around the statue of
Voltaire. -- In its tender greenness, one discerns 'tis a delicious spot, Monge
Square. Green grass, green gratings, benches green, green guardian. In warm
sunlight swirled 'tis a fair corner of the world. -- I mount a bench the hue of
true romance. They must see me now from every nook in France!

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