Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, VAUCLUSE, by JAMES GATES PERCIVAL



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VAUCLUSE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The laurel throws its locks around thy grave
Last Line: With all a torrent's grandeur to the deep.
Subject(s): Vaucluse, France


THE laurel throws its locks around thy grave
As freshly, as when erst thou lingered there,
And plucked the early flowers to crown thy hair,
Or gathered cresses from the glassy wave,
That winds through hills of olive, vine, and grain,
Stealing away from Vaucluse' lonely dell,
Now murmuring scantily, now in the swell
Of April foaming onward to the plain --
Laura! Thy consecrated bough is bright,
As when thy Petrarch tuned his soft lute by,
And lit his torch in that dissolving light,
Which darted from his only Sun -- thine eye;
Thy leaf is still as green, thy flower as gay,
Thy berry of as deep a tint, as when
Thou moved a Goddess in the walks of Men,
And o'er thy poet held unbounded sway --
Methinks I hear, as from the hills descend
The deepening shadows and the blue smoke curls,
And waving forests with the light winds bend,
And flows the brook in softer leaps and whirls --
Methinks I hear that voice of love complaining,
In faint and broken accents, of his hours
Of lonely sorrow, and of thy disdaining
And half averted glances, till the bowers
Are pregnant with the hymn, and every rose
With fresher dew, as if in weeping flows,
And every lily seems to wear a hue
Of paler tenderness, and deeper glows
The pink's carnation, and a purer blue
Melts on the modest rosemary, the wind
Whispers a sweeter echo, and the stream
Spouts stiller from its well; while from behind
The snow-clad alpine summits rolls the moon,
Careering onward to her cloudless noon,
In fullest orb of silver, and her beam
Casts o'er the vale long shadows from the pine,
The rock, the spire, the castle, and away,
Beyond thy towers, Avignon! proudly shine
The broad Rhone's foaming channels, in their play
Through green and willowed islands, while they sweep,
Descending on their bold, resistless way,
And heaving high their crest in wild array,
With all a torrent's grandeur to the deep.





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