Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SOUND OF THE HORN, by ALFRED DE VIGNY



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THE SOUND OF THE HORN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I love the sound of the horn in the deep, dim woodland
Last Line: The shades of the noble roland is still forlorn!
Subject(s): Horns (musical Instruments); Nature; Sound


I LOVE the sound of the horn in the deep, dim woodland,
Whether it wail with the doe that is nigh to death,
Or cry the hunter's farewell on the echoes waning,
From leaf to leaf borne on by the north wind's breath.

How often alone, in the shadow at midnight straying,
I have smiled to hear it, how often have wept still more!
For I seemed to hear the rumor of things foreboding
The death of the Paladin knights that lived of yore.

O azure Mountain! O land that my heart is fain of!
Franzona fells, and summits of Marboré,
Fountains that fall with the drifted snows for a burden
Torrents and brooks of the Pyrenees' chill spray,

Mountains frozen or fertile, throning the seasons,
Who have ice for crown and the meadows about your feet,
'Tis there would I dwell, 'tis there would I wait to hearken
The far-borne sound of the horn blow sad and sweet.

A traveler strayed mayhap when the air is stilly,
Lifts up this brazen voice that the night repeats;
With the sound of his cadenced songs for a while is blending
The tiny bell of the tethered lamb that bleats.

A doe that heareth the sound flies not but rather
Stands still as a stone on the hill-top, while waters chime
In vast uproar with the music for ever calling
From the old romance of the immemorial time.

Souls of the Paladins, say, do your ghosts still haunt us?
Is it you who speaks to us still in the blare of the horn?
Roncevaux! Roncevaux! deep in thy somber valley
The shades of the noble Roland is still forlorn!





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