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Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

(1840 - 1922 / England)

A New Pilgrimage: Sonnet VIII


I will sit down awhile in dalliance
With my dead life, and dream that it is young.
My earliest memories have their home in France,
The chestnut woods of Bearn and streams among,
Where first I learned to stammer the French tongue.
Fair ancient France. No railroad insolence
Had mixed her peoples then, and still men clung
Each to his ways, and viewed the world askance.
We, too, as exiles from our northern shore,
Surveyed things sparsely; and my own child's scorn
Remained, how long, a rebel to all lore
Save its lost English, nor was quite o'erborne
Till, as I swore I'd speak no French frog's word,
I swore in French, and so laid down my sword.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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