Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(27 February 1807 – 24 March 1882 / Portland, Maine)

On The Terrace Of The Aigalades. (From The French Of Méry) - Poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

From this high portal, where upsprings
The rose to touch our hands in play,
We at a glance behold three things--
The Sea, the Town, and the Highway.

And the Sea says: My shipwrecks fear;
I drown my best friends in the deep;
And those who braved icy tempests, here
Among my sea-weeds lie asleep!

The Town says: I am filled and fraught
With tumult and with smoke and care;
My days with toil are overwrought,
And in my nights I gasp for air.

The Highway says: My wheel-tracks guide
To the pale climates of the North;
Where my last milestone stands abide
The people to their death gone forth.

Here, in the shade, this life of ours,
Full of delicious air, glides by
Amid a multitude of flowers
As countless as the stars on high;

These red-tiled roofs, this fruitful soil,
Bathed with an azure all divine,
Where springs the tree that gives us oil,
The grape that giveth us the wine;

Beneath these mountains stripped of trees,
Whose tops with flowers are covered o'er,
Where springtime of the Hesperides
Begins, but endeth nevermore;

Under these leafy vaults and walls,
That unto gentle sleep persuade;
This rainbow of the waterfalls,
Of mingled mist and sunshine made;

Upon these shores, where all invites,
We live our languid life apart;
This air is that of life's delights,
The festival of sense and heart;

This limpid space of time prolong,
Forget to-morrow in to-day,
And leave unto the passing throng
The Sea, the Town, and the Highway


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 30, 2010



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