Theodore de Banville

Rating: 4.33
Rating: 4.33

Theodore de Banville Poems

Still sing the mocking fairies, as of old,
Beneath the shade of thorn and holly-tree;
The west wind breathes upon them pure and cold,

Where wide the forest bows are spread,
Where Flora wakes with sylph and fay,
Are crowns and garlands of men dead,

I know Cythera long is desolate;
I know the winds have stripped the garden green.
Alas, my friends! beneath the fierce sun's weight

We go to the woods no more, the laurels are cut down.
Figures of Love in low places, the group of Naiads

Theodore de Banville Biography

Banville was born in Moulins in Allier, Auvergne, the son of a captain in the French navy. His boyhood, by his own account, was cheerlessly passed at a lycée in Paris; he was not harshly treated, but took no part in the amusements of his companions. On leaving school with but slender means of support, he devoted himself to letters, and in 1842 published his first volume of verse (Les Cariatides), which was followed by Les Stalactites in 1846. The poems encountered some adverse criticism, but secured for their author the approbation and friendship of Alfred de Vigny and Jules Janin. From then on, Banville's life was steadily devoted to literary production and criticism. He printed other volumes of verse, among which the Odes funambulesques (1857) received unstinted praise from Victor Hugo, to whom they were dedicated. Later, several comedies in verse were produced at the Théâtre Français and on other stages; and from 1853 onwards a stream of prose flowed from his industrious pen, including studies of Parisian manners, sketches of well-known persons, and a series of tales, most of which were republished in his collected works (1875–1878). He also wrote freely for reviews, and acted as dramatic critic for more than one newspaper. Throughout a life spent mainly in Paris, Banville's genial character and cultivated mind won him the friendship of the chief men of letters of his time. In 1858 he was decorated with the Legion of Honour, and was promoted to be an officer of the order in 1886. He died in Paris in 1891 at the age of 68, and was buried in Montparnasse Cemetery.)

The Best Poem Of Theodore de Banville

Ballade On The Mysterious Hosts Of The Forest

Still sing the mocking fairies, as of old,
Beneath the shade of thorn and holly-tree;
The west wind breathes upon them pure and cold,
And still wolves dread Diana roving free,
In secret woodland with her company.
'Tis thought the peasants' hovels know her rite
When now the wolds are bathed in silver light,
And first the moonrise breaks the dusky gray;
Then down the dells, with blown soft hair and bright,
And through the dim wood, Dian thrids her way.

With water-weeds twined in their locks of gold
The strange cold forest-fairies dance in glee;
Sylphs over-timorous and over-bold
Haunt the dark hollows where the dwarf may be,
The wild red dwarf, the nixies' enemy:
Then, 'mid their mirth and laughter and affright,
The sudden goddess enters, tall and white,
With one long sigh for summers passed away;
The swift feet tear the ivy nets outright,
And through the dim wood Dian thrids her way.

She gleans her sylvan trophies; down the wold
She hears the sobbing of the stags that flee,
Mixed with the music of the hunting rolled,
But her delight is all in archery,
And naught of ruth and pity wotteth she
More than the hounds that follow on the flight;
The tall nymph draws a golden bow of might,
And thick she rains the gentle shafts that slay;
She tosses loose her locks upon the night,
And through the dim wood Dian thrids her way.


Prince, let us leave the din, the dust, the spite,
The gloom and glare of towns, the plague, the blight;
Amid the forest leaves and fountain spray
There is the mystic home of our delight,
And through the dim wood Dian thrids her way.

Theodore de Banville Comments

Theodore de Banville Popularity

Theodore de Banville Popularity

Error Success