Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > France
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
France: Vols. IX–X.  1876–79.
 
Versailles
To My Brooklet
Jean-François Ducis (1733–1816)
 
Translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

THOU brooklet, all unknown to song,
Hid in the covert of the wood!
Ah, yes, like thee I fear the throng,
Like thee I love the solitude.
 
O brooklet, let my sorrows past        5
Lie all forgotten in their graves,
Till in my thoughts remain at last
Only thy peace, thy flowers, thy waves.
 
The lily by thy margin waits,
The nightingale, the marguerite;        10
In shadow here he meditates
His nest, his love, his music sweet.
 
Near thee the self-collected soul
Knows naught of error or of crime;
Thy waters, murmuring as they roll,        15
Transform his musings into rhyme.
 
Ah, when, on bright autumnal eves,
Pursuing still thy course, shall I
List the soft shudder of the leaves,
And hear the lapwing’s plaintive cry?
*        *        *        *        *
        20
My humble brooklet, by thy flight,
Since life, alas! so soon is gone,
Often remind thine eremite
How swift the stream of Time flows on.
 
 
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