Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Switzerland
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Switzerland and Austria: Vol. XVI.  1876–79.
 
Switzerland: Berne
The Terrace at Berne
Matthew Arnold (1822–1888)
 
TEN years!—and to my waiting eye
Once more the roofs of Berne appear;
The rocky banks, the terrace high,
The stream,—and do I linger here?
 
The clouds are on the Oberland,        5
The Jungfrau snows look faint and far;
But bright are those green fields at hand,
And through those fields comes down the Aar,
 
And from the blue twin lakes it comes,
Flows by the town, the churchyard fair,        10
And ’neath the garden-walk it hums,
The house,—and is my Marguerite there?
 
Ah, shall I see thee, while a flush
Of startled pleasure floods thy brow,
Quick through the oleanders brush,        15
And clap thy hands, and cry, ’T is thou!
 
Or hast thou long since wandered back,
Daughter of France! to France, thy home;
And flitted down the flowery track
Where feet like thine too lightly come?        20
 
Doth riotous laughter now replace
Thy smile, and rouge, with stony glare,
Thy cheek’s soft hue, and fluttering lace
The kerchief that enwound thy hair?
 
Or is it over?—art thou dead?—        25
Dead?—and no warning shiver ran
Across my heart, to say thy thread
Of life was cut, and closed thy span!
 
Could from earth’s ways that figure slight
Be lost, and I not feel ’t was so?        30
Of that fresh voice the gay delight
Fail from earth’s air, and I not know?
 
Or shall I find thee still, but changed,
But not the Marguerite of thy prime?
With all thy being rearranged,        35
Passed through the crucible of time;
 
With spirit vanished, beauty waned,
And hardly yet a glance, a tone,
A gesture,—anything,—retained
Of all that was my Marguerite’s own?        40
 
I will not know!—for wherefore try
To things by mortal course that live
A shadowy durability
For which they were not meant, to give?
 
Like driftwood spars which meet and pass        45
Upon the boundless ocean-plain,
So on the sea of life, alas!
Man nears man, meets, and leaves again.
 
I knew it when my life was young,
I feel it still, now youth is o’er!        50
The mists are on the mountains hung,
And Marguerite I shall see no more.
 
 
CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors