Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
Songs, Ballads, and a Play (1888)
III. An Orchard at Avignon
By A. Mary F. Robinson-Darmesteter (1857–1944)
THE HILLS are white, but not with snow:
  They are as pale in summer time,
For herb or grass may never grow
  Upon their slopes of lime.
Within the circle of the hills        5
  A ring, all flowering in a round,
An orchard-ring of almond fills
  The plot of stony ground.
More fair than happier trees, I think,
  Grown in well watered pasture land,        10
These parched and stunted branches, pink
  Above the stones and sand.
O white, austere, ideal place,
  Where very few will care to come,
Where spring hath lost the waving grace        15
  She wears for us at home!
Fain would I sit and watch for hours
  The holy whiteness of thy hills,
Their wreath of pale auroral flowers,
  Their peace the silence fills.        20
A place of secret peace thou art,
  Such peace as in an hour of pain
One moment fills the amazed heart,
  And never comes again.

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