Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1835–1860
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. VI–VIII: Literature of the Republic, Part III., 1835–1860
 
La Grisette
By Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809–1894)
 
[From Poetical Works. Household Edition. 1887.]

AH Clemence! when I saw thee last
  Trip down the Rue de Seine,
And turning, when thy form had past,
  I said, “We meet again,”—
I dreamed not in that idle glance        5
  Thy latest image came,
And only left to memory’s trance
  A shadow and a name.
 
The few strange words my lips had taught
  Thy timid voice to speak,        10
Their gentler signs, which often brought
  Fresh roses to thy cheek,
The trailing of thy long loose hair
  Bent o’er my couch of pain,
All, all returned, more sweet, more fair;        15
  O had we met again!
 
I walked where saint and virgin keep
  The vigil lights of Heaven,
I knew that thou hadst woes to weep,
  And sins to be forgiven;        20
I watched where Genevieve was laid,
  I knelt by Mary’s shrine,
Beside me low, soft voices prayed;
  Alas! but where was thine?
 
And when the morning sun was bright,        25
  When wind and wave were calm,
And flamed, in thousand-tinted light,
  The rose of Notre Dame,
I wandered through the haunts of men,
  From Boulevard to Quai,        30
Till, frowning o’er Saint Etienne,
  The Pantheon’s shadow lay.
 
In vain, in vain; we meet no more,
  Nor dream what fates befall;
And long upon the stranger’s shore        35
  My voice on thee may call,
When years have clothed the line in moss
  That tells thy name and days,
And withered, on thy simple cross,
  The wreaths of Père-la-Chaise!        40
 
 
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