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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Poet and the Crowd
By Théophile Gautier (1811–1872)
 
ONE day the plain said to the idle mountain:—
Nothing ever grows upon thy wind-beaten brow!
To the poet, bending thoughtful over his lyre,
The crowd also said:—Dreamer, of what use art thou?
 
Full of wrath, the mountain answered the plain:—        5
It is I who make the harvests grow upon thy soil;
I temper the breath of the noon sun,
I stop in the skies the clouds as they fly by.
 
With my fingers I knead the snow into avalanches,
In my crucible I dissolve the crystals of glaciers,        10
And I pour out, from the tip of my white breasts,
In long silver threads, the nourishing streams.
*        *        *        *        *
The poet, in his turn, answered the crowd:—
Allow my pale brow to rest upon my hand.
Have I not from my side, from which runs out my soul,        15
Made a spring gush to slake men’s thirst?
 
 
CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY
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