Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > France
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
France: Vols. IX–X.  1876–79.
My Normandy
Frédéric Bérat (1801–1855)
Translated by John Oxenford

WHEN gloomy Winter takes his flight,
  When all begins to bloom anew,
And when the sun with softest light
  Returns to deck our sky so blue;
And when the swallows we can see,        5
  And when fresh green o’erspreads the earth,
I long for my own Normandy,
  For that ’s the land that gave me birth.
Among the glaciers I have been,
  Where from the vale the châlet peers,        10
The sky of Italy I ’ve seen,
  And Venice with her gondoliers.
And, leaving all, I ’ve said: “To me
  There is a land of greater worth;
Naught can excel my Normandy,        15
  For that ’s the land that gave me birth.
The life of man a period knows
  When every youthful dream must cease,
When the tired soul desires repose,
  And in remembrance finds its peace.        20
When dull and cold my muse shall be,
  And end her songs of love and mirth,
O, then I ’ll seek my Normandy;
  For that ’s the land that gave me birth.

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