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.
The Garden of the Palais Royal
Bessie Rayner Parkes (1829–1925)
IN the Palais Royal by moonlight,
Watching the fountains play,
Are a thousand ghostly shadows
Of those who are passed away.
Shadows of beauty and splendor,        5
Flitting from salle to salle;
Sweetest of all among them,
Marie Thérèse de Lamballe!
Yet there is not a place in Paris
Where it seems less wise to dream,        10
Than here, where the people gather
And flow in an endless stream;
Full of their follies and pleasures,
Full of the last new thing,
Under the close-cropped lindens,        15
Blossoming every spring.
But for me the Palais Royal
Is full of the days gone by,
And the flash of the silver fountains
Is a murmur blent with a sigh;        20
And the steps of the people passing
Are as if they came to me
From the far, unearthly distance
Of a bygone century!

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