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.
Above, upon the Mountains
Cyprien Despourrins (1698–1759)
Translated by Louisa Stuart Costello

ABOVE, upon the mountains,
  A shepherd, full of thought,
Beneath a beech sat musing
  On changes time had wrought:
He told to every echo        5
  The story of his care,
And made the rocks acquainted
  With love and its despair.
“O light of heart!” he murmured,
  “O fickle and unkind!        10
Is this the cold return
  My tenderness should find?
Is this a fit reward
  For tenderness like mine?—
Since thou hast sought a sphere        15
  Where rank and riches shine,
“Thou canst not cast a thought
  Upon my lowly cot;
And all our former vows
  Are in thy pride forgot.        20
For thee to enter in,
  My roof is far too low,
Thy very flocks disdain
  With mine to wander now.
“Alas! I have no wealth,        25
  No birth, no noble name,
A simple shepherd youth
  Without a hope or claim;
But none of all the train
  That now thy favors share        30
Can bear as I have borne,
  Or with my love compare.
“I ’d rather keep my habits,
  Though humble and untaught,
Than learn the ways of courts,        35
  With dangerous falsehood fraught;
I ’d rather wear my bonnet,
  Though rustic, wild, and worn,
Than flaunt in stately plumes
  Of courtiers highly born.        40
“The riches of the world
  Bring only care and pain,
And nobles great and grand
  With many a rich domain,
Can scarcely half the pleasures,        45
  With all their art, secure,
That wait upon the shepherd
  Who lives content and poor.
“Adieu, thou savage heart!
  Thou fair one without love;        50
I break the chain that bound us,
  And thou art free to rove.
But know, when in thy vanity
  Thou wanderest alone,
No heart like mine will ever        55
  Adore as I have done.”

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