Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Spain, &c.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Holland: Vols. XIV–XV.  1876–79.
Spain: Plasencia
Robert Southey (1774–1843)
(From Retrospective Musings, Written January 15, 1797)

                BUT, when the eve came on,
How did the lovely landscape fill my heart!
The near ascent arose with little rocks
Varied, and trees: the vale was wooded well
With oaks now cheerful in their wintry leaves,        5
And ancient cork-trees through their wrinkled barks
Bursting, and the rich olive underneath
Whose blessed shade the green herb greener grows
And fuller is the harvest: many a stream
That from the neighboring hill descended clear        10
Wound vocal through the valley: the church tower,
Marking the haven near of that day’s toil,
Rose o’er the wood. But still the charmed eye
Dwelt lingering o’er Plasencia’s fertile plain,
And loved to mark the bordering mountain’s snow        15
Pale-purpled as the evening dim decayed.
The murmurs of the goat-herd’s scattered flock
Died on the quiet air, and sailing slow
The heavy stork sought on the church-tower top
His fancy-hallowed nest. O pleasant scenes!        20
With deep delight I saw you, yet my heart
Sunk in me as the frequent thought would rise
That here was none to love me. Often still
I think of you, and Memory’s mystic power
Bids me re-live the past; and I have traced        25
The fleeting visions ere her mystic power
Wax weak, and on the feeble eye of age
The faint-formed scenes decay. Befits me now
Fix on futurity the steady ken,
And tread with steady step the onward road.        30

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