Saturday, 7 February 2009

Poems of Places


NOONDAY languors of summer-tide
Voluptuous hang on Cintra's side,
Luxuries of languor, deep
And rich as a dream 'twixt wake and sleep ;
Over all a delicious drowse,
As — seen in an opium-eater's vision, —
Goddesses, with slumberous brows
Beautiful, droop in bowers elysian;
All about the mountain's side
A lazy sunshine mantling wide, —
And the golden quiet gentliest falls
Round Montserrat's deserted halls.
Lo ! the ruin, — the site romantic!
Wanderer o'er the broad Atlantic,
Sick at heart of the restless ocean —
That rolled thee hither, thou deemest lull
To be a whirlpool of driving motion,
Motion incessant and forced and frantic,
As Vathek did ; and thou as well
Wouldst choose in so sweet a place to dwell ;
A haven for the stormy-stressed,
Where all that blooms, that breathes, seems blest
With the fulness of a heavenly rest.
Yet a shadow haunts the ruin lone,
And voices are echoing mournfully ;
This the burden of their moan :
Vanity ! All is vanity !

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Poems of Places, 1877

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