Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > France
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
France: Vols. IX–X.  1876–79.
 
Paris
Rue de Seine
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809–1894)
 
La Grisette

AH, Clemence! when I saw thee last
    Trip down the Rue de Seine,
And turning, when thy form had passed,
    I said, “We meet again,”
I dreamed not in that idle glance        5
    Thy latest image came,
And only left to memory’s trance
    A shadow and a name.
 
The few strange words my lips had taught
    Thy timid voice to speak;        10
Their gentler sighs, which often brought
    Fresh roses to thy cheek;
The trailing of thy long, loose hair
    Bent o’er my couch of pain,—
All, all returned, more sweet, more fair;        15
    O, had we met again!
 
I walked where saint and virgin keep
    The vigil lights of Heaven,
I knew that thou hadst woes to weep,
    And sins to be forgiven;        20
I watched where Genevieve was laid,
    I knelt by Mary’s shrine,
Beside me low soft voices prayed;
    Alas! but where was thine?
 
And when the morning sun was bright,        25
    When wind and wave were calm,
And flamed in thousand-tinted light
    The rose of Notre Dame,
I wandered through the haunts of men,
    From Boulevard to Quai,        30
Till, frowning o’er Saint Etienne,
    The Pantheon’s shadow lay.
 
In vain, in vain; we meet no more,
    Nor dream what fates befall;
And long upon the stranger’s shore        35
    My voice on thee may call,
When years have clothed the line in moss
    That tells thy name and days,
And withered, on thy simple cross,
    The wreaths of Père-la-Chaise!        40
 
 
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