Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > France
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
France: Vols. IX–X.  1876–79.
 
Corsica
Corsica
Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1743–1825)
 
(Excerpt)

HOW raptured fancy burns, while warm in thought
I trace the pictured landscape; while I kiss
With pilgrim lips devout the sacred soil
Stained with the blood of heroes. Cyrnus, hail!
Hail to thy rocky, deep indented shores,        5
And pointed cliffs, which hear the chafing deep
Incessant foaming round thy shaggy sides.
Hail to thy winding bays, thy sheltering ports,
And ample harbors, which inviting stretch
Their hospitable arms to every sail:        10
Thy numerous streams, that bursting from the cliffs
Down the steep channelled rock impetuous pour
With grateful murmur: on the fearful edge
Of the rude precipice, thy hamlets brown
And straw-roofed cots, which from the level vale        15
Scarce seen, amongst the craggy hanging cliffs
Seem like an eagle’s nest aerial built.
Thy swelling mountains, brown with solemn shade
Of various trees, that wave their giant arms
O’er the rough sons of freedom; lofty pines,        20
And hardy fir, and ilex ever green,
And spreading chestnut, with each humbler plant,
And shrub of fragrant leaf, that clothes their sides
With living verdure; whence the clustering bee
Extracts her golden dews: the shining box        25
And sweet-leaved myrtle, aromatic thyme,
The prickly juniper, and the green leaf
Which feeds the spinning worm; while glowing bright
Beneath the various foliage, wildly spreads
The arbutus, and rears his scarlet fruit        30
Luxuriant, mantling o’er the craggy steeps;
And thy own native laurel crowns the scene.
Hail to thy savage forests, awful, deep;
Thy tangled thickets, and thy crowded woods,
The haunt of herds untamed; which sullen bound        35
From rock to rock with fierce, unsocial air,
And wilder gaze, as conscious of the power
That loves to reign amid the lonely scenes
Of unquelled nature: precipices huge,
And tumbling torrents; trackless deserts, plains        40
Fenced in with guardian rocks, whose quarries teem
With shining steel, that to the cultured fields
And sunny hills which wave with bearded grain,
Defends their homely produce. Liberty,
The mountain goddess, loves to range at large        45
Amid such scenes, and on the iron soil
Prints her majestic step. For these she scorns
The green enamelled vales, the velvet lap
Of smooth savannahs, where the pillowed head
Of luxury reposes; balmy gales,        50
And bowers that breathe of bliss. For these, when first
This isle emerging like a beauteous gem
From the dark bosom of the Tyrrhene main,
Reared its fair front, she marked it for her own,
And with her spirit warmed. Her genuine sons,        55
A broken remnant, from the generous stock
Of ancient Greece, from Sparta’s sad remains,
True to their high descent, preserved unquenched
The sacred fire through many a barbarous age:
Whom nor the iron rod of cruel Carthage,        60
Nor the dread sceptre of imperial Rome,
Nor bloody Goth, nor grisly Saracen,
Nor the long galling yoke of proud Liguria,
Could crush into subjection. Still unquelled
They rose superior, bursting from their chains,        65
And claimed man’s dearest birthright, liberty:
And long, through many a hard unequal strife,
Maintained the glorious conflict; long withstood,
With single arm, the whole collected force
Of haughty Genoa and ambitious Gaul.        70
 
 
CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors