Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Provincia Deserta
By Ezra Pound
 
AT Rochecoart,
Where the hills part
                    in three ways,
And three valleys, full of winding roads,
Fork out to south and north,
There is a place of trees … gray with lichen.        5
I have walked there
            thinking of old days.
At Chalais
        is a pleached arbor;
Old pensioners and old protected women
Have the right there—
                it is charity.
I have crept over old rafters,
                peering down
        10
Over the Dronne,
            over a stream full of lilies.
Eastward the road lies,
              Aubeterre is eastward,
With a garrulous old man at the inn.
I know the roads in that place:
Mareuil to the north-east,
                    La Tour,
        15
There are three keeps near Mareuil,
And an old woman,
              glad to hear Arnaut,
Glad to lend one dry clothing.
 
I have walked
            into Perigord,
I have seen the torch-flames, high-leaping,        20
Painting the front of that church,
And, under the dark, whirling laughter.
I have looked back over the stream
            and seen the high building,
Seen the long minarets, the white shafts.
I have gone in Ribeyrac
                    and in Sarlat,
        25
I have climbed rickety stairs, heard talk of Croy,
Walked over En Bertran’s old layout,
Have seen Narbonne, and Cahors and Chalus,
Have seen Excideuil, carefully fashioned.
I have said:
        “Here such a one walked.
        30
“Here Coeur-de-Lion was slain.
        “Here was good singing.
“Here one man hastened his step.
        “Here one lay panting.”
I have looked south from Hautefort,
        thinking of Montaignac, southward.
I have lain in Rocafixada,
        level with sunset,
Have seen the copper come down
        tinging the mountains,
        35
I have seen the fields, pale, clear as an emerald,
Sharp peaks, high spurs, distant castles.
I have said: “The old roads have lain here.
“Men have gone by such and such valleys,
“Where the great halls are closer together.”        40
I have seen Foix on its rocks, seen Toulouse and Arles greatly altered,
I have seen the ruined “Dorata.”
                    I have said:
“Riquier! Guido.”
        I have thought of the second Troy,
Some little prized place in Auvergnat:
Two men tossing a coin, one keeping a castle,        45
One set on the highway to sing.
              He sang a woman.
Auvergne rose to the song;
              The Dauphin backed him.
“The castle to Austors!”
                “Pieire kept the singing—
“A fair man and a pleasant.”
              He won the lady,
Stole her away for himself, kept her against armed force:        50
So ends that story.
That age is gone;
Pieire de Maensac is gone.
I have walked over these roads;
I have thought of them living.        55
 
 
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