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Poems About Places

Table of Contents

  1. In Notre Dame by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  2. Rome by Madison Cawein
  3. Places by Sara Teasdale

  1. In Notre Dame

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    When first did I perceive you, when take heed
    Of what is now so deep in heart and brain
    That tears shall not efface it, nor the greed
    Of time or fate destroy, nor scorn, nor pain?

    Long summers back I trembled to the vision
    Of your keen beauty,—a delirious sense
    That he you loved might hold in like derision
    Or Hell or Heaven, or sin or innocence.

    This in my heart of hearts, while outwardly
    Nor speech nor guarded glance my dream betrayed;
    Till one day, so past thought you maddened me,
    My dream escaped my lips, glad and afraid.

    Afraid, where no fear was. For lo, the gift
    (Worlds could not purchase it) was mine, was mine!
    And oh, my Sweet, how swift we went adrift
    On wild sweet waters, warmer-hued than wine!

    My very eyes are dizzy with delight
    At your recalled caresses. Peace, my heart!
    She whom you beat so wild for lies to-night
    From you too many bitter leagues apart.

    Be calm, and I will talk to you of her;
    And you shall listen, passionately still;
    And as the pauses in my verse recur,
    Think, heart, all this does fealty to your will!

    All this,—a lithe and perfect-moulded form,
    Instinct with subtle gesture, soft, intense.
    Head small and queenlike, dainty feet that warm
    Even the dull world's ways into rapturous sense.

    Clear, broad, white forehead, crowned low down with hair
    Darker than night, more soft than sleep or tears.
    Nose neither small nor great, but straight, and fair.
    Like naught but smooth sea-shells her delicate ears.

    But how to tell about her mouth and eyes!
    Her strange, sweet, maddening eyes, her subtle mouth!
    Mouth in whose closure all love's sweetness lives,—
    Eyes with the warm gleam of the lustrous south!

    Fathomless dusk by night, the day lets in
    Glimmer of emerald,—thus those eyes of hers!
    Above the firm sweep of the moulded chin
    The lips, than whose least kiss Heaven's gifts were worse.

    Her bosom,—ah that now my head were laid!
    Warm in that resting-place! But, heart, be still!
    I will refrain, and break my dreams, afraid
    To stir the yearning I can not fulfil.

    Love, in the northern night of Brittany
    Hear you no voice divide the night like flame?
    In these gray walls the inmost soul of me
    Is swooning with the music of your name.

  2. Rome

    by Madison Cawein

    Above the circus of the world she sat,
    Beautiful and base, a harlot crowned with pride:
    Fierce nations, upon whom she sneered and spat,
    Shrieked at her feet and for her pastime died.

  3. Places

    by Sara Teasdale

    Places I love come back to me like music,
    Hush me and heal me when I am very tired;
    I see the oak woods at Saxton's flaming
    In a flare of crimson by the frost newly fired;
    And I am thirsty for the spring in the valley
    As for a kiss ungiven and long desired.

    I know a bright world of snowy hills at Boonton,
    A blue and white dazzling light on everything one sees,
    The ice-covered branches of the hemlocks sparkle
    Bending low and tinkling in the sharp thin breeze,
    And iridescent crystals fall and crackle on the snow-crust
    With the winter sun drawing cold blue shadows from the trees.

    Violet now, in veil on veil of evening
    The hills across from Cromwell grow dreamy and far;
    A wood-thrush is singing soft as a viol
    In the heart of the hollow where the dark pools are;
    The primrose has opened her pale yellow flowers
    And heaven is lighting star after star.

    Places I love come back to me like music—
    Mid-ocean, midnight, the waves buzz drowsily;
    In the ship's deep churning the eerie phosphorescence
    Is like the souls of people who were drowned at sea,
    And I can hear a man's voice, speaking, hushed, insistent,
    At midnight, in mid-ocean, hour on hour to me.

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