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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.


From the French. To my Brooklet

  • (À mon Ruisseau)
    By Jean François Ducis

  • THOU brooklet, all unknown to song,

    Hid in the covert of the wood!

    Ah, yes, like thee I fear the throng,

    Like thee I love the solitude.

    O brooklet, let my sorrows past

    Lie all forgotten in their graves,

    Till in my thoughts remain at last

    Only thy peace, thy flowers, thy waves.

    The lily by thy margin waits;—

    The nightingale, the marguerite;

    In shadow here he meditates

    His nest, his love, his music sweet.

    Near thee the self-collected soul

    Knows naught of error or of crime;

    Thy waters, murmuring as they roll,

    Transform his musings into rhyme.

    Ah, when, on bright autumnal eves,

    Pursuing still thy course, shall I

    List the soft shudder of the leaves,

    And hear the lapwing’s plaintive cry?