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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Greece and Turkey in Europe: Vol. XIX. 1876–79.

Greece: Athens

A Voice from Academe

By Robert Buchanan (1841–1901)

OVER this azure poplar glade

The sunshine, fainting high above,

Ebbs back from woolly clouds that move

Like browsing lambs and cast no shade;

And straight before me, faintly seen

Through emerald boughs that intervene,

The visible sun turns white and weaves

Long webs of silver through the leaves.

The grassy sward beneath my foot

Is soft as lips of lambs and beeves.

How cool those lilies at the root

Of yonder tree, that dimly dance

Through dews of their own radiance!

Yonder I see the river run,

Half in the shade, half in the sun;

And as I near its rushy brink

The sparkling minnows, where they lie

With silver bellies to the sky,

Flash from me in a shower and sink.

I stand in shadows cool and sweet,

But in the mirror at my feet

The heated azure heavens wink.

All round about this shaded spot,

Whither the sunshine cometh not,

Where all is beautiful repose,—

I know the kindled landskip glows;

And further, flutter golden showers

On proud Athenai white with towers,

And catching from the murmurous sea

(Stained with deep shadows as of flowers,

And darkening down to purple bowers

Through which the sword-fish darts in glee),

A strife that cometh not to me.

For in this place of shade and sound,

Hid from the garish heat around,

I feel like one removed from strain

And fever of the happy brain,—

Where thoughts thrill fiery into pain:

Like one who, in the pleasant shade

The peaceful pulseless dead have made,

Walking in silence, just perceives

The gaudy world from which he went

Subdue itself to his content,

Like that white globe beyond the leaves!