Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
France: Vols. IX–X. 1876–79.



By Robert Southey (1774–1843)

(From Joan of Arc)

AMID these wilds

Often to summer pasture have I driven

The flock; and well I know these woodland wilds,

And every bosomed vale and valley stream

Is dear to memory. I have laid me down

Beside yon valley stream, that up the ascent

Scarce sends the sound of waters now, and watched

The beck roll glittering to the noontide sun,

And listened to its ceaseless murmuring,

Till all was hushed and tranquil in my soul,

Filled with a strange and undefined delight

That passed across the mind like summer clouds

Over the vale at eve; their fleeting hues

The traveller cannot trace with memory’s eye,

Yet he remembers well how fair they were,

How beautiful.
In solitude and peace

Here I grew up, amid the loveliest scenes

Of unpolluted nature. Sweet it was,

As the white mists of morning rolled away,

To see the upland’s wooded heights appear

Dark in the early dawn, and mark the slope

With gorse-flowers glowing, as the sun illumed

Their golden glory with his deepening light;

Pleasant at noon beside the vocal brook

To lay me down, and watch the floating clouds,

And shape to fancy’s wild similitudes

Their ever-varying forms; and O, how sweet!

To drive my flock at evening to the fold,

And hasten to our little hut, and hear

The voice of kindness bid me welcome home.