Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Du Bellay to His Native Village

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


Du Bellay to His Native Village

By Joachim du Bellay (1552–1560)

Translated by Louisa Stuart Costello

HAPPY who like Ulysses has explored,

Or he who sought afar the golden fleece,

And safe returned, his mind with wisdom stored,

Amidst his native vales retires in peace.

When shall I hail again my village spires,—

The blue smoke rising from that village see,

And the poor mansion of my simple sires,

Its garden walks a realm, and more to me!

Dearer to me the home that thought recalls

Than Roman palaces and gorgeous halls,

Richer than marble or than sculptured stone

The gray slate on my humble roof that shone,

More bright than vaunted Tiber’s ancient tide

My gentle Loire’s soft waves, that murmuring glide,

Sweeter than ocean’s breezes fresh and fair

My lovely Anjon’s bright and balmy air,

And greater to this longing heart of mine

My little Liré than Mont Palatine!