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



By James Kenward


HAIL! Ocean-region of the Keltic West,

Where conquering Rome her Finis Terræ found,

Stayed by the haughty waves that gird thy breast;

And where the untravelled Breton still doth bound

His dear familiar world. I look around

With joyful heart from each far-gazing height,

And fondly wake the visions Fame hath crowned,

Which haunt thy winding shores with history bright,

Or bathed in rainbow gleams of legendary light.

O breezy Headland of Saint-Mathieu! thou

Whose feet are farthest in blue ocean set,

Whose echoing voice is wildest, whose old brow,

With lightning smitten and with salt spray wet,

Looks least on earthly scenes; I love thee yet

Most of the Armoric Capes, and come to blend

Life’s golden hours of rest—too rarely met—

With shadows of thy buried past, and bend

Spiritual eyes afar where unveiled vistas tend.

Locmazé-Pen-ar-Bed! secluded cell

On the world’s rim remote, but with the name

Of the whole world’s Apostle hallowed; well

I love thee now, when all the west is flame

Before thee, and behind, the city’s fame

Betrayed not in the deepening hush of eve;

Though, ringed by seas no summer calms can tame,

Deep-pulsing, Ouessant and her islets grieve,

And to lone Sizun’s cliffs the gathering storm-clouds cleave.