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



By Charles d’Orleans (1394–1465)

Translated by Louisa Stuart Costello

I STOOD upon the wild sea-shore,

And marked the wide expanse;

My straining eyes were turned once more

To long-loved, distant France:

I saw the sea-bird hurry by

Along the waters blue;

I saw her wheel amid the sky,

And mock my tearful, eager eye,

That would her flight pursue.

Onward she darts, secure and free,

And wings her rapid course to thee!

O that her wing were mine, to soar,

And reach thy lovely land once more!

O Heaven! it were enough to die

In my own, my native home,—

One hour of blessed liberty

Were worth whole years to come!