Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Americas: Vol. XXX. 1876–79.

British America: Grand Pré, N. S.

Grand Pré

By Sarah D. Clark

GRAND PRÉ! whose level meadows stretch away,

Far up the deep-cut dikes thy waves roll on,

Free, as a hundred years ago to-day,

They climb the slopes of rocky Blomidon.

These lonely poplars, reared by sons of toil,

Look out like exiles o’er a foreign sea,

Their haggard fronts grown gray on alien soil,

Far from the province of fair Lombardy.

Long-vanished forms come thronging up the strand;

I close my eyes to see the vision pass,

As one shuts out the daylight with his hand,

To view the pictures in a magic glass.

This is the little village famed of yore,

With meadows rich in flocks and plenteous grain,

Whose peasants knelt beside each vine-clad door,

As the sweet Angelus rose o’er the plain.

High-hearted, brave, of gentle Norman blood,

Their thrifty life a prospering fame did bring;

They held the reins o’er peaceful field and flood,

Lords of their lands, and rivals of a king.

By kingly rule, an exile’s lot they bore,

The poet’s song reclaims their scattered fold;

Blown in melodious notes to every shore,

The story of their mournful fate is told.

And to their annals linked while time shall last,

Two lovers from a shadowy realm are seen,

A fair, immortal picture of the past,

The forms of Gabriel and Evangeline.

And hither shall that sweet remembrance bring

Full many a pilgrim as the years roll on,

While the lone bittern pauses on the wing,

Above the crest of rocky Blomidon.

Still over wave and meadow smiles the day,

The twilight deepens, and the time is brief,

I bid farewell to beautiful Grand Pré,

While yet on summer’s heart bloom flower and leaf.