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


Near Cannes

By Cora Kennedy Aitken

HERE little birds fly low and fold

Their wings to stillness in the shade

Of lines of willow-trees, that hold

Sweet secrets in them unbetrayed;

Though sometimes in a dream of sound,

Half music and half sun, we hear

Ripples of water touch the ground,

And smell the lilies bending near.

Upon the fields the wanton sun

Lies with his yellow locks between

The poppy blooms that one by one

Steal blushing to him through the green.

And tenderest forget-me-nots

That e’er a lover honored yet

With glance made sweet by sweetest thoughts

Are softly in the grasses set.

And yonder by the gleaming road

Whose white feet pass the meadows by,

Mute in an awe-struck dream of God,

The poplars look up to the sky.