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


The Théâtre Français

By Matthew Arnold (1822–1888)

(From Rachel)

IN Paris all looked hot and like to fade;

Brown, in the garden of the Tuileries,

Brown with September, drooped the chestnut-trees.

’T was dawn; a brougham rolled through the streets, and made

Halt at the white and silent colonnade

Of the French Theatre. Worn with disease,

Rachel, with eyes no gazing can appease,

Sate in the brougham, and those blank walls surveyed.

She follows the gay world, whose swarms have fled

To Switzerland, to Baden, to the Rhine;

Why stops she by this empty play-house drear?

Ah, where the spirit its highest life hath led,

All spots, matched with that spot, are less divine;

And Rachel’s Switzerland, her Rhine, is here!