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


To the Forest of Gastine

By Pierre de Ronsard (1524–1585)

Translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

STRETCHED in thy shadows I rehearse,

Gastine, thy solitudes,

Even as the Grecians in their verse

The Erymanthian woods.

For I, alas! cannot conceal

From any future race

The pleasure, the delight, I feel

In thy green dwelling-place.

Thou who beneath thy sheltering bowers

Dost make me visions see;

Thou who dost cause that at all hours

The Muses answer me;

Thou who from each importunate care

Dost free me with a look,

When lost I roam I know not where

Conversing with a book!

Forever may thy thickets hold

The amorous brigade

Of Satyrs and of Sylvans bold,

That make the Nymphs afraid;

In thee the Muses evermore

Their habitation claim,

And never may thy woods deplore

The sacrilegious flame.