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


Written at Rouen

By Thomas Kibble Hervey (1804–1859)

THE SEINE is like a belt of gold,

Beneath an autumn sky,

That floats, in many a crimson fold,

Like a banner hung on high!

The town hangs darkly o’er the stream,

Where lights and shadows play,

While wave on wave, like dream on dream,

Smile as they glide away!

And here I stand, as here I stood,

How many years ago!

When life danced onward, like the flood,

With music in its flow:

But now my breast, like yonder dome,

Where sleeps the Lion-heart,

Is half a temple, half a tomb,

But has no earthly part.

My spirit keeps the trace, like thee,

Of many a lost parade,—

Dreams of the soul’s young chivalry,

Of many a wild crusade!

Like thee, dark town, like thee, in all

But thy many gushing fountains,

Yet brightened still by lights that fall

From heaven,—like thy blue mountains!