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Literary Gazette, 21st October, 1820, Page 685


VAUCLUSE

Tall rocks begirt the lovely valley round,
Like barriers guarding its sweet loneliness;
Clouds rested on their summits, and their sides
Darken‘d with aged woods, where ivy twined
And green moss grew unconscious of the sun:
Rushing in fury from a gloomy cave,
Black like the dwelling place of Death and Night,
An angry river came; at first it traced
Its course in wrath, and the dark cavern rang
With echoes to its hoarse and sullen roar;
But when it reach’d the peaceful valley, then,
Like woman’s smile soothing wild rage away,
The sunlight fell upon its troubled waves—
It made the waters, like a curbed steed,
Chafed and foamed angrily, but softly flowed,
A bright unbroken mirror, for the kiss
Of the fair children of its fragrant banks,
And close beside uprose the tree whose form
Had once been beauty's refuge—sacred shade!
Which even the lightning dares not violate,
The hero's trophy and the bard's reward—
The faded laurel.—
Vaucluse! thou hast a melancholy charm,
A sweet remembrance of departed time,
When love awoke the lyre from its long sleep,
Unbound the golden wings of poetry,
And in thy groves the graceful Petrarch sought
A shelter where his soul might wander free,
Dwelling on tender thoughts and minstrel dreams,
All that the bard can feel in solitude.
Thy name is in his songs, and it will be
Remembered, when thy woods shall wave no more.