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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Arthur Symons 1865–1945

At Fontainebleau


IT was a day of sun and rain,

Uncertain as a child’s swift moods;

And I shall never spend again

So blithe a day among the woods.

Was it because the Gods were pleased

That they were awful in our eyes,

Whom we in very deed appeased

With barley-cakes of sacrifice?

The forest knew her and was glad,

And laughed for very joy to know

Her child was with her; then, grown sad,

She wept, because her child must go.

And Alice, like a little Faun,

Went leaping over rocks and ferns,

Coursing the shadow-race from dawn

Until the twilight-flock returns.

And she would spy and she would capture

The shyest flower that lit the grass;

The joy I had to watch her rapture

Was keen as even her rapture was.

The forest knew her and was glad,

And laughed and wept for joy and woe.

This was the welcome that she had

Among the woods of Fontainebleau.