Guillaume Anfrye de Chaulieu

O amiable solitude,
Sojourn of silence and of peace!
Asylum where forever cease
All tumult and inquietude!

I, who have chanted many a time
To tender accents of my lyre
All- that one suffers from the fire
Of love and beauty in its prime, —

Shall I, whose gratitude requites
All blessing I from thee receive, —
Shall I, unsung, in silence leave
Thy benefactions and delights?

Thou bringest back my youthful dream:
Calmest my agitated breast,
And of my idleness and rest
Makest a happiness extreme.

Amid these hamlets and these woods
Again do I begin to live,
And to the winds all memory give
Of sorrows and solicitudes.

*     *     *     *     *

What smiling pictures and serene
Each day reveals to sight and sense,
Of treasures with which Providence
Embellishes this rural scene!

How sweet it is in yonder glade
To see, when noonday burns the plain,
The flocks around the shepherd swain
Reposing in the elm-tree's shade!

To hear at eve our flageolets
Answered by all the hills around,
And all the villages resound
With bautbois and with canzonets!

Alas! these peaceful days, perforce,
With too great swiftness onward press;
My indolence and idleness
Are powerless to suspend their course.

Old age comes stealing on apace;
And cruel Death shall soon or late
Execute the decree of fate
That gives me to him without grace.

O Fontenay! forever dear!
Where first I saw the light of day,
I soon from life shall steal away
To sleep with my forefathers here.

Ye Muses, that have nourished me
In this delightful spot of earth;
Beautiful trees, that saw my birth,
Erelong ye too my death shall see!

Meanwhile let me in patience wait
Beneath thy shadowy woods, nor grieve
That I so soon their shade must leave
For that dark manor desolate,

'Whither not one shall follow me
Of all these trees that my own hand
Hath planted, and for pastime planned,
Saving alone the cypress-tree!