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 ("Orphée au bois du Caystre.") 
 {Bk. I. ii.} 

 Orpheus, through the hellward wood 
 Hurried, ere the eve-star glowed, 
 For the fauns' lugubrious hoots 
 Followed, hollow, from crookèd roots; 
 Aeschylus, where Aetna smoked, 
 Gods of Sicily evoked 
 With the flute, till sulphur taint 
 Dulled and lulled the echoes faint; 
 Pliny, soon his style mislaid, 
 Dogged Miletus' merry maid, 
 As she showed eburnean limbs 
 All-multiplied by brooklet brims; 
 Plautus, see! like Plutus, hold 
 Bosomfuls of orchard-gold, 
 Learns he why that mystic core 
 Was sweet Venus' meed of yore? 
 Dante dreamt (while spirits pass 
 As in wizard's jetty glass) 
 Each black-bossed Briarian trunk 
 Waved live arms like furies drunk; 
 Winsome Will, 'neath Windsor Oak, 
 Eyed each elf that cracked a joke 
 At poor panting grease-hart fast— 
 Obese, roguish Jack harassed; 
 At Versailles, Molière did court 
 Cues from Pan (in heron port, 
 Half in ooze, half treeward raised), 
 "Words so witty, that Boileau's 'mazed!" 
 Foliage! fondly you attract! 
 Dian's faith I keep intact, 
 And declare that thy dryads dance 
 Still, and will, in thy green expanse! 


Poem by Victor Hugo
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