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About this Poem 

From A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1912).

The Road to Avignon

          A Minstrel stands on a marble stair,
          Blown by the bright wind, debonair;
          Below lies the sea, a sapphire floor,
          Above on the terrace a turret door
          Frames a lady, listless and wan,
          But fair for the eye to rest upon.
          The minstrel plucks at his silver strings,
          And looking up to the lady, sings: —
             Down the road to Avignon,
             The long, long road to Avignon,
             Across the bridge to Avignon,
             One morning in the spring.

          The octagon tower casts a shade
          Cool and gray like a cutlass blade;
          In sun-baked vines the cicalas spin,
          The little green lizards run out and in.
          A sail dips over the ocean's rim,
          And bubbles rise to the fountain's brim.
          The minstrel touches his silver strings,
          And gazing up to the lady, sings: —
             Down the road to Avignon,
             The long, long road to Avignon,
             Across the bridge to Avignon,
             One morning in the spring.

          Slowly she walks to the balustrade,
          Idly notes how the blossoms fade
          In the sun's caress; then crosses where
          The shadow shelters a carven chair.
          Within its curve, supine she lies,
          And wearily closes her tired eyes.
          The minstrel beseeches his silver strings,
          And holding the lady spellbound, sings: —
             Down the road to Avignon,
             The long, long road to Avignon,
             Across the bridge to Avignon,
             One morning in the spring.

          Clouds sail over the distant trees,
          Petals are shaken down by the breeze,
          They fall on the terrace tiles like snow;
          The sighing of waves sounds, far below.
          A humming-bird kisses the lips of a rose
          Then laden with honey and love he goes.
          The minstrel woos with his silver strings,
          And climbing up to the lady, sings: —
             Down the road to Avignon,
             The long, long road to Avignon,
             Across the bridge to Avignon,
             One morning in the spring.

          Step by step, and he comes to her,
          Fearful lest she suddenly stir.
          Sunshine and silence, and each to each,
          The lute and his singing their only speech;
          He leans above her, her eyes unclose,
          The humming-bird enters another rose.
          The minstrel hushes his silver strings.
          Hark!  The beating of humming-birds' wings!
             Down the road to Avignon,
             The long, long road to Avignon,
             Across the bridge to Avignon,
             One morning in the spring.

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

Amy Lowell

Amy Lowell

Born in 1874, Amy Lowell was deeply interested in and influenced by the Imagist movement and she received the Pulitzer Prize for her collection What's O'Clock.

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