To J-Y Colonna

Gerard Labruine

Do you know, Daphne, of this old romance
Under the sycomore . .. or white laurel branch,
Under the weeping willow or the olive tree,
This song of love that never ceases to entrance?

Do you recall the Temple with its vast colonnade,
And the bitter lemons that bore the imprint of your teeth,
And the grotto, fatal to all its careless guests,
Where the vanquished dragon's ancient seed now sleeps?

Do you know why the volcano there is now aroused?
Because one day we grazed it with our nimble feet,
And the far horizon lay covered in its cloud!

Ever since a Norman Duke broke your gods of clay,
Beneath the palm that offers Virgil's tomb its shade
The pale hydrangea forever weds the laurel's green.

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