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Francis Saltus Saltus
Francis Saltus Saltus
1849-1889




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Portugal
Francis Saltus Saltus (1849-1889), American poet

The warm and fecundating sunlight shines
Down from the changeless azure of the sky,
On tangled leagues of olive groves and vines,
Edens of verdure to the ravished eye.

Lisbon, all mantled in suave orange bloom,
Smiles by the sea through calm and idle hours,
Oblivious to the days of woe and gloom.
When earthquakes shattered Lusitanian towers.

While fair Oporto, girdled by great ships.
Prepares its nectar for the expectant earth,
Delicious temptress of voluptuous lips,
That mingles sorrow in the cup of mirth.

But ah, rare Portugal, the highly prized.
Thou art no longer the chivalric land
That Camoens in his song immortalized.
And which a Gama made sublimely grand.

Once peer of Spain, thy puissance now has fled;
Wrested from thee is India proud and vast.
And all the tears thy glorious poets shed,
Cannot revive the marvels of thy past.

And, as upon thy murmurous hills I dream,
Bach tree and flower in sorrow seems to yearn
For that illusive future day supreme
When mighty Dom Sebastian will return.

from Flasks and Flagons (1892)


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Flasks and Flagons by Francis Saltus




       
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