Poem introduction

In this poem the irreducible inexplicable power of some music, in particular minor-key folk music of lament, converges with the incomprehensibility of the inner life of another language. It is, in a way, an essential British poem, an image of an Englishman contemplating without understanding the inward depth and beauty of Gallic culture. The Englishman is moved, awed even. He walks on.

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