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Venice

So wonderfully built among the reeds...

 

 

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

White swan of cities, slumbering in thy nest

So wonderfully built among the reeds

Of the lagoon, that fences thee and feeds,

As sayeth thy old historian and thy guest!

White water-lily, cradled and caressed

By ocean streams, and from the silt and weeds

Lifting thy golden filaments and seeds,

Thy sun-illumined spires, thy crown and crest!

White phantom city, whose untrodden streets

Are rivers, and whose pavements are the shifting

Shadows of palaces and strips of sky;

I wait to see thee vanish like the fleets

Seen in mirage, or towers of cloud uplifting

In air their unsubstantial masonry. 

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