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.
Return to the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow library , or . . . Read the next poem; Victor And Vanquished