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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Add Venice to your library.

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

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