Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Americas
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Americas: Vol. XXX.  1876–79.
Mexico: Mexico, the City
Robert Southey (1774–1843)
(From Madoc)

FROM early morning till the midnoon hour
We travelled in the mountains; then a plain
Opened below, and rose upon the sight,
Like boundless ocean from a hill-top seen.
A beautiful and populous plain it was;        5
Fair woods were there, and fertilizing streams,
And pastures spreading wide, and villages
In fruitful groves embowered, and stately towns,
And many a single dwelling specking it,
As though for many a year the land had been        10
The land of peace. Below us, where the base
Of the great mountain to the level sloped,
A broad blue lake extended far and wide
Its waters, dark beneath the light of noon.
There Aztlan stood upon the farther shore:        15
Amid the shade of trees its dwellings rose,
Their level roofs with turrets set around,
And battlements all burnished white, which shone
Like silver in the sunshine. I beheld
The imperial city, her far-circling walls,        20
Her garden groves and stately palaces,
Her temple’s mountain-size, her thousand roofs;
And when I saw her might and majesty
My mind misgave me then.
                        We reached the shore:
A floating islet waited for me there,        25
The beautiful work of man. I set my feet
Upon green-growing herbs and flowers, and sate
Embowered in odorous shrubs: four long light boats
Yoked to the garden, with accordant song,
And dip and dash of oar in harmony,        30
Bore me across the lake.
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