Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Greece
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Greece and Turkey in Europe: Vol. XIX.  1876–79.
 
Introductory to Greece
Pelasgian and Cyclopean Walls
Richard Monckton Milnes, Lord Houghton (1809–1885)
 
YE cliffs of masonry, enormous piles,
Which no rude censure of familiar time
Nor record of our puny race defiles,
In dateless mystery ye stand sublime,
Memorials of an age of which we see        5
Only the types in things that once were ye.
 
Whether ye rest upon some bosky knoll,
Your feet by ancient myrtles beautified,
Or seem, like fabled dragons, to unroll
Your swarthy grandeurs down a bleak hillside,        10
Still on your savage features is a spell
That makes ye half divine, ineffable.
 
With joy, upon your height I stand alone,
As on a precipice, or lie within
Your shadow wide, or leap from stone to stone,        15
Pointing my steps with careful discipline,
And think of those grand limbs whose nerve could bear
These masses to their places in mid-air;
 
Of Anakim, and Titans, and of days
Saturnian, when the spirit of man was knit        20
So close to Nature, that his best essays
At Art were but in all to follow it,
In all,—dimension, dignity, degree;
And thus these mighty things were made to be.
 
 
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