Verse > Anthologies > Higginson and Bigelow, eds. > American Sonnets
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Higginson and Bigelow, comps.  American Sonnets.  1891.
 
New York Harbor on a Calm Day
By Park Benjamin (1809–1864)
 
IS this a painting? Are those pictured clouds
Which on the sky so movelessly repose?
Has some rare artist fashioned forth the shrouds
Of yonder vessel? Are these imaged shows
Of outline, figure, form, or is there life—        5
Life with a thousand pulses—in the scene
We gaze upon? Those towering banks between,
E’er tossed these billows in tumultuous strife?
Billows! there ’s not a wave! the waters spread
One broad, unbroken mirror! all around        10
Is hushed to silence—silence so profound
That a bird’s carol, or an arrow sped
Into the distance, would, like ’larum bell,
Jar the deep stillness and dissolve the spell!
 
 
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