The Unknown City
Poem by Taylor Marriott
There lies a city inaccessible,
Where the dead dreamers dwell.
Abrupt and blue, with many a high ravine
And soaring bridge half seen,
With many an iris cloud that comes and goes
Over the ancient snows,
The imminent hills environ it, and hold
Its portals from of old,
That grief invade not, weariness, nor war,
Now anguish evermore.
White- walled and jettied on the peacock tide,
With domes and towers enskied;
Its battlements and balconies one sheen
Of ever-living green;
It hears the happy dreamers turning home
Slow-oared across the foam.
Cool are its waters musical
And fountains' shadowy fall.
With orange and anemone and rose,
And every flower that blows
Of magic scent or unimagined dye,
It's gardens shine and sigh.
It's chambers, memoried with old romance
And faery circumstance, -
From any window love may lean some time
For love that dares to climb.
This is that city babe and seer divined
With pure, believing mind.
This is the home of unachieved emprise.
Here, here the visioned eyes
Of them that dream past any power to do,
Wake to the dream come true.
Here the high failure, not the level fame,
Attests the spirit's aim.
Here is fulfilled each hope that soared and sought
Beyond the bournes of thought.
The obdurate marble yields; the canvas glows;
Perfect column grows;
The chorded cadence art could ne'er attain
Crowns the imperfect strain;
And the great song that seemed to die unsung
Triumphs upon the tongue.
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