Verse > Anthologies > Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed. > The Book of New York Verse
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Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed.  The Book of New York Verse.  1917.
 
Return to New York
By John Hall Wheelock
 
FAR and free o’er the lifting sea, the lapsing wastes and the waves that roam,
Hour by hour with sleepless power the keel has furrowed the soft, sad foam;
Slowly now, with steadier prow, she steals through the dim gray fog-banks home.
 
Faint and far from across the bar the first lines burn of the cloudy day,
From whistle and horn in the twilit morn low murmurs are wafted across the bay.        5
The fleet, sweet swing of the sea-bird’s wing beats down the darkness and dies away.
 
Dawn,—and lo, as the rifted snow that melts from the sun on a mountain height,
As the veils from a bride that fall and divide, the fog veils sunder and leave in sight,
Like Venice, dim on the water’s rim, the city, my mother, bared and bright.
 
In the first hours her stately towers and clustered summits show faint and fair:        10
Mother, mother, to thee and none other the heart cries out in the morning there!
Solemnly, slowly, the white mists wholly fade, and the whole, sweet form lies bare.
 
Hail, all hail, with the dawn for veil, the sea for throne and the stars for crown!
Mother, thy son, his journeying done, triumphantly here at thine heart bows down;
Love that sings, on the sea-wind’s wings runs on to greet thee his very own.        15
 
 
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