Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Russia
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Russia: Vol. XX.  1876–79.
 
Asiatic Russia: Colchis (Transcaucasia)
The Argo nearing Colchis
William Morris (1834–1896)
 
(From The Life and Death of Jason, Book VI)

SO, with the wind behind them, and the oars
Still hard at work, they went betwixt the shores
Against the ebb, and now full oft espied
Trim homesteads here and there on either side,
And fair kine grazing, and much woolly sheep,        5
And skin-clad shepherds, roused from midday sleep,
Gazing upon them with scared wondering eyes.
So now they deemed they might be near their prize;
And at the least knew that some town was nigh,
And thought to hear new tidings presently,        10
Which happed indeed, for on the turn of tide,
At ending of a long reach, they espied
A city wondrous fair, which seemed indeed
To bar the river’s course; but, taking heed,
And drawing nigher, soon found out the case,        15
That on an island builded was the place,
The more part of it; but four bridges fair,
Set thick with goodly houses everywhere,
Crossed two and two on each side to the land,
Whereon was built, with walls on either hand,        20
A towered outwork, lest that war should fall
Upon the land, and midmost of each wall
A noble gate; moreover, did they note
About the wharves full many a ship and boat.
And they beheld the sunlight glistering        25
On arms of men and many a warlike thing,
As nigher to the city they were borne,
And heard at last some huge, deep booming hoarse
Sound from a tower o’er the watery way,
Whose last loud note was taken up straightway        30
By many another farther and more near.
 
 
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