Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VII. Descriptive: Narrative
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VII. Descriptive: Narrative.  1904.
 
Descriptive Poems: II. Nature and Art
The Sunset City
Henry Sylvester Cornwell (1831–1886)
 
THERE ’s a city that lies in the Kingdom of Clouds,
  In the glorious country on high,
Which an azure and silvery curtain enshrouds,
  To screen it from mortal eye;
 
A city of temples and turrets of gold,        5
  That gleam by a sapphire sea,
Like jewels more splendid than earth may behold,
  Or are dreamed of by you and by me.
 
And about it are highlands of amber that reach
  Far away till they melt in the gloom;        10
And waters that hem an immaculate beach
  With fringes of luminous foam.
 
Aerial bridges of pearl there are,
  And belfries of marvellous shapes,
And lighthouses lit by the evening star,        15
  That sparkle on violet capes;
 
And hanging gardens that far away
  Enchantedly float aloof;
Rainbow pavilions in avenues gay,
  And banners of glorious woof!        20
 
When the Summer sunset’s crimsoning fires
  Are aglow in the western sky,
The pilgrim discovers the domes and spires
  Of this wonderful city on high;
 
And gazing enrapt as the gathering shade        25
  Creeps over the twilight lea,
Sees palace and pinnacle totter and fade,
  And sink in the sapphire sea;
 
Till the vision loses by slow degrees
  The magical splendor it wore;        30
The silvery curtain is drawn, and he sees
  The beautiful city no more!
 
 
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