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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Lines from ‘Gebir’
By Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864)
 
[The first passage here given was Shelley’s favorite.]

ONCE a fair city—courted then by kings,
Mistress of nations, thronged by palaces,
Raising her head o’er destiny, her face
Glowing with pleasure and with palms refresht;
Now pointed at by Wisdom or by Wealth,        5
Bereft of beauty, bare of ornament—
Stood in the wilderness of woe, Masar….
 
NOW to Aurora borne by dappled steeds,
The sacred gate of orient pearl and gold,
Smitten with Lucifer’s light silver wand,        10
Expanded slow to strains of harmony.
The waves beneath in purpling rows, like doves
Glancing with wanton coyness toward their queen,
Heaved softly; thus the damsel’s bosom heaves
When from her sleeping lover’s downy cheek,        15
To which so warily her own she brings
Each moment nearer, she perceives the warmth
Of coming kisses fanned by playful Dreams.
Ocean and earth and heaven was jubilee;
For ’twas the morning pointed out by Fate        20
When an immortal maid and mortal man
Should share each other’s nature knit in bliss.
 
 
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