Verse > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow > Complete Poetical Works
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882).  Complete Poetical Works.  1893.
Birds of Passage
Flight the Third.
Fata Morgana
          Contained in the volume entitled Aftermath, 1873.

O SWEET illusions of Song,
  That tempt me everywhere,
In the lonely fields, and the throng
  Of the crowded thoroughfare!
I approach, and ye vanish away,        5
  I grasp you, and ye are gone;
But ever by night and by day,
  The melody soundeth on.
As the weary traveller sees
  In desert or prairie vast,        10
Blue lakes, overhung with trees,
  That a pleasant shadow cast;
Fair towns with turrets high,
  And shining roofs of gold,
That vanish as he draws nigh,        15
  Like mists together rolled,—
So I wander and wander along,
  And forever before me gleams
The shining city of song,
  In the beautiful land of dreams.        20
But when I would enter the gate
  Of that golden atmosphere,
It is gone, and I wonder and wait
  For the vision to reappear.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.