Mirage

... And burned the topless towers of Ilium

Strange fabled face! From sterile shore to shore
O'er plunging seas, thick-sprent with glistening brine,
The voyagers of the world with sail and heavy oar
Have sought thy shrine.
Beauty inexorable hath lured them on:
Remote unnamed stars enclustering gleam —
Burn in thy flowered locks, though creeping daybreak wan
Prove thee but dream.

Noonday to night the enigma of thine eyes
Frets with desire their travel-wearied brain,
Till in the vast of dark the ice-cold moon arise
And pour them peace again:
And with malign mirage uprears an isle
Of fountain and palm, and courts of jasmine and rose,
Whence far decoy of siren throats their souls beguile,
And maddening fragrance flows.

Lo, in the milken light, in tissue of gold
Thine apparition gathers in the air —
Nay, but the seas are deep, and the round world old,
And thou art named Despair.
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