The Parthenon

I

Seen aloft from afar.

Estranged in site,

Aerial gleaming, warmly white,

You look a suncloud motionless

In noon of day divine;

Your beauty charmed enhancement takes

In Art's long after-shine.

II

Nearer viewed.

Like Lais, fairest of her kind,

In subtlety your form's defined —

The cornice curved, each shaft inclined,

While yet, to eyes that do but revel

And take the sweeping view,

Erect this seems, and that a level,

To line and plummet true.

Spinoza gazes; and in mind

Dreams that one architect designed

Lais — and you!

III

The Frieze.

What happy musings genial went

With airiest touch the chisel lent

To frisk and curvet light

Of horses gay — their riders grave —

Contrasting so in action brave

With virgins meekly bright,

Clear filing on in even tone

With pitcher each, one after one

Like water-fowl in flight.

IV

The last Tile.

When the last marble tile was laid

The winds died down on all the seas;

Hushed were the birds, and swooned the glade;

Ictinus sat; Aspasia said

" Hist! — Art's meridian, Pericles! "

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