The White City


Greece was; Greece is no more.
Temple and town
Have crumbled down;
Time is the fire that hath consumed them all.
Statue and wall
In ruin strew the universal floor.


Greece lives, but Greece no more!
Its ashes breed
The undying seed
Blown westward till, in Rome's imperial towers,
Athens reflowers;
Still westward — lo, a veiled and virgin shore!


Say not, " Greece is no more. "
Through the clear morn
On light winds borne
Her white-winged soul sinks on the New World's breast.
Ah! happy West —
Greece flowers anew, and all her temples soar!


One bright hour, then no more
Shall to the skies
These columns rise.
But though art's flower shall fade, again the seed
Onward shall speed,
Quickening the land from lake to ocean's roar.


Art lives, though Greece may never
From the ancient mold
As once of old
Exhale to heaven the inimitable bloom;
Yet from that tomb
Beauty walks forth to light the world forever!
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