Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PETRA, by JOHN WILLIAM BURGON



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PETRA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: It seems no work of man's creative hand
Last Line: A rose-red city half as old as time.
Variant Title(s): Pedra
Subject(s): Religion


IT SEEMS no work of man's creative hand,
By labour wrought as wavering fancy plann'd,
But from the rock as if by magic grown,
Eternal, silent, beautiful, alone!
Not virgin-white like the old Doric shrine
Where erst Athena held her rites divine;
Not saintly-grey, like many a minster fane,
That crowns the hill, and consecrates the plain;
But rosy-red as if the blush of dawn
That first beheld them were not yet withdrawn;
The hues of youth upon a brow of woe,
Which man deemed old two thousand years ago.
Match me such marvel save in Eastern clime,
A rose-red city half as old as Time.





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