Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE HEART OF VENICE, by AMELIA JOSEPHINE BURR

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THE HEART OF VENICE, by            
First Line: Here is no song that comes unsought
Last Line: If this were immortality?
Subject(s): Venice, Italy

HERE is no song that comes unsought
Born of a mood a breath may chill.
By labour was this beauty wrought.
Not God himself by sovereign will
Could shape this wonder like a hill
Or bid it rise like moon and sun.
Only through man such works are done.

NEED was that men should greatly do
And greatly die, ere this could be.
The blood of glory pulses through
This golden-grounded imagery.
The very bosom of the sea
Has moulded to its ample grace
The pavement of this holy place,

AS might a goddess deign to wear
The garment by her priesthood made.
The opulent shadows tame the air
That softly moves as if it prayed
Among the lives of men, portrayed
So truly, that to-day we cry --
"That is my brother -- that is I."

YET not immortal -- is it true
Such loveliness can disappear?
Some day will see a richer blue
Upon the sea, and through the clear
And sunlit waters, glimpses dear
Of beauty won at such a cost
It never can be wholly lost.

THE deep that gave will take again --
But this bright memory will awake
Ambition in the hearts of men
To build new beauty for the sake
Of what has vanished, and to make
Sublimer temples of the sea.
If this were immortality?

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