Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, NIGHT IN VENICE, by LOUISE KIDDER SPARROW

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

NIGHT IN VENICE, by            
First Line: Night in venice! On the grand canal
Last Line: Nestles a blight -- how chill has grown the air!
Subject(s): Night; Venice, Italy; Bedtime

Night in Venice! On the Grand Canal
The dip of oars is mingled with the sound
Of music, and of lapping waves that yield
An easy passage to dark gondolas.
Above, the stars shine bright, as in the days
When Venice sat enthroned, Queen of the Seas.
A thousand lights flash from the neighboring shore,
A thousand times reflected in the waves.
Oh, sweet it is to float and gaze and dream,
To watch the graceful gondoliers, to see
The bobbing ferros cluster round the barge
Adorned with swinging lanterns, and to hear
The lusty tenor singing in their midst.
Our gondolier, judiciously and slow,
Has urged our bow on to the barge's side;
There stands the tenor scarce a foot away,
And round him range organ, guitars, and mandolins.
But see! With sudden shock our joy is dulled --
The organist, a lad who plays
With his whole soul in every note, is -- blind!

Poor sightless eyes! -- Back from the barge we move,
Leaving the song to die, drowned by the waves,
How brilliant gleam the lights, the scene how fair!
To him, poor lad, this beauty is unknown,
Eternal darkness reigns throughout his world.
And yet, who knows? Perhaps the organ notes,
The song, the dipping oars, the evening breeze,
Have all combined to paint a scene more fair,
A scene not dreamed by us who have our sight.
Faintly the music trembles through the dark;
Silent we muse -- Lo, in the flower's heart
Nestles a blight -- how chill has grown the air!

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