by John William Burgon (1845)
It seems no work of Man’s creative hand,
The last two lines of this poem are widely quoted, but
the full poem is surprisingly hard to find. I thought
I would put a copy up on the web.
By labor wrought as wavering fancy planned;
But from the rock as if by magic grown,
Eternal, silent, beautiful, alone!
Not virgin-white like that 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 rose-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That first beheld them were not yet withdrawn;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.
In some versions of this poem on the web the word “if” is
omitted in line three. I believe the above version to be
correct but am not completely certain. Information on this
point would be appreciated. Also, one source gives “Pedra”
as the original title. Does anyone know if this is correct?
This page was created January 1, 2005.
It was last updated October 12, 2005.