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Poem by William Watson
Westward a league the city lay, with one Cloud's imminent umbrage o'er it: when behold, The incendiary sun Dropped from the womb o' the vapour, rolled 'Mongst huddled towers and temples, 'twixt them set Infinite ardour of candescent gold, Encompassed minaret And terrace and marmoreal spire With conflagration: roofs enfurnaced, yet Unmolten,-columns and cupolas flanked with fire, Yet standing unconsumed Of the fierce fervency,-and higher Than all, their fringes goldenly illumed, Dishevelled clouds, like massed empurpled smoke From smouldering forges fumed: Till suddenly the bright spell broke With the sun sinking through some palace-floor And vanishing wholly. Then the city woke, Her mighty Fire-Dream o'er, As who from out a sleep is raised Of terrible loveliness, lasting hardly more Than one most monumental moment; dazed He looketh, having come Forth of one world and witless gazed Into another: ev'n so looked, for some Brief while, the city-amazed, immobile, dumb.
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