William Stewart Rose (1775-1843)

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To Constantinople

A glorious form thy shining city wore,
'Mid cypress thickets of perennial green,
With minaret and golden dome between,
While thy sea softly kiss'd its grassy shore:
Darting across whose blue expanse was seen
Of sculptur'd barques and galleys many a score;
Whence noise was none save that of plashing oar;
Nor word was spoke to break the calm serene.
Unheard is whisker'd boatman's hail or joke;
Who, mute as Sinbad's man of copper, rows,
And only intermits the sturdy stroke,
When fearless gull too nigh his pinnace goes.
I, hardly conscious if I dream'd or woke,
Mark'd that strange piece of action and repose.