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Poem by Richard Monckton Milnes


Pelasgian and Cyclopean Walls


Ye cliffs of masonry, enormous piles,
Which no rude censure of familiar Time
Nor record of our puny race defiles,
In dateless mystery ye stand sublime,
Memorials of an age of which we see
Only the types in things that once were Ye.

Whether ye rest upon some bosky knoll,
Your feet by ancient myrtles beautified,
Or seem, like fabled dragons, to unroll
Your swarthy grandeurs down a bleak hill--side,
Still on your savage features is a spell
That makes ye half divine, ineffable.

With joy, upon your height I stand alone,
As on a precipice, or lie within
Your shadow wide, or leap from stone to stone,
Pointing my steps with careful discipline,
And think of those grand limbs whose nerve could bear
These masses to their places in mid--air;

Of Anakim, and Titans, and of days
Saturnian, when the spirit of man was knit
So close to Nature, that his best essays
At Art were but in all to follow it,
In all,--dimension, dignity, degree;
And thus these mighty things were made to be.



Richard Monckton Milnes


Richard Monckton Milnes's other poems:
  1. London Churches
  2. The Subterranean River, At Cong
  3. Switzerland and Italy
  4. To the Moon of the South
  5. Sir Walter Scott at the Tomb of the Stuarts in St Peter's


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