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On Venice Waters

by Ruby Archer

It is night in Venice,—night.
Ah—forever let us dream
In the starry mystic gleam
On the drifting walls alight
With a pale, reflected glamor
Of the waters' dusk and white.

In a gondola we glide
By those ancient palace walls,
And anon soft music falls,—
Crystal music on the tide,
While a sculptured Fate or Amor
Half-revealed, the shadows hide.

Arch of white divides the gloom,
And a deeper shade beneath
Marks a bridge where many a wreath
In old days of war and doom
Passed above in joy or sorrow—
Laurel crown or deck of tomb.

Mark the long, lithe silhouette
Of the leaning gondolier,
And his languored singing hear,—
Jewel words in silver set.
How the untrained accents borrow
Beauty from unknown regret!

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