To Ina Coolbrith

By George Sterling

With wilder sighing in the pine
    The wind went by, and so I dreamed;
    And in that dusk of sleep it seemed
A city by the sea was mine.

No statelier sprang the walls of Tyre
    From seaward cliff or palaced hill;
    And light and music met to fill
The splendid courts of her desire—

(Extolling chords that cried her praise,
    And golden reeds whose mellow moan
    Was like an ocean's undertone
Dying and lost on forest ways.)

But sweeter far than any sound
    That rang or rippled in her halls,
    Was one beyond her eastern walls,
By summer gardens girdled round.

'Twas from a nightingale, and oh!
    The song it sang hath never word!
    Sweeter it seemed than Love's, first-heard,
Or lutes in Aidenn murmuring low.

Faint, as when drowsy winds awake
    A sisterhood of faery bells,
    It won reply from hidden dells,
Loyal to Echo for its sake. . . .

I dreamt I slept, hut cannot say
    How many dreamland seasons fled,
    Nor what horizon of the dead
Gave back my dream's uncertain day.

But still beside the toiling sea,
  I lay, and saw—for walls o'ergrown—
  The city that was mine had known
Time's sure and ancient treachery.

Above her ramparts, broad as Tyre's,
  The grasses' mounting army broke;
  The shadow of the sprawling oak
Usurpt the splendor of her fires.

But o'er the fallen marbles pale
  I heard, like elfin melodies
  Blown over from enchanted seas,
The music of the nightingale.

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