Under the Rainbow

By George Sterling

Behold we now that City of the Sun
    Whose fame the tale of western legend told—
Queen of that realm where chartless rivers run
    On fabled sands of gold?

They seem not of this earth, these shafts of stone
    Born of a wingèd vision and its grace—
Azures and ambers found in dream alone,
    And found for but a space.

For like to these the dome of Xanadu,
    A bubble lifting from enchanted light,
Shone on the wall of that immortal blue
    The poet saw by night.

Surely in cities of another star
    Such waters and empurpled marbles gleam;
Or these the imaginary towers are
    In vistas of a dream.

Not so. For here the hidden soul of man
    Gives to the day his word of the sublime;
Earth's is the given beauty, and the plan
    Of our own place and time.

Nor need we other worlds to show what Art
    Whispers of her perennial domain—
Whispers, till in her chosen builder's heart
    The vision lives again.

Humble, O man! thine ancient heritage:
    See now what temples and what halls thou hast!
In years to come shall be thy Golden Age,
    When this shall be the Past.

Hope draws her iris from untasted wells,
    And on her skies, in prophecy divine,
Serenely with the rainbow's arch foretells
    What domes shall yet be thine.

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