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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII. 1876–79.

Chinese Empire: Pekin

In a Mountain Pass West of Pekin

By John T. Gulick (1832–1923)

WITHIN these granite gates, at God’s command,

The oldest of the continents grows young

With the verdure of ten thousand summers flung

Across her rugged peaks. From Samarcand

Down to the groves on Niphon’s sunny strand,

No richer veil of beauty ever hung

On mountains built of primal rock. Though sung

By Grecian bards, the glory of this land

Would be too faintly shown. But now as light,

All joyous from the heart of dewy night,

Pours down the hills and floods the meadow lawn,

The wondrous revelation comes to those

Who reverent wait beneath the opening dawn,

As angels waited when creation rose.