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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Greece and Turkey in Europe: Vol. XIX. 1876–79.

Introductory to Greece

Pelasgian and Cyclopean Walls

By Richard Monckton Milnes, Lord Houghton (1809–1885)

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 hillside,

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.