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

Asia Minor: Smyrna


By Bayard Taylor (1825–1878)

THE “ORNAMENT of Asia” and the “Crown

Of fair Ionia.” Yea; but Asia stands

No more an empress, and Ionia’s hands

Have lost their sceptre. Thou, majestic town,

Art as a diamond on a faded robe:

The freshness of thy beauty scatters yet

The radiance of that sun of Empire set,

Whose disk sublime illumed the ancient globe.

Thou sitt’st between the mountains and the sea;

The sea and mountains flatter thine array,

And fill thy courts with grandeur, not decay;

And power, not death, proclaims thy cypress tree.

Through thee, the sovereign symbols Nature lent

Her rise, make Asia’s fall magnificent.