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

Chinese Empire: Nankin

The Porcelain Tower

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)

(From Kéramos)

AND yonder by Nankin, behold!

The Tower of Porcelain, strange and old,

Uplifting to the astonished skies

Its ninefold painted balconies,

With balustrades of twining leaves,

And roofs of tile, beneath whose eaves

Hang porcelain bells that all the time

Ring with a soft, melodious chime;

While the whole fabric is ablaze

With varied tints, all fused in one

Great mass of color, like a maze

Of flowers illumined by the sun.