For one brief golden moment rare like wine, The gracious city swept across the line; Oblivious of the color of my skin, Forgetting that I was an alien guest, She bent to me, my hostile heart to win, Caught me in passion to her pillowy breast; The great, proud city, seized with a strange love, Bowed down for one flame hour my pride to prove.
Now the dead past seems vividly alive,
And in this shining moment I can trace,
Down through the vista of the vanished years,
Your faun-like form, your fond elusive face.
And suddenly some secret spring’s released,
And unawares a riddle is revealed,
And I can read like large, black-lettered print,
What seemed before a thing forever sealed.
I know the magic word, the graceful thought,
The song that fills me in my lucid hours,
The spirit’s wine that thrills my body through,
And makes me music-drunk, are yours, all yours.
I cannot praise, for you have passed from praise,
I have no tinted thoughts to paint you true;
But I can feel and I can write the word;
The best of me is but the least of you.