City of dreams
Arising from the waters!
Little steamers plying
On the sparkling Lagoon!
In their quaint patois!
In the gondola we may sit at ease
And drift along the Grand Canal
Fronted with palaces;
They are the work of master architects and sculptors
Now armored in marble tombs.
They were the dwelling places of nobles
Who lived hundreds of years ago.
They are seamed and beaten with storms;
The decades have dimmed their whiteness;
They shelter travelers from over the seas
And their walls will catch the echo
Of foreign tongues
In ages yet to come.
We may drift along market places
And meet flat boats
Laden with meat and vegetables,
Or glide along narrow channels
And forgotten ways amid silences,
Quaint old buildings on either side,
Blossoming foliage in between . . .
Still with the illusion of a dream.
Venice has St. Marks
With its priceless treasures
Of mosaic and gold.
Its doves come down
From the sheltering arches of carven roofs
Among the cloud fringes
To give us welcome.
Venice has glittering shops;
They flash and gleam and lure the traveler;
Marvels of hand made lace;
Art treasures in soft leather.
Little enticing shops
Spread with amber and coral from sea meadows
And submerged reefs.
They are hung with evanescent beads
That sparkle and catch the light
In shades of dazzling color,
Carved and fashioned by expert hands
And carried away to the ends of the earth.
Venice loves silence,
But the guests who sleep in her palaces
Are aroused in the deeps of morning
By the splitting shriek of a siren.
It is a long unending wail;
It penetrates her solitutdes;
Its resonance startles the echoes
Along her winding water ways.
Venice loves silence,
But her evening skies are oft-times black;
Thunder rolls and reverberates;
Lightning flashes, zigzag and flaming,
It reveals black waters that dash and clamor
Against the platform at Lido’s café.
Brisk waiters whisk the cloths
From a myriad of tables.
They turn over chairs
And the rain comes pelting down
Like the patter of a multitude of shod feet.
The little steamer carries us carefully
Between the white posts of the Lagoon;
On each post a light is gleaming;
The rain falls easily,
As it always does in Venice.