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Untouched by crimson or by gold,
Its pure and fleeting marble rose
Beyond the wall of eastern snows--
Ethereal, Pentelic, cold.


Its fragile towers were high and thin,
Symbol of beauty passionless,
Of all inviolate loveliness;
And not of earth the pearl therein--


The pearl too precious to endure,
Seen where the heavens' ghostly shell
Holds in its vast and sapphire cell
A nacre infinitely pure.


So the marmorean glory bleak
Spoke of the snows of Beauty's home;
Then that blue sea withdrew its foam,
And we that witnessed could not speak.