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Earth has not any thing to show more fair:

Dull would he be of soul who could pass by

A sight so touching in its majesty:

This City now doth, like a garment, wear

The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,

Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie

Open unto the fields, and to the sky;

All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.

Never did sun more beautifully steep

In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;

Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!

The river glideth at his own sweet will:

Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;

And all that mighty heart is lying still!

Word-notes

  • majesty: Grandeur or dignity, especially of impressive beauty or scale.
  • garment: A piece of clothing; here, used metaphorically to describe how the city seems to wear the beauty of the morning like clothing.
  • dull: Lacking interest or excitement; here, used to describe someone who lacks appreciation for the beauty described.
  • domes: Rounded roof or ceiling, typically forming a vaulted ceiling over a circular space.
  • glittering: Shining with a bright, shimmering light.
  • splendour: Magnificent and splendid appearance or display; grandeur.
  • calm: Peaceful and tranquil; free from disturbance or turmoil.
  • glideth: An archaic form of “glides,” meaning to move smoothly and effortlessly.
  • mighty: Possessing great strength or power; here, used to describe the city’s significant influence or importance.
  • lying still: Remaining quiet or motionless; not moving or active.
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