The Aerial City

At daybreak there spread through the heavens
Pale clouds like a turreted town:
The cupolas golden, fantastic,
White roofs and white walls shining down.

This citadel is my white city,
My city familiar and dear,
Above the dark earth as it slumbers,
Upon the pink sky builded clear.

And all that aerial city
Sails northward, sails softly, sails high ;
And there on the height, some one beckons, –
But proffers no pinions to fly.

by Afanasy Fet
Translated by Babette Deutsch & Avrahm Yarmolinsky

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