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Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Birds of Passage

FATA MORGANA

O sweet illusions of Song,
  That tempt me everywhere,
In the lonely fields, and the throng
  Of the crowded thoroughfare!

I approach, and ye vanish away,
  I grasp you, and ye are gone;
But ever by nigh an day,
  The melody soundeth on.

As the weary traveller sees
  In desert or prairie vast,
Blue lakes, overhung with trees,
  That a pleasant shadow cast;

Fair towns with turrets high,
  And shining roofs of gold,
That vanish as he draws nigh,
  Like mists together rolled,--

So I wander and wander along,
  And forever before me gleams
The shining city of song,
  In the beautiful land of dreams.

But when I would enter the gate
  Of that golden atmosphere,
It is gone, and I wander and wait
  For the vision to reappear.