‘The Venice of the North.

Bright sunshine over everything—1
Catching and gilding with its magic touch2
The burnished domes and spires3
Of this fair city of a northern clime,4
Where countless waterways reflect5
Man’s stony, strange devices of a bygone time,6
When Nature revelled in her loneliness as queen7
Upon the gray, grim rocks which girt blue Maelar’s deep ;8
Whilst all around—o’er forest and holm9
A soft, blue summer haze did hide10
The whole bright world below,11
In one enchanting sleep.12
That age is past—13
That dim, that magic time of yore,14
When Vikings brave and free—15
Fit children of the Asgard heroes old16
Held sway o’er this calm Venice of the North17
As Odin’s kingdom, undisputed, bold.18
Their reign is past, and that of him—19
The blue-eyed David of the North*—20
Who bare his country’s wrongs, the tyrant’s yoke, awhile ;21
Then, in an instant—as yon summer sun22
Blazed out—dispersing fierily the foe,23
With one stern warning : ‘ Forth ! ’24
All has not fled :25
Nature still holds her regal sway unchecked26
E’en to the city doors,†27
Where Lake and Sea do meet at last,28
And stately ships, with flags of liberty,29
Majestically float forth, as in the days long past.30
The silver wave still laps the shore31
Of many a moss-grown berg and pine-clad hill,32
Girding the city in on every side,33
Which tint with thousand shades the mirror’d blue beneath,34
Proclaiming, by the warble of their birds,35
Stockholm is Nature’s still !36
† The locks, to the south of the city, dividing lake and sea.