Pont du Carrousel – Rainer Maria Rilke (translated by Robert Bly)

That blind man, standing on the bridge, as gray
as some abandoned empire’s boundary stone,
perhaps he is the one thing that never shifts,
around which the stars move in their hours,
and the motionless hub of the constellations.
For the city drifts and rushes and struts around him.

He is the just man, the immovable
set down here in many tangled streets;
the dark opening to the underworld
among a superficial generation.

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Paris – Willa Cather

Behind the arch of glory sets the day;
The river lies in curves of silver light,
The Fields Elysian glitter in a spray
Of golden dust; the gilded dome is bright,
The towers of Notre Dame cut clean and gray
The evening sky, and pale from left to right
A hundred bridges leap from either quay.
Pillared with pride, the city of delight
Sits like an empress by her silver Seine,
Heavy with jewels, all her splendid dower
Flashing upon her, won from shore and main
By shock of combat, sacked from town and tower.
Wherever men have builded hall or fane
Red war hath gleaned for her and men have slain
To deck her loveliness. I feel again
That joy which brings her art to faultless flower,
That passion of her kings, who, reign on reign,
Arrayed her star by star with pride and power.