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THE CITY IN THE SEA. Lo! Death has reared himself a throne In a strange city lying alone Far down within the dim West, Where the good and the bad and the worst
and the best
to their eternal rest.
rays from the holy heaven come down On the long night-time of that town; But light from out the lurid sea Streams up the turrets silentlyGleams up the pinnacles far and freeUp domes-up spires—up kingly hallsUp fanes-up Babylon-like wallsUp shadowy long-forgotten bowers Of sculptured ivy and stone flowersUp many and many a marvellous shrine Whose wreathèd friezes intertwine The viol, the violet, and the vine. Resignedly beneath the sky The melancholy waters lie. So blend the turrets and shadows there That all seem pendulous in air, While from a proud tower in the town Death looks gigantically down.
There open fanes and gaping graves
For no ripples curl, alas !
Fair isle that from the fairest of all flowers
Thy gentlest of all gentle names dost take, How many memories of what radiant hours
At sight of thee and thine at once awake! How many scenes of what departed bliss!
How many thoughts of what entombed hopes! How inany visions of a maiden that is
No more—no more upon thy verdant slopes! No more! alas, that magical sad sound
Transforming all! Thy charms shall please no moreThy memory no more! Accursèd ground
Henceforth I hold thy flower-enamelled shore,
DREAMLAND. By a route obscure and lonely, Haunted by ill angels only, Where an Eidolon named Night On a black throne reigns upright, I have reached these lands but newly From an ultimate dim ThuleFrom a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime,
Out of Space-out of Time.
Bottomless vales and boundless floods,
By the lakes that thus outspread
Where dwell the Ghouls,
White-robed forms of friends long given
By a route obscure and lonely,
Whose heart-strings are a lute;
Of his voice, all mute.
In her highest noon,
The enamoured moon
1 And the angel Israfel, whose heart-strings are a lute, and who has the sweetest voice of all God's creatures. —KORAN,
While, to listen, the red levin-
And they say (the starry choir
And the other listening things)
By which he sits and sings--
Of those unusual strings.
But the skies that angel trod;
Where deep thoughts are a dutyWhere Love's a grown-up God
Where the Houri glances are Imbued with all the beauty
Which we worship in a star.
Therefore thou art not wrong,
Israfeli, who despisest An unimpassioned song; To thee the laurels belong,
Best bard, because the wisest! Merrily live, and long!
The ecstasies above
With thy burning measures suitThy grief, thy joy, thy hate, thy love,
With the fervour of thy lute-
Yes, Heaven is thine; but this
Is a world of sweets and sours;
Our flowers are merely flowers, And the shadow of thy perfect bliss
Is the sunshine of ours.