In the greenest of our valleys By good angels tenanted, Once a fair and stately palace — Radiant palace — reared its head. In the monarch Thought's dominion — It stood there! Never seraph spread a pinion Over fabric half so fair! Banners yellow, glorious, golden, On its roof did float and flow, (This — all this — was in the olden Time long ago,) And every gentle air that dallied, In that sweet day, Along the ramparts plumed and pallid, A winged odor went away. Wanderers in that happy valley, Through two luminous windows, saw Spirits moving musically, To a lute's well-tuned law, Round about a throne where, sitting (Porphyrogene!) In state his glory well-befitting, The ruler of the realm was seen. And all with pearl and ruby glowing Was the fair palace door, Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing, And sparkling evermore, A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty Was but to sing, In voices of surpassing beauty, The wit and wisdom of their king. But evil things, in robes of sorrow, Assailed the monarch's high estate. (Ah, let us mourn! — for never morrow Shall dawn upon him desolate!) And round about his home the glory That blushed and bloomed, Is but a dim-remembered story Of the old time entombed. And travellers, now, within that valley, Through the red-litten windows see Vast forms, that move fantastically To a discordant melody, While, like a ghastly rapid river, Through the pale door A hideous throng rush out forever And laugh — but smile no more.
This poem is in the public domain.