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 Thule— From a wild clime that lieth, sublime, Out of SPACE— out of TIME. Bottomless vales and boundless floods, And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods, With forms that no man can discover For the tears that drip all over; Mountains toppling evermore Into seas without a shore; Seas that restlessly aspire, Surging, unto skies of fire; Lakes that endlessly outspread Their lone waters— lone and dead,— Their still waters— still and chilly With the snows of the lolling lily. By the lakes that thus outspread Their lone waters, lone and dead,— Their sad waters, sad and chilly With the snows of the lolling lily,— By the mountains— near the river Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever,— By the grey woods,— by the swamp Where the toad and the newt encamp— By the dismal tarns and pools Where dwell the Ghouls,— By each spot the most unholy— In each nook most melancholy— There the traveller meets aghast Sheeted Memories of the Past— Shrouded forms that start and sigh As they pass the wanderer by— White—robed forms of friends long given, In agony, to the Earth— and Heaven. For the heart whose woes are legion 'Tis a peaceful, soothing region— For the spirit that walks in shadow 'Tis— oh, 'tis an Eldorado! But the traveller, travelling through it, May not— dare not openly view it! Never its mysteries are exposed To the weak human eye unclosed; So wills its King, who hath forbid The uplifting of the fringed lid; And thus the sad Soul that here passes Beholds it but through darkened glasses. By a route obscure and lonely, Haunted by ill angels only, Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT, On a black throne reigns upright, I have wandered home but newly From this ultimate dim Thule.
This poem is in the public domain.