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And half in hope, and half in fright,
At first all deadly shapes were driven
And as towards the east she turned,
The sky was blue as the summer sea,
There was no sight or sound of dread,
But that black Anchor floating still
The Lady grew sick with a weight of fear,
The sound as of a dim low clanging,
There was a mist in the sunless air,
Which shook as it were with an earthquake's
But the very weeds that blossomed there
Were moveless, and each mighty rock
But piled around, with summits hid
Stood many a mountain pyramid
Among whose everlasting walls Two mighty cities shone, and ever Through the red mist their domes did quiver.
On two dread mountains, from whose crest,
Those tower-encircled cities stood.
And columns framed of marble white,
With workmanship, which could not come
From touch of mortal instrument,
But still the Lady heard that clang
As half in joy, and half aghast,
Sudden, from out that city sprung
A light that made the earth grow red; Two flames that each with quivering tongue Licked its high domes, and overhead Among those mighty towers and fanes Dropped fire, as a volcano rains Its sulphurous ruin on the plains.
And hark! a rush as if the deep
Had burst its bonds; she looked be
And saw over the western steep
And now those raging billows came
Where that fair Lady sate, and she Was borne towards the showering flame
By the wild waves heaped tumultuously, And on a little plank, the flow
Of the whirlpool bore her to and fro.
The flames were fiercely vomited
O'er that vast flood's suspended foam, Beneath the smoke which hung its night On the stained cope of heaven's light.