Imatges de pÓgina

But that black Anchor floating still

Over the piny eastern hill.


The Lady grew sick with a weight of fear,
To see that Anchor ever hanging,

And veiled her eyes; she then did hear
The sound as of a dim low clanging,
And looked abroad if she might know
Was it aught else, or but the flow

Of the blood in her own veins, to and fro.


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

Stood on its basis steadfastly;

The Anchor was seen no more on high.


But piled around, with summits hid

In lines of cloud at intervals,

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,
Might seem, the eagle, for her brood,
Would ne'er have hung her dizzy nest,

Those tower-encircled cities stood.

A vision strange such towers to see,
Sculptured and wrought so gorgeously,
Where human art could never be.


And columns framed of marble white,
And giant fanes, dome over dome
Piled, and triumphant gates, all bright
With workmanship, which could not come

From touch of mortal instrument,

Shot o'er the vales, or lustre lent
From its own shapes magnificent.


But still the Lady heard that clang
Filling the wide air far away;

And still the mist whose light did hang
Among the mountains shook alway,
So that the Lady's heart beat fast,
As half in joy, and half aghast,

On those high domes her look she cast.


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

A raging flood descend, and wind Through that wide vale; she felt no fear, But said within herself, 'Tis clear

These towers are Nature's own, and she
To save them has sent forth the sea.


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
From every tower and every dome,

And dreary light did widely shed

O'er that vast flood's suspended foam, Beneath the smoke which hung its night On the stained cope of heaven's light.


The plank whereon that Lady sate

Was driven through the chasms, about and


Between the peaks so desolate

Of the drowning mountains, in and out, As the thistle-beard on a whirlwind sails While the flood was filling those hollow vales.


At last her plank an eddy crost,

And bore her to the city's wall,

Which now the flood had reached almost;
It might the stoutest heart appal
To hear the fire roar and hiss

Through the domes of those mighty palaces.


The eddy whirled her round and round
Before a gorgeous gate, which stood
Piercing the clouds of smoke which bound
Its aëry arch with light like blood;

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