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But that black Anchor floating still
Over the piny eastern hill.
The Lady grew sick with a weight of fear,
And veiled her eyes; she then did hear
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
On two dread mountains, from whose crest,
Those tower-encircled cities stood.
A vision strange such towers to see,
And columns framed of marble white,
From touch of mortal instrument,
Shot o'er the vales, or lustre lent
But still the Lady heard that clang
And still the mist whose light did hang
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
And now those raging billows came
Of the whirlpool bore her to and fro.
The flames were fiercely vomited
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;
Through the domes of those mighty palaces.
The eddy whirled her round and round