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The City
By H. P. Lovecraft

     It was golden and splendid,
          That City of light;
     A vision suspended
          In deeps of the night;
A region of wonder and glory, whose temples were marble and white.

     I remember the season
          It dawn’d on my gaze;
     The mad time of unreason,
          The brain-numbing days
When Winter, white-sheeted and ghastly, stalks onward to torture and craze.

     More lovely than Zion
          It shone in the sky,
     When the beams of Orion
          Beclouded my eye,
Bringing sleep that was fill’d with dim mem’ries of moments obscure and gone by.

     Its mansions were stately
          With carvings made fair,
     Each rising sedately
          On terraces rare,
And the gardens were fragrant and bright with strange miracles blossoming there.

     The avenues lur’d me
          With vistas sublime;
     Tall arches assur’d me
          That once on a time
I had wander’d in rapture beneath them, and bask’d in the Halcyon clime.

     On the plazas were standing
          A sculptur’d array;
     Long-bearded, commanding,
          Grave men in their day—
But one stood dismantled and broken, its bearded face batter’d away.

     In that city effulgent
          No mortal I saw;
     But my fancy, indulgent
          To memory’s law,
Linger’d long on the forms in the plazas, and eyed their stone features with awe.

     I fann’d the faint ember
          That glow’d in my mind,
     And strove to remember
          The aeons behind;
To rove thro’ infinity freely, and visit the past unconfin’d.

     Then the horrible warning
          Upon my soul sped
     Like the ominous morning
          That rises in red,
And in panic I flew from the knowledge of terrors forgotten and dead.
  Return to “The City” This page last revised 20 October 2009.
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