Howard Phillips Lovecraft Poems >>
The City

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 filled 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,                             
 rave men in their day—                             
But one stood dismantled and broken, its bearded face battered 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   
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.