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 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 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.