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But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch's high estate. (Ah, let us mourn !—for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him desolate !) And round about his home the glory
That blushed and bloomed, Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed.
And travellers, now, within that valley,
Through the red-litten windows see Vast forms, that move fantastically
To a discordant melody,
Through the pale door
And laugh—but smile no more.
THE CONQUEROR WORM.
Lo! 'tis a gala night
Within the lonesome latter years ! An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
In veils, and drowned in tears,
A play of hopes and fears,
The music of the spheres.
Mimes, in the form of God on high,
Mutter and mumble low, And hither and thither fly
Mere puppets they, who come and go ! At bidding of vast formless things
That shift the scenery to and fro, Flapping from out their Condor wings
That motley drama-oh, be sure
It shall not be forgot !
By a crowd that seize it not,
To the self-same spot,
And Horror the soul of the plot.
But see, amid the mimic rout
A crawling shape intrude!
The scenic solitude !
It writhes !-it writhes with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food,
In human gore imbued.
Out-out are the lights-out all !
And, over each quivering form, The curtain, a funeral pall,
Comes down with the rush of a storm. And the angels, all pallid and wan,
Uprising, unveiling, affirm
And its hero the Conqueror Worm.