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Nemesis
By H. P. Lovecraft

------=-O-=------
      Thro’ the ghoul-guarded gateways of slumber,
            Past the wan-moon’d abysses of night,
      I have liv’d o’er my lives without number,
            I have sounded all things with my sight;
And I struggle and shriek ere the daybreak, being driven to madness with fright.

      I have whirl’d with the earth at the dawning,
            When the sky was a vaporous flame;
      I have seen the dark universe yawning,
            Where the black planets roll without aim;
Where they roll in their horror unheeded, without knowledge or lustre or name.

      I had drifted o’er seas without ending,
            Under sinister grey-clouded skies
      That the many-fork’d lightning is rending,
            That resound with hysterical cries;
With the moans of invisible daemons that out of the green waters rise.

      I have plung’d like a deer thro’ the arches
            Of the hoary primoridal grove,
      Where the oaks feel the presence that marches
            And stalks on where no spirit dares rove;
And I flee from a thing that surrounds me, and leers thro’ dead branches above.

      I have stumbled by cave-ridden mountains
            That rise barren and bleak from the plain,
      I have drunk of the fog-foetid fountains
            That ooze down to the marsh and the main;
And in hot cursed tarns I have seen things I care not to gaze on again.

      I have scann’d the vast ivy-clad palace,
            I have trod its untenanted hall,
      Where the moon writhing up from the valleys
            Shews the tapestried things on the wall;
Strange figures discordantly woven, which I cannot endure to recall.

      I have peer’d from the casement in wonder
            At the mouldering meadows around,
      At the many-roof’d village laid under
            The curse of a grave-girdled ground;
And from rows of white urn-carven marble I listen intently for sound.

      I have haunted the tombs of the ages,
            I have flown on the pinions of fear
      Where the smoke-belching Erebus rages,
            Where the jokulls loom snow-clad and drear:
And in realms where the sun of the desert consumes what it never can cheer.

      I was old when the Pharaohs first mounted
            The jewel-deck’d throne by the Nile;
      I was old in those epochs uncounted
            When I, and I only, was vile;
And Man, yet untainted and happy, dwelt in bliss on the far Arctic isle.

      Oh, great was the sin of my spirit,
            And great is the reach of its doom;
      Not the pity of Heaven can cheer it,
            Nor can respite be found in the tomb:
Down the infinite aeons come beating the wings of unmerciful gloom.

      Thro’ the ghoul-guarded gateways of slumber,
            Past the wan-moon’d abysses of night,
      I have liv’d o’er my lives without number,
            I have sounded all things with my sight;
And I struggle and shriek ere the daybreak, being driven to madness with fright.
 
 
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Page Last Revised 20 October 2009
URL: http://hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/poetry/p121.aspx
 
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