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By H. P. Lovecraft

In a vale of light and laughter,
     Shining ’neath the friendly sun,
Where fulfilment follow’d after
     Ev’ry hope or dream begun;
Where an Aidenn gay and glorious,
     Beckon’d down the winsome way;
There my soul, o’er pain victorious,
     Laugh’d and lingered—yesterday.

Green and narrow was my valley,
     Temper’d with a verdant shade;
Sun-deck’d brooklets musically
     Sparkled thro’ each glorious glade;
And at night the stars serenely
     Glow’d betwixt the boughs o’erhead,
While Astarte, calm and queenly,
     Floods of fairy radiance shed.

There amid the tinted bowers,
     Raptur’d with the opiate spell
Of the grasses, ferns, and flowers,
     Poppy, phlox and pimpernel,
Long I lay, entranc’d and dreaming,
     Pleas’d with Nature’s bounteous store,
Till I mark’d the shaded gleaming
     Of the sky, and yearn’d for more.

Eagerly the branches tearing,
     Clear’d I all the space above,
Till the bolder gaze, high faring,
     Scann’d the naked skies of Jove;
Deeps unguess’d now shone before me,
     Splendid beam’d the solar car;
Wings of fervid fancy bore me
     Out beyond the farthest star.

Reaching, gasping, wishing, longing
     For the pageant brought to sight,
Vain I watch’d the gold orbs thronging
     Round celestial poles of light.
Madly on a moonbeam ladder
     Heav’n’s abyss I sought to scale,
Ever wiser, ever sadder,
     As the fruitless task would fail.

Then, with futile striving sated,
     Veer’d my soul to earth again,
Well content that I was fated
     For a fair, yet low domain;
Pleasing thoughts of glad tomorrows,
     Like the blissful moments past,
Lull’d to rest my transient sorrows,
     Still’d my godless greed at last.

But my downward glance, returning,
     Shrank in fright from what it spy’d;
Slopes in hideous torment burning,
     Terror in the brooklet’s tide:
For the dell, of shade denuded
     By my desecrating hand,
’Neath the bare sky blaz’d and brooded
     As a lost, accursed land.
  Return to “Revelation” This page last revised 20 October 2009.
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