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Frans_Jozef
Friday, December 24th, 2004, 04:41 PM
Darkness


Lord Byron


I had a dream, which was not all a dream,
The bright sun was extinguish`d, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless; and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air
Morn came and went - and came, and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation: and all hearts
Were chill`d into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires - and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings - the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consumed,
And men were gathered round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other`s face
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye
Of the volcanoes, and their mountain - torch:
A fearful hope was all the world contained;
Forests were set on fire - but hour by hour
They fell and faded - and the crackling trunks
Extinguish`d with a crash - and all was black.
The brows of men by the despairing light
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
The flashes fell upon them; some lay down
And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
Their chins upon their clenched hands and smiled;
And others hurried to and fro, and fed
Their funeral piles with fuel, and look`d up
With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
The pall of a past world; and then again
With curses cast them down upon the dust,
And gnash`d their teeth and howl`d: the wild birds shriek`d, And, terrified, did flutter on the ground.
And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl`d
And twined themselves among the multitude,
Hissing, but stingless - they were slain for food:
And War, which for a moment was no more,
Did glut himself again: - a meal was bought
With blood, and each sate sullenly apart
Gorging himself in gloom; no love was left;
All earth was but one thought - and that was death
Immediate and inglorious; and the pang
Of famine fed upon all entrails - men
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
The meagre by the meagre were devour`d,
Even dogs assail`d their masters, all save one,
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept
The birds and beasts and famish`d men at bay,
Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead
Lured their lank jaws; himself sought out no food,
But with a piteous and perpetual moan,
And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand
Which answer`d not with a caress - he died.
The crowd was famish`d by degrees; but two
Of an enormous city did survive,
And they were enemies; they met beside
The dying embers of an altar - place,
Where had been heap`d a mass of holy things
For an unholy usage; they raked up,
And shivering scraped with their cold skeleton hands
The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath
Blew for a little life, and made a flame
Which was a mockery; then they lifted up
Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld
Each other`s aspects - saw and shriek`d, and died -
Ev`n of their mutual hideousness they died,
Unknowing who he was upon whose brow
Famine had written Fiend. The world was void,
The populous, and the powerful was a lump,
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless,
A lump of death - a chaos of hard clay.
The rivers, lakes, and ocean all stood still,
And nothing stirr`d within their silent depths;
Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea,
And their masts fell down piecemeal; as they dropp`d,
They slept on the abyss without a surge -
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
The Moon, their mistress, had expired before;
The winds were wither`d in the stagnant air,
And the clouds perish`d; Darkness had no need
Of aid from them - She was the Universe!

FAREWELL

By Lord Byron


Farewell ! if ever fondest prayer

For other's weal availed on high,

Mine will not all be lost in air,

But waft thy name beyond the sky,

'Twere vain to speak, to weep, to sigh:

Oh ! more than tears of blood can tell,

When wrung from guilt's expiring eye,

Are in that word --- Farewell ! --- Farewell !


These lips are mute, these eyes are dry;

But in my breast, and in my brain,

Awake the pangs that pass not by,

The thought that ne'er shall sleep again.

My soul nor deigns nor dares complain,

Though grief and passion there rebel;

I only know we loved in vain ---

I only feel --- Farewell ! --- Farewell !

The Destruction of Sennacherib

by Lord George Gordon Byron http://www.netpoets.com/img/bk.gif

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.


Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.


For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!


And there lay the steed with his nostrils all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride:
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.


And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail;
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.


And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!