by H. P. Lovecraft
[as by Ward Phillips], (pm) The United Amateur, January, 1918
     In the Midnight heaven's burning 
     Through the ethereal deeps afar 
     Once I watch'd with restless yearning 
     An alluring aureate star; 
     Ev'ry eve aloft returning 
     Gleaming nigh the Arctic Car*
     Mystic waves of beauty blended 
     With the gorgeous golden rays 
     Phantasies of bliss descended 
     In a myrrh'd Elysian haze. 
     In the lyre-born chords extended 
     Harmonies of Lydian lays. 

     And (thought I) lies scenes of pleasure, 
     Where the free and blessed dwell, 
     And each moment bears a treasure, 
     Freighted with the lotos-spell, 
     And there floats a liquid measure 
     From the lute of Israfel. 
     There (I told myself) were shining 
     Worlds of happiness unknown, 
     Peace and Innocence entwining 
     By the Crowned Virtue's throne; 
     Men of light, their thoughts refining 
     Purer, fairer, than my own. 

     Thus I mus'd when o'er the vision 
     Crept a red delirious change; 
     Hope dissolving to derision, 
     Beauty to distortion strange; 
     Hymnic chords in weird collision, 
     Spectral sights in endless range.... 
     Crimson burn'd the star of madness 
     As behind the beams I peer'd; 
     All was woe that seem'd but gladness 
     Ere my gaze with Truth was sear'd; 
     Cacodaemons, mir'd with madness, 
     Through the fever'd flick'ring leer'd.... 
     Now I know the fiendish fable 
     The the golden glitter bore; 
     Now I shun the spangled sable 
     That I watch'd and lov'd before; 
     But the horror, set and stable, 
     Haunts my soul forevermore! 

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