The light of suns unseen, through depths of sea descending,
Within her street awakes the ghost of noon
To bide its little hour and die unheeded, blending
Into her night that knows nor stars nor moon.
The hurrying feet of storms that trample o'er the surges
Arouse no echo in these silent deeps;
No thunder thrills her peace, no sword of lightning scourges
The dim, dead calm where lost Atlantis sleeps.
Long leagues above her courts the stately days advancing
Kindle new dawns and see new sunsets dim;
And, white and weary-eyed, the old stars, backward glancing,
Reluctant pause upon the ocean's rim.
But she, of dawns and dusks forgotten and forgetful,
Broods in her depths with slumber-weighted eyes;
For all her splendid past unanxious, unregretful,
She waits the call that bids her wake and rise.
No mortal voice she hears. The strong young ships, full-freighted,
With hopes of men, with women's sighs and tears,
Above her blue-black walls and portals golden-gated
Sweep on unnoted through the speeding years--
Until at last they come, as still in silence resting
She keeps her vigil underneath the waves,
By tempests tossed and torn, and weary of their questing,
Slow sliding downward past her to their graves.
So side by side they lie in ever gaining number,
The sunken ships, by fate or fortune led
To this, their final port, resistless sent to slumber
Until the sea shall render up her dead--
Shall render up her dead to all their olden glories,
Shall render up what now so well she keeps,
The buried lives and loves, the strange, unfinished stories
Of these dim depths where lost Atlantis sleeps!