I stood upon the topmost crag of rock-ribbed Tau
Which belts an inland sea. Adown the diamond slopes
The sunlight shattered, lavishing its golden sheaves
Of iris-colored spray o'er crystal rivulet
And veinéd ledge to where, 'mid battlements and towers,
Far-flung with onyx roof and dome, Atlantis sate.
I breathed the atmosphere a-throb with Orient musk,
And quaffed its perfume, sweet as any scented spice
That clouded Circe's halls. Saw cataracts of chrome,
And geysers spiral-like that whirled their hues to heaven.
I glimpsed gigantic temples glittering in the sun,
Whence swelled a choric sea of such rhapsodic song
As never yet did lilt from mortal lyre, and strains
Which, cleaving space, might float through cycles yet unsprung,
And mingle with the beat of seraphs' wings around
The Throne of God. I gazed upon the braided swards--
Rubescent they; far mounts of roses skyward rose
In one red orgy. There langorous poppies swayed
Wine-hearted, and the hyacinthine blooms aloft
Like luminous prisms spurted to the golden sun.
In twittering troops long companies of robins slid
Ecstatic through the sky; their pulsing breasts ablaze
With glowing down that shamed the orchid's amorous blush.
And e'en the glum, grim eagle, silent sentinel,
Looked down less dourly from his dominating perch
Upon the beauteous spot where Queen Atlantis lived.
* * * * *
The vision's gone--the inland sea yet stretches broad,
And laps and purls and curls where Helios once was praised
In vasty nave and corridor. There is a still
That untold ages breed; a mighty, solemn hush
Of angels sobbing for the People that is Dead.