Nemesis

by H.P. Lovecraft.


Nemesis (1837), by Alfred Rethel.

Thro’ the ghoul-guarded gateways of slumber, Past the wan-moon’d abysses of night, I have liv’d o’er my lives without number, I have sounded all things with my sight; And I struggle and shriek ere the daybreak, being driven to madness with fright.

I have whirl’d with the earth at the dawning, When the sky was a vaporous flame; I have seen the dark universe yawning, Where the black planets roll without aim; Where they roll in their horror unheeded, without knowledge or lustre or name.

I had drifted o’er seas without ending, Under sinister grey-clouded skies That the many-fork’d lightning is rending, That resound with hysterical cries; With the moans of invisible daemons that out of the green waters rise.

I have plung’d like a deer thro’ the arches Of the hoary primordial grove, Where the oaks feel the presence that marches And stalks on where no spirit dares rove; And I flee from a thing that surrounds me, and leers thro’ dead branches above.

I have stumbled by cave-ridden mountains That rise barren and bleak from the plain, I have drunk of the fog-foetid fountains That ooze down to the marsh and the main; And in hot cursed tarns I have seen things I care not to gaze on again.

I have scann’d the vast ivy-clad palace, I have trod its untenanted hall, Where the moon writhing up from the valleys Shews the tapestried things on the wall; Strange figures discordantly woven, which I cannot endure to recall.

I have peer’d from the casement in wonder At the mouldering meadows around, At the many-roof’d village laid under The curse of a grave-girdled ground; And from rows of white urn-carven marble I listen intently for sound.

I have haunted the tombs of the ages, I have flown on the pinions of fear Where the smoke-belching Erebus rages, Where the jokulls loom snow-clad and drear: And in realms where the sun of the desert consumes what it never can cheer.

I was old when the Pharaohs first mounted The jewel-deck’d throne by the Nile; I was old in those epochs uncounted When I, and I only, was vile; And Man, yet untainted and happy, dwelt in bliss on the far Arctic isle.

Oh, great was the sin of my spirit, And great is the reach of its doom; Not the pity of Heaven can cheer it, Nor can respite be found in the tomb: Down the infinite aeons come beating the wings of unmerciful gloom.

Thro’ the ghoul-guarded gateways of slumber, Past the wan-moon’d abysses of night, I have liv’d o’er my lives without number, I have sounded all things with my sight; And I struggle and shriek ere the daybreak, being driven to madness with fright


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