In the greenest of our valleys
By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace--
Radiant palace--raised its head.
In the monarch Thought's dominion
It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
Over fabric half so fair!
Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow
(This--all this--was in the olden
Time long ago),
And every gentle air that dallied
In that sweet day,
Upon the ramparts plumed and pallid,
A winged odor went away.
Wanderers in that happy valley,
Through two luminous windows, saw
Spirits moving musically
To a lute's well-timed law.
Round about a throne where, sitting,
In state his glory well befitting,
The ruler of the realm was seen.
And all with pearl and ruby glowing
Was the fair palace-door,
Through which came, flowing, flowing, flowing,
And sparkling everymore,
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty
Was but to sing
In voices of surpassing beauty
The wit and wisdom of their king.
But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch's high estate.
(Ah, let us mourn--for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him desolate!)
And round about his house of glory
That blushed and bloomed
Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed.
And travelers, now, within that valley
Through the red-litten windows see
Vast forms that move fantastically
To a discordant melody,
While, like a ghastly, rapid river,
Through the pale door
A hideous throng rush out forever
And laugh--but smile no more.