The magic car no longer moved;
The Daemon and the Spirit 230
Entered the eternal gates.
Those clouds of aery gold
That slept in glittering billows
Beneath the azure canopy,
With the ethereal footsteps trembled not; 235
While slight and odorous mists
Floated to strains of thrilling melody
Through the vast columns and the pearly shrines.
The Daemon and the Spirit
Approached the overhanging battlement, 240
Below lay stretched the boundless universe!
There, far as the remotest line
That limits swift imagination’s flight.
Unending orbs mingled in mazy motion,
Immutably fulfilling 245
Eternal Nature’s law.
Above, below, around,
The circling systems formed
A wilderness of harmony.
Each with undeviating aim 250
In eloquent silence through the depths of space
Pursued its wondrous way.—
Awhile the Spirit paused in ecstasy.
Yet soon she saw, as the vast spheres swept by,
Strange things within their belted orbs appear. 255
Like animated frenzies, dimly moved
Shadows, and skeletons, and fiendly shapes,
Thronging round human graves, and o’er the dead
Sculpturing records for each memory
In verse, such as malignant gods pronounce, 260
Blasting the hopes of men, when heaven and hell
Confounded burst in ruin o’er the world:
And they did build vast trophies, instruments
Of murder, human bones, barbaric gold,
Skins torn from living men, and towers of skulls 265
With sightless holes gazing on blinder heaven,
Mitres, and crowns, and brazen chariots stained
With blood, and scrolls of mystic wickedness,
The sanguine codes of venerable crime.
The likeness of a throned king came by. 270
When these had passed, bearing upon his brow
A threefold crown; his countenance was calm.
His eye severe and cold; but his right hand
Was charged with bloody coin, and he did gnaw
By fits, with secret smiles, a human heart 275
Concealed beneath his robe; and motley shapes,
A multitudinous throng, around him knelt.
With bosoms bare, and bowed heads, and false looks
Of true submission, as the sphere rolled by.
Brooking no eye to witness their foul shame, 280
Which human hearts must feel, while human tongues
Tremble to speak, they did rage horribly,
Breathing in self-contempt fierce blasphemies
Against the Daemon of the World, and high
Hurling their armed hands where the pure Spirit, 285
Serene and inaccessibly secure,
Stood on an isolated pinnacle.
The flood of ages combating below,
The depth of the unbounded universe
Above, and all around 290
Necessity’s unchanging harmony.