A pale Dream came to a Lady fair,
And said, A boon, a boon, I pray!
I know the secrets of the air,
And things are lost in the glare of day,
Which I can make the sleeping see, 5
If they will put their trust in me.
And thou shalt know of things unknown,
If thou wilt let me rest between
The veiny lids, whose fringe is thrown
Over thine eyes so dark and sheen: 10
And half in hope, and half in fright,
The Lady closed her eyes so bright.
At first all deadly shapes were driven
Tumultuously across her sleep,
And o’er the vast cope of bending heaven 15
All ghastly-visaged clouds did sweep;
And the Lady ever looked to spy
If the golden sun shone forth on high.
And as towards the east she turned,
She saw aloft in the morning air, 20
Which now with hues of sunrise burned,
A great black Anchor rising there;
And wherever the Lady turned her eyes,
It hung before her in the skies.
The sky was blue as the summer sea, 25
The depths were cloudless overhead,
The air was calm as it could be,
There was no sight or sound of dread,
But that black Anchor floating still
Over the piny eastern hill. 30
The Lady grew sick with a weight of fear
To see that Anchor ever hanging,
And veiled her eyes; she then did hear
The sound as of a dim low clanging,
And looked abroad if she might know 35
Was it aught else, or but the flow
Of the blood in her own veins, to and fro.
There was a mist in the sunless air,
Which shook as it were with an earthquake’s shock,
But the very weeds that blossomed there 40
Were moveless, and each mighty rock
Stood on its basis steadfastly;
The Anchor was seen no more on high.
But piled around, with summits hid
In lines of cloud at intervals, 45
Stood many a mountain pyramid
Among whose everlasting walls
Two mighty cities shone, and ever
Through the red mist their domes did quiver.
On two dread mountains, from whose crest, 50
Might seem, the eagle, for her brood,
Would ne’er have hung her dizzy nest,
Those tower-encircled cities stood.
A vision strange such towers to see,
Sculptured and wrought so gorgeously, 55
Where human art could never be.