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Astrophobos

By H.P. Lovecraft

In the midnight heavens burning
 Thro' ethereal deeps afar,
Once I watch'd with restless yearning
 An alluring, aureate star;
Ev'ry eye aloft returning,
 Gleaming nigh the Arctic car.

Mystic waves of beauty blended
 With the gorgeous golden rays;
Phantasies of bliss descended
 In a myrrh'd Elysian haze;
And in lyre-born chords extended
 Harmonies of Lydian lays.

There (thought I) he scenes of pleasure,
 Where the free and blessed dwell,
And each moment bears a treasure
 Freighted with a lotus-spell,
And there floats a liquid measure
 From the lute of Israfel.

There (I told myself) were shining
 Worlds of happiness unknown,
Peace and Innocence entwining
 By the Crowned Virtue's throne;
Men of light, their thoughts refining
 Purer, fairer, than our own.

Thus I mus'd, when o'er the vision
 Crept a red delirious change;
Hope dissolving to derision,
 Beauty to distortion strange;
Hymnic chords in weird collision,
 Spectral sights in endless range.

Crimson burn'd the star of sadness
 As behind the beams I peer'd;
All was woe that seem'd but gladness
 Ere my gaze with truth was sear'd;
Cacodaemons, mir'd with madness,
 Thro' the fever'd flick'ring leer'd.

Now I know the fiendish fable
 That the golden glitter bore;
Now I shun the spangled sable
 That I watch'd and lov'd before;
But the horror, set and stable,
 Haunts my soul for evermore.