Lord Byron – Darkness Lyrics

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I had a dream, which was not all a dream
The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came and went--and came, and brought no day
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation; and all hearts
Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires--and the thrones
The palaces of crowned kings--the huts
The habitations of all things which dwell
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consum'd
And men were gather'd round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other's face;
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye
Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch:
A fearful hope was all the world contain'd;
Forests were set on fire--but hour by hour
They fell and faded--and the crackling trunks
Extinguish'd with a crash--and all was black

The brows of men by the despairing light
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
The flashes fell upon them; some lay down
And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smil'd;
And others hurried to and fro, and fed
Their funeral piles with fuel, and look'd up
With mad disquietude on the dull sky
The pall of a past world; and then again
With curses cast them down upon the dust
And gnash'd their teeth and howl'd: the wild birds shriek'd
And, terrified, did flutter on the ground
And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl'd
And twin'd themselves among the multitude
Hissing, but stingless--they were slain for food
And War, which for a moment was no more
Did glut himself again: a meal was bought
With blood, and each sate sullenly apart
Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left;
All earth was but one thought--and that was death

Immediate and inglorious; and the pang
Of famine fed upon all entrails--men
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
The meagre by the meagre were devour'd
Even dogs assail'd their masters, all save one
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept
The birds and beasts and famish'd men at bay
Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead
Lur'd their lank jaws; himself sought out no food
But with a piteous and perpetual moan
And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand
Which answer'd not with a caress--he died

The crowd was famish'd by degrees; but two
Of an enormous city did survive
And they were enemies: they met beside
The dying embers of an altar-place
Where had been heap'd a mass of holy things
For an unholy usage; they rak'd up
And shivering scrap'd with their cold skeleton hands
The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath
Blew for a little life, and made a flame
Which was a mockery; then they lifted up
Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld
Each other's aspects--saw, and shriek'd, and died--
Even of their mutual hideousness they died
Unknowing who he was upon whose brow
Famine had written Fiend.
The world was void
The populous and the powerful was a lump
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless--
A lump of death--a chaos of hard clay
The rivers, lakes and ocean all stood still
And nothing stirr'd within their silent depths;
Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea
And their masts fell down piecemeal: as they dropp'd
They slept on the abyss without a surge--
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave
The moon, their mistress, had expir'd before;
The winds were wither'd in the stagnant air
And the clouds perish'd; Darkness had no need
Of aid from them--She was the Universe

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