The Haunted Palace

In the greenest of our valleys
        By good angels tenanted,
      Once a fair and stately palace—
        Radiant palace—reared 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,
      Along 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-tuned 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 evermore,
      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 home the glory
        That blushed and bloomed,
      Is but a dim-remembered story
        Of the old time entombed.
      And travellers, 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.
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