Long, long I walked the corridors,
A circling, wordless enemy;
Niched statues gazed at my rogue course,
And pierced my soul with enmity.
In sullen sleep all things grew dumb,
And grey obscure its strangeness kept;
As if an evil pendulum
Were measure of my lonely step.
And there where deeper gloom arose,
My burning eyes went cold with fear:
A figure, hardly seen but close,
In crowding columns’ shade appeared.
To it I went, but then withdrew,
A beast in horrified escape:
A vile hyena’s head did spew
Upon a girl’s soft comely shape.
Its snout leered forth in bloody blade,
Its eyes evinced an empty cast,
'Twas then I heard base whispers fade:
"Here have you come, all mine at last!"
And fearful moments passed in dread,
And darkness swam around my bones,
And countless mirrors rose instead
In palest horror’s deadly moans.