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by H.P. Lovecraft


by H.P. Lovecraft and Alfred Galpin

It was in the pale garden of Zais;

The mist-shrouded gardens of Zais,

Where blossoms the white naphalot,

The redolent herald of midnight.

There slumber the still lakes of crystal,

And streamlets that flow without murm'ring;

Smooth streamlets from caverns of Kathos

Where broodth the calm spirits of twilight.

And over the lakes and the streamlets

Are bridges of pure alabaster,

White bridges all cunningly carven

With figures of fairies and daemons.

Here glimmer strange suns and strange planets,

And strange is the crescent Bnapis

That sets 'yond the ivy-grown ramparts

Where thicken the dusk of the evening.

Here fall the white vapours of Yabon;

And here in the swirl of vapours

I saw the divine Nathicana;

The garlanded, white Nathicana;

The slow-eyed, red-lipped Nathicana;

The silver-voiced, sweet Nathicana;

The pale-rob'd, belov'd Nathicana

And ever was she my beloved,

From ages when time was unfashioned

Now anything fashion'd but Yabon.

And here dwelt we ever and ever,

The innocent children of Zais,

At peace in the paths and the arbours,

White-crowned with the blest nephalote.

How oft would we float in the twilight

O'er flow'r-cover'd pastures and hillsides

All white with the lowly astalthon;

The lowly yet lovely astalthon,

And dream in a world made of dreaming

The dreams that are fairer than Aidenn;

Bright dreams that are truer than reason!

So dreamed and so lov'd we thro' ages,

Till came the cursed season of Dzannin;

The daemon-damn'd season of Dzannin;

When red shone the suns and the planets,

And red leamed the crescent Banapis,

And red fell the vapours of Yabon.

Then redden'd the blossoms and streamlets

And lakes that lay under the bridges,

And even the calm alabaster

glowed pink with uncanny reflections

Till all the carv'd fairies and daemons

Leer'd redly from the backgrounds of shadow.

Now redden'd my vision, and madly

I strove to peer thro' the dense curtain

And glimpsed the divine Nathicana;

The pure, ever-pale Nathicana;

The lov'd, the unchang'd Nathicana.

But vortex on vortex of madness

Beclouded my labouring vision;

My damnable, reddening vision

That built a new world for my seeing;

A new world of redness and darkness,

A horrible coma call'd living

So now in this coma call'd living

I view the bright phantons of beauty;

The false hollow phantoms of beauty

That cloak all the evils of Dzannin.

I view them with infinite longing,

So like do they seem to my lov'd one:

Yet foul for their eyes shines their evil;

Their cruel and pitiless evil,

More evil than Thaphron and Latgoz,

Twice ill fro its gorgeous concealment.

And only in slumbers of midnight

Appears the lost maid Nathicana,

The pallid, the pure Nathicana

Who fades at the glance of the dreamer.

Again and again do I seek her;

I woo with deep draughts of Plathotis,

Deep draughts brew'd in wine of Astarte

And strengthen'd with tears of long weeping.

I yearn for the gardens of Zais;

The lovely, lost garden of Zais

Where blossoms the white nephalot,

The redolent herald of midnight.

The last potent draught am I brewing;

A draught that the daemons delight in;

A draught that will banish the redness;

The horrible coma call'd living.

Soon, soon, if I fail not in brewing,

The redness and madness will vanish,

And deep in the worm-people'd darkness

Will rot the base chains that have bound me.

Once more shall the gardens of Zais

Dawn white on my long-tortur'd vision,

And there midst the vapours of Yabon

Will stand the divine Nathicana;

The deathless, restor'd Nathicana

Whose like is not met with in living.