In the night, in solitude, tears, On the white shore dripping, dripping, suck’d in by the sand, Tears, not a star shining, all dark and desolate, Moist tears from the eyes of a muffled head; O who is that ghost? that form in the dark, with tears?
5 Dead poets, philosophs, priests, Martyrs, artists, inventors, governments long since, Language-shapers on other shores, Nations once powerful, now reduced, withdrawn, or desolate, I dare not proceed till I respectfully credit what you have left wafted hither, I have perused it, own it is admirable, (moving awhile among it,) Think nothing can ever be greater, nothing can ever deserve more than it deserves, Regarding it all intently a long while, then dismissing it, I stand in my place…
For not the envoys nor the tann’d Japanee from his island only, Lithe and silent the Hindoo appears, the Asiatic continent itself appears, the past, the dead, The murky night-morning of wonder and fable inscrutable, The envelop’d mysteries, the old and unknown hive-bees, The north, the sweltering south, eastern Assyria, the Hebrews, the ancient of ancients, Vast desolated cities, the gliding present, all of these and more are in the pageant-procession.
(Ah soul, the sobs of women, the wounded groaning in agony, The hiss and crackle of flames, the blacken’d ruins, the embers of cities, The dirge and desolation of mankind.