The Swamp Angel
There is a coal-black Angel
With a thick Afric lip,
And he dwells (like the hunted and harried)
In a swamp where the green frogs dip.
But his face is against a City
Which is over a bay of the sea,
And he breathes with a breath that is
And dooms by a far decree.
By night there is fear in the City,
Through the darkness a star soareth on;
There's a scream that screams up to the zenith,
Then the poise of a meteor lone--
Lighting far the pale fright of the faces,
And downward the coming is seen;
Then the rush, and the burst, and the havoc,
And wails and shrieks between.
It comes like the thief in the gloaming;
It comes, and none may foretell
The place of the coming--the glaring;
They live in a sleepless spell
That wizens, and withers, and whitens;
It ages the young, and the bloom
Of the maiden is ashes of roses--
The Swamp Angel broods in his gloom.
Swift is his messengers' going,
But slowly he saps their halls,
As if by delay deluding.
They move from their crumbling walls
Farther and farther away;
But the Angel sends after and after,
By night with the flame of his ray--
By night with the voice of his screaming--
Sends after them, stone by stone,
And farther walls fall, farther portals,
And weed follows weed through the Town.
Is this the proud City? the scorner
Which never would yield the ground?
Which mocked at the coal-black Angel?
The cup of despair goes round.
Vainly he calls upon Michael
(The white man's seraph was he,)
For Michael has fled from his tower
To the Angel over the sea.
Who weeps for the woeful City
Let him weep for our guilty kind;
Who joys at her wild despairing--
Christ, the Forgiver, convert his mind.
Herman Melville's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The Swamp Angel by Herman Melville )
- 오피뷰 위원회, FA신청 강남오피, 일산오피 공시…최정 외 ＯＰＧＡＮＤＡ.., cioxbhg cioxbhg
- Rain Dance, Justin Reamer
- My Daughter The Daughter of Maya, Bijay Kant Dubey
- The Bar, Justin Reamer
- Dancing on Needle Pins, Nika McGuin
- The Mind Itself, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- young night & love air, Vasco M. Resendes
- To A Child Of Fancy, Sir Lewis Morris
- Gilbert Beckett And The Fair Saracen, Sir Lewis Morris
- Your Mind is a Little, Clandestine Pastel, Maxwell Bodenheim
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Harlem [Dream Deferred], Langston Hughes
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
- There Will Come Soft Rains, Sara Teasdale
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)