James Clarence Mangan

(1 May 1803 - 20 June 1849 / Dublin)

Shapes And Signs - Poem by James Clarence Mangan

I SEE black dragons mount the sky,
I see earth yawn beneath my feet -
I feel within the asp, the worm
That will not sleep and cannot die,
Fair though may show the winding-sheet!
I hear all night as through a storm
Hoarse voices calling, calling
My name upon the wind-
All omens monstrous and appalling
Affright my guilty mind.

I exult alone in one wild hour -
That hour in which the red cup drowns
The memories it anon renews
In ghastlier guise, in fiercer power -
Then Fancy brings me golden crowns,
And visions of all brilliant hues
Lap my lost soul in gladness,
Until I awake again,
And the dark lava-fires of madness
Once more sweep through my brain.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

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