Lo! It is a gala night
Within the latter years!
An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
In veils, and drowned in tears,
Sit in a theatre, to see
A play of hopes and fears,
While the orchestra breathes roughly
The music of the spheres
Mimes, in the form of God on high,
Mutter and mumble low,
And hither, oh and thither fly —
Mere puppets they, who come and go
At bidding of vast formless things
That shift the scenery to-fro,
Flapping from out their Condor wings
Invisible, Oh Woe!
That motley drama! — oh, be sure
It shall not be forgot!
With its Phantom chased for ever more,
By a crowd seize it not
Salve Deus Magnus Vermis!
Devoratrix nostrum cordis!
Nos quaerere nam permis
Ut sint servitori vobis!
Through a circle that ever returneth
Into the self-same spot,
And much of Madness, and more of Sin
And Horror the soul of plot
But see, amid the mimic rout,
A crawling shape intrude!
A blood-red thing that writhes from out
The scenic solitude!
It writhes!—it writhes!—with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food,
And angels sob at vermin fangs
In human gore imbued
Nos - filii ex libero
Et numquid universali,
Quid facere quod anima
Regendisque ex stellis,
Gloria terrena dulcis
Vermis-victum dedit nos
Gloria amore fetus luce et tenebris, oh!
Worm in fiery crown
Rules this world of light
Kiss His knees and vow
Glorify His might!
Out are the lights — out all!
And o'er each quivering form,
The curtain, a funeral pall,
Comes down with the rush of a storm!
And the angels, all pallid and wan,
Uprising, unveiling, affirm
That the play is the tragedy "Man",
And its hero the Conqueror Worm
And the demons, all ruby and fanned
They abandon, condemn, disaffirm
That their play is the comedy "Man"
And its king is the Conqueror Worm!
all rights reserved