The sole true Something--This ! In Limbo Den It frightens Ghosts as Ghosts here frighten men-- For skimming in the wake it mock'd the care Of the old Boat-God for his Farthing Fare ; Tho' Irus' Ghost itself he ne'er frown'd blacker on, The skin and skin-pent Druggist crost the Acheron, Styx, and with Puriphlegethon Cocytus,-- (The very names, methinks, might thither fright us--) Unchang'd it cross'd--& shall some fated Hour Be pulveris'd by Demogorgon's power And given as poison to annilate Souls-- Even now It shrinks them ! they shrink in as Moles (Nature's mute Monks, live Mandrakes of the ground) Creep back from Light--then listen for its Sound ;-- See but to dread, and dread they know not why-- The natural Alien of their negative Eye.
'Tis a strange place, this Limbo !--not a Place, Yet name it so ;--where Time & weary Space Fettered from flight, with night-mair sense of fleeing, Strive for their last crepuscular half-being ;-- Lank Space, and scytheless Time with branny hands Barren and soundless as the measuring sands, Not mark'd by flit of Shades,--unmeaning they As Moonlight on the dial of the day ! But that is lovely--looks like Human Time,-- An Old Man with a steady Look sublime, That stops his earthly Task to watch the skies ; But he is blind--a Statue hath such Eyes ;-- Yet having moon-ward turn'd his face by chance, Gazes the orb with moon-like countenance, With scant white hairs, with foretop bald & high, He gazes still,--his eyeless Face all Eye ;-- As 'twere an organ full of silent Sight, His whole Face seemeth to rejoice in Light ! Lip touching lip, all moveless, bust and limb, He seems to gaze at that which seems to gaze on him ! No such sweet sights doth Limbo Den immure, Wall'd round, and made a Spirit-jail secure, By the mere Horror of blank Naught-at-all, Whose circumambience doth these Ghosts enthral. A lurid thought is growthless, dull Privation, Yet that is but a Purgatory curse ; Hell knows a fear far worse, A fear--a future fate.--'Tis positive Negation !