Saturday, September 10, 2005

Or, a Vision in a Dream. A Fragment.


In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Sounds like the Second Level to me.

6 comments:

eatmisery said...

Coleridge was very fucked up on, I believe, opium when he wrote that. And it's become one of his greatest works, as indecipherable as it is.

Thanks for the well wishes, Rae Ann. I was very happy to be able to share it with you.

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

I am with you, but I did enjoy it. Eatmisery seems to decribe it very well. (smiling) The art is great!

Thanks again for reading my posts and commenting. Tell everyone hello. Take care...hoping you are having a great weekend.

Rae Ann said...

em, I hope you are feeling well! I've never tried opium. I don't think I need to.

suzie, thanks for checking in on me. I'm getting ready to go to a doc that I found open on Sunday. Damned urinary tract infections.

Kevin said...

Having tried opium, it's really amazing that he wrote anything on it.

Good stuff is probably harder. I wrote love songs about my shoes that used vacuum and an adjective and stone as a verb.

Rae Ann said...

kevin, I'd love to hear those songs!

DHammett said...

Rae Ann -

Have you heard a song called "Welcome to the Pleasure Dome" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood? I haven't researched the lyrics, but the tone, at least, is taken from this poem.