In ages gone, a troglodyte,
At the hollow roots of a monster height, -
That grew from the heart of the world to light, -
I dwelt in caverns: over me
Were mountains older than the moon;
And forests vaster than the sea,
And gulfs, that the earthquake's hand had hewn,
Hung under me. And late and soon
I heard the dëmon of change that sighed
A cosmic language of mystery;
While life sat silent, primeval-eyed,
With the infant spirit of prophecy.

Gaunt stars glared down on the Titan peaks;
And the gaunter glare of the cratered streaks
Of the sunset's ruin heard condor shrieks.
The roar of cataracts hurled in air,
And the hurricane laying his thunders bare,
And rush of battling beasts, - whose lair
Was the antechamber of nadir-gloom, -
Were my outworld joys. But who shall tell
The awe of the depths that heard the boom
Of the iron rivers that fashioned Hell!