A Vision of Zimiamvia

by Eric Rücker Eddison

I will have gold and silver for my delight:
Hangings of red silk, purfled and work’d in gold
With mantichores and what worse shapes of fright
Terror Antiquus spawn’d in the days of old.
I will have columns of Parian vein’d with gems,
Their capitals by Pheidias’ self design’d,
By his hand carv’d, for flowers with strong smooth stems,
Nepenthe, Elysian Amaranth, and their kind.

I will have night: and the taste of a field well fought,
And a golden bed made wide for luxury;
And there,– since else were all things else prov’d naught,–
Bestower and hallower of all things: I will have Thee.

–Thee, and hawthorn time. For in that new birth though all
Change, you I will have unchang’d: even that dress,
So fall’n to your hips as lapping waves should fall:
You, cloth’d upon with your beauty’s nakedness.

The line of your flank: so lily-pure and warm:
The globéd wonder of splendid breasts laid bare:
The gleam, like cymbals a-clash, when you lift your arm;
And the faun leaps out with the sweetness of red-gold hair.

My dear,– my tongue is broken: I cannot see:
A sudden subtle fire beneath my skin
Runs, and an inward thunder deafens me,
Drowning mine ears: I tremble. – O unpin

Those pins of anachite diamond, and unbraid
Those strings of margery-pearls, and so let fall
Your python tresses in their deep cascade
To be your misty robe imperial. –

The beating of wings, the gallop, the wild spate,
Die down. A hush resumes all Being, which you
Do with your starry presence consecrate,
And peace of moon-trod gardens and falling dew.

Two are our bodies: two are our minds, but wed.
On your dear shoulder, like a child asleep,
I let my shut lids press, while round my head
Your gracious hands their benediction keep.

Mistress of my delights; and Mistress of Peace:
O ever changing, never changing, You:
Dear pledge of our true love’s unending lease,
Since true to you means to mine own self true.–

I will have gold and jewels for my delight:
Hyacinth, ruby, and smaragd, and curtains work’d in gold
With mantichores and what worse shapes of fright
Terror Antiquus spawn’d in the days of old.

Earth I will have, and the deep sky’s ornament:
Lordship, and hardship, and peril by land and sea.–
And still, about cock-shut time, to pay for my banishment,
Safe in the lowe of the firelight I will have Thee.

“This is the heaven of the gods who sleep. All those that are not worshipped now are asleep.”

“Then does Time not kill the gods?”

“No. But for three or four thousand years a god is worshipped and for three or four he sleeps. Only Time is wakeful always.”

“But they that teach us of new gods, are they not new?”

“They hear the old ones stirring in their sleep being about to wake, because the dawn is breaking and the priests crow. These are the happy prophets: unhappy are they that hear some old god speak while he sleeps still being deep in slumber, and prophesy and prophesy and no dawn comes, they are those that men stone saying, ‘Prophesy where this stone shall hit you, and this.’”

“Then shall Time never slay the gods.”

“They shall die by the bedside of the last man.”

A Shop in Go-By Street, Lord Dunsany