The Buried City

My heart is like a city of the gay
   Reared on the ruins of a perished one
   Wherein my dead loves cower from the sun,
White-swathed like kings, the Pharaohs of a day.
Within the buried city stirs no sound,
   Save for the bat, forgetful of the rod,
   Perched on the knee of some deserted god,
And for the groan of rivers underground.

Stray not, my Love, 'mid the sarcophagi --
   Tempt not the silence, for the fates are deep,
Lest all the dreamers, deeming doomsday nigh,
   Leap forth in terror from their haunted sleep;
And like the peal of an accursed bell
Thy voice call ghosts of dead things back from hell.

by George Sylvester Viereck


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