The Swoon

By George Sterling

Upon me (as on Siddim's lethal plain
    And on the cities of accurst desire
    Came in its panoply of clinging fire
From Heaven's arsenal the mordant rain)
Fell Anguish. From that ministry in vain
    Respite I sought: implacable that ire:
    The torment deepened, lingering and dire,
Till God had numbered all the nerves of pain.

The mercy of her unremembered face
    Oblivion turned upon me. At her sight,
Down gulfs beyond imagining to trace,
    The realm of self sank in portentous flight;
The Spirit faltered in her secret place;
    And lo! Pain's war rolled on another night!

Bibliography Entry