I had a dream, which was not all a dream:
The bright sun was extinguished, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless and pathless, and the icy Earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air!
Morn came, and went, and came - and brought no day.
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation; and all hearts
Were chilled into a selfish prayer for light.
And they did live by watchfires - and the thrones,
The palaces of crownéd kings, the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons. Cities were consumed,
And men were gathered round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other's face.
Happy were those which dwelt within the eye
Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch!
A fearful hope was all the World contained -
Forests were set on fire, but hour by hour
They fell and faded, and the crackling trunks
Extinguished with a crash, and all was black.