The shadowy Daughter of Urthona stood before red Orc,
When fourteen suns had faintly journey'd o'er
his dark abode:
His food she brought in iron baskets, his drink in cups of iron.
Crown'd with a helmet
and dark hair the nameless Female stood;
A quiver with its burning stores, a bow like that of night,
pestilence is shot from heaven -- no other arms she need!
Invulnerable tho' naked, save where clouds roll
round her loins
Their awful folds in the dark air: silent she stood as night;
For never from her iron tongue
could voice or sound arise,
But dumb till that dread day when Orc assay'd his fierce embrace.
`Dark Virgin,' said the hairy Youth, `thy father stern, abhorr'd,
Rivets my tenfold chains, while still on high
my spirit soars;
Sometimes an eagle screaming in the sky, sometimes a lion
Stalking upon the mountains,
and sometimes a whale, I lash
The raging fathomless abyss; anon a serpent folding
Around the pillars of
Urthona, and round thy dark limbs
On the Canadian wilds I fold; feeble my spirit folds;
For chain'd beneath
I rend these caverns: when thou bringest food
I howl my joy, and my red eyes seek to behold thy face --
vain! these clouds roll to and fro, and hide thee from my sight.
Silent as despairing love, and strong as jealousy,
The hairy shoulders rend the links; free are the wrists of
Round the terrific loins he seiz'd the panting, struggling womb;
It joy'd: she put aside her clouds and
smilèd her first-born smile,
As when a black cloud shows its lightnings to the silent deep.
Soon as she saw the Terrible Boy, then burst the virgin cry:--
`I know thee, I have found thee, and I will not let thee go:
Thou art the image of God who dwells in darkness
And thou art fall'n to give me life in regions of dark death.
On my American plains I feel the struggling afflictions
Endur'd by roots that writhe their arms into the
I see a Serpent in Canada who courts me to his love,
In Mexico an Eagle, and a Lion in
I see a Whale in the South Sea, drinking my soul away.
O what limb-rending pains I feel! thy fire
and my frost
Mingle in howling pains, in furrows by thy lightnings rent.
This is Eternal Death, and this the
torment long foretold!'
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