Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A GEOLOGICAL NIGHTMARE, by PATRICK MACGILL

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A GEOLOGICAL NIGHTMARE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The lurid volcanoes were guarding the pole
Last Line: Where they wait them the dragon and ichthyosaur!
Subject(s): Death; Dinosaurs; Fossils; Geology; Nature; Volcanoes; Dead, The

THE lurid volcanoes were guarding the pole,
The sinister flames reached the Northern star —
I wandered through ages untold with my soul
And the grim fellowship of the plesiosaur,
In the regions of felspar and red syenite,
Where the mammoth was romping in furious glee,
Where the ichthyosaur chased the slim belemnite,
Through the lava-tinged waves of a Triassic sea.

On the clubmoss I saw the wild dinosaur feed,
From the primeval tree swung the anthropoid ape,
Through the network of fern and cyad and reed
Crashed the long brontosaur of the cumbersome shape;
The grim armadillo that wallowed in slime,
The lizard and serpent that flew in the air,
Looked weird in that eerie pre-adamite time
'Neath the luminous sun or the stellary bear.

But where are they gone to, the mammoth and auk?
The dodo and dragon — say, where are they gone?
In the Triassic beds and the Eocene chalk
They have fallen asleep and are slumbering on.
The knight of the sickle has numbered their days,
And Nature embalmed them in shells and in stones,
And we their descendants in boundless amaze,
Discuss them, or pore on their fossilized bones.

Thus we even pass from the gentian dome,
And follow the trail of the monsters that saw
The heaven of stars that ne'er glimmered on Rome,
Adown to the vale of ineffable awe —
We go with the pallor of fear on our face,
They went from the fight with the bloodstain and scar,
And the man and the maiden must rest in the place
Where they wait them the dragon and ichthyosaur!

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