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Absinthia Taetra

Green changed to white, emerald to opal;
Nothing was changed.
The man let the water trickle gently
Into his glass, and as the green clouded,
A mist fell from his mind.
Then he drank opaline.
Memories and terrors beset him.
The past tore after him like a panther and
Through the blackness of the present
He saw the luminous tiger eyes of the things
To be.
But he drank opaline.
And that obscure night of the soul,
And the valley of humiliation,
Through which he stumbled, were forgotten.
He saw blue vistas of undiscovered countries,
High prospects and a quiet, caressing sea.
The past shed its perfume over him,
To-day held his hand as if it were a little child,
And tomorrow shone like a white star:
Nothing was changed.
He drank opaline.
The man had known the obscure night of the soul,
And lay even now in the valley of humiliation;
And the tiger menace of the things
To be was red in the skies.
But for a little while he had forgotten.
Green changed to white, emerald to opal:
Nothing was changed.
(Written by Ernest Dowson.) This is one of the most beautiful poems I know. This page offers his other poems which also seem to be worth reading.


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