Art of Preserving Health, The - Part 3

What next I saw ill can I tell,
And ill can understand;
But yet I know that once I went
Through that magic land.

It was a waste of jagged rock
(Nor beast nor shrub was nigh),
Whereon a glittering palace lay
Like ruins of the sky.

I crept within; I stood within
Far down the toppling ledge
Scaffolds of wood in order stood
From edge to shuddering edge.

And spiders wove and silence lay
On each deserted wall.
Like a wild stream from beam to beam
I fell through that great hall.

Fell, till the last beam held me fast!
And, swift as spouted light,
I sprang—each beam like air did seem—
To the bewildered height.

In clanging words, in shattering words,
Through all my body ran:
“I leave the blind abyss behind,
I battle up to man!”

But soon the roof with final seal
Lay full upon my head.
I beat my face like a blunted mace
Against it, beat and bled;
The torrent dyed shoulder and side,
Like a fierce fury, red.

And the dumb stone did cry and groan,
Slow turned, and made a way!
The sky leapt up, the stars showered out,
Moveless the planets lay.
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