Another night dawns.
The Moon rises, the Day dies,
Bleeding purple darkness into the sky.
I drown in that sorrowful sea,
And all my loves borrow something
From my Self–yet all such self-love
Is but pride, and vanity, and doubt.
Maybe the sun still shines in the East,
But in this Western world, the lonely City’s streets
Lead, inexorably, not to Rome,
But to waste, disgrace, and defeat;
The City no longer remembers Truth,
And Money is now the medium of Exchange;
What occidental hope of denuded Christian brotherhood
Can keep us from being estranged?
If hope there is yet to be found, while the world remains,
It lies in the sounding songs of chants composed
In the house of Holy Wisdom, under the golden domes
Of lost Byzantium;
There the chanting monks pictures on parchments draw
Proving that Being’s great chain
Is just another western delusion.
Standing at the door of the west
Looking at my despised portion
I watch the sun set below a profound horizon
And pray to find again what we all have lost:
In the gate of Saint Sophia, amid patriarchs and popes,
I saw the Emperor sitting, and the smoke of earthly hopes
went up to him as incense, and the tapers shone around
as prayers before the Emperor, sitting aureoled and crowned.