Ye boundless vaults of heaven without an end, __Thy silvery fields of azure stars unfold Above the earth, and verdurous spruces bend __Toward the western halls of mellow gold; There, through their branches, amber rays illume __The resting place of an old gothic tower ____That once stood firmly rooted ‘gainst the gale __In distant, ancient times; now in the bower, ____The firs and pines enshroud its walls: the vale Now makes this grove a silent, desolate tomb. ‘Twas in some forlorn time when knights assailed __High-wallèd battlements of massy stone That this cathedral, in its prime, prevailed, __Was not entombed with verdure overgrown; Those old, forgotten times — where have they sped? __Those knights, with mail bright-gleaming in the sun, ____Their ivory coursers storming o’er the field __‘Midst fanfares of the horns, would proudly run ____Toward a certain death, would never yield A single step, from battle never fled. These ancient times are lost, remembered not, __And so that old cathedral, once so grand, Sits in the vale entombed within that spot __Of darkened, doleful spruce; across the land, The twilight’s glow descends in auburn beams __Which cast a rosy color o’er the face ____Of that worn structure: there, the gloaming light __In sanguine tones ignites the stone with grace, ____And though these colors quickly fade, the night Makes increase with the moon’s ethereal streams. But hark! There floats a sound within these walls, __A scintillating tone that softly creeps Throughout the vale, and echoes through the halls __Of that high-vaulted nave; the moonlight seeps In through the clerestory, and soon the rose __Is filled with bright, celestial beams: the rays ____Increase in sheen, and their intensity __Grows purer than the sun in watery bays ____Upon the noon. That airy melody Now fills the aisles, and upwards swiftly flows. Oh, how I knew these tones so well in times __Long past — they were the haunting sounds which swept My soul unto those gleaming heights, where rhymes __Are not obscured by mortal taint; I wept With gracious joy when on those heights I flew __In peace, and heard the singing of those spheres ____Magnificent in all their splendour. There, __I felt the warmth and Love Divine which steers ____The heart to contemplate that vision fair, That image whom through ecstasy I knew. Now heaven breathes! Across the altar pours __A purest light, a light of whitest sheen Not glimpsed on earth since ancient times; light soars __Up to the highest peaks: I have not seen Such glory e’er! O purest bliss of Art, __Thy calls now bid me fly. Awakening force! ____Speak now the answer of thy mysteries! __The heart can toil no more, must know the source ____Of all high universal light — aye, seize The flaming soul, and from the earth depart! She shines! That vision of my dreams returns! __O sacred one, O source of man’s relief, Direct my soul to thine — how much it yearns __To be within thy sweet embrace! All grief Now dissipates, for in thy radiant eyes __I see that heavenly land where light doth win, ____Where thrives the eternal spirit of all life. __My soul is set aflame, and deep within ____My aching breast, I feel Love’s tide surge rife With Joy — all sense is drowned as I arise. At last, my Love! My high, eternal star! __I find your sweet embrace again, and though I wandered from your path, your Love afar __Hath kissed my burning soul, and zephyrs blow My erring spirit toward that land I miss __On cool and tranquil nights; here, high above ____The plains, the seas, and sky, no more I roam __'Low melancholy's shade: Immortal Love, ____I have returned at last — that distant home Is here within Love's high empyreal Bliss. William Krusch is a first-year English major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; he hails from Greensboro, North Carolina.