Nicholas Michell

We pass dark Patmos with its convent bells;
Sweet from the echoing rocks that music swells,
Yet faint and dying oft, as breezes sweep;
Sure some young Nereid sighs along the deep;
Or from yon cave where he, the rapt one, lay,
While on his spirit burst eternal day,
Celestial harpings steal o'er Ocean's breast,
Angelic forms still haunting place so blest.
Yet Patmos, not when heaven smiles calm and bright,
Its wild and holy shore should meet our sight,
But when with sable wing black midnight broods
O'er hollow vales, and mountain solitudes,
And grave-like stillness rests on flower and tree,
And spectral shadows fall across the sea, —
Then might we think the awful form of him,
The dreaming prophet, walks those mountains dim,
Leans on yon rocks with deep far-glancing eye,
Scanning the gulf of dread futurity;
Or when the storm's strong spirit mounts his car,
And his loud thunder-trumpet peals afar,
And like bright swords unsheathing, or the glare
Of demon eyes, fierce lightnings fill the air.

Main Location:

Patmos, Greece