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Out of the poisonous East Over a continent o

Out of the poisonous East
Over a continent of blight
Like a maleficent Influence released
From the most squalid cellerage of hell
The Wind Fiend the abominable
The Hangman Wind that tortures temper and light
Comes slouching sullen and obscene
Hard on the skirts of the embittered night
And in a cloud unclean
Of excremental humours roused to strife
By the operation of some ruinous change
Wherever his evil mandate run and range
Into a dire intensity of life
A craftsman at his bench he settles down
To the grim job of throttling London Town.
So by a jealous lightlessness beset
That might have oppressed the dragons of old time
Crunching and groping in the abysmal slime
A cave of cut throat thoughts and villainous dreams
Hag rid and crying with cold and dirt and wet
The afflicted City. prone from mark to mark
In shameful occultation seems
A nightmare labryrinthine dim and drifting
With wavering gulfs and antic heights and shifting
Rent in the stuff of a material dark
Wherein the lamplight scattered and sick and pale
Shows like the leper""s living blotch of bale
Uncoiling monstrous into street on street
Paven with perils teeming with mischance
Where man and beast go blindfold and in dread
Working with oaths and threats and faltering feet
Somewhither in the hideousness ahead
Working through wicked airs and deadly dews
That make the laden robber grin askance
At the good places in his black romance
And the poor loitering harlot rather choose
Go pinched and pined to bed
Than lurk and shiver and curse her wretched way
From arch to arch scouting some threepenny prey.
Forgot his dawns and far flushed afterglows
His green garlands and windy eyots forgot
The old Father River flows
His watchfires cores of menace in the gloom
As he came oozing from the Pit and bore
Sunk in his filthily transfigured sides
Shoals of dishonoured dead to tumble and rot
In the squalor of the universal shore
His voices sounding through the gruesome air
As from the Ferry where the Boat of Doom
With her blaspheming cargo reels and rides
The while his children the brave ships
No more adventurous and fair
Nor tripping it light of heel as home bound brides
But infamously enchanted
Huddle together in the foul eclipse
Or feel their course by inches desperately
As through a tangle of alleys murder haunted
From sinister reach to reach out out to sea.
And Death the while
Death with his well worn lean professional smile
Death in his threadbare working trim
Comes to your bedside unannounced and bland
And with expert inevitable hand
Feels at your windpipe fingers you in the lung
Or flicks the clot well into the labouring heart
Thus signifying unto old and young
However hard of mouth or wild of whim
""Tis time ""tis time by his ancient watch to part
From books and women and talk and drink and art.
And you go humbly after him
To a mean suburban lodging on the way
To what or where
Not Death who is old and very wise can say
And you how should you care
So long as unreclaimed of hell
The Wind Fiend the insufferable
Thus vicious and thus patient sits him down
To the black job of burking London Town?.

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