A golden place—whose portals shine So far across Life's dead-flat level, That they have drawn this heart of mine To question if the tale be true That says—'Here rest shall come to you'— Or whether leasing of the Devil. Bring me my horse for far away— Across our Life's most dreary level The golden city lies, they say— That city of eternal ease, With firmly-founded palaces Strong fenced against each earthly devil A mile beyond our city wall— But one scant mile along the level I wandered, and at even fall Returned, for I had gotten grace To dwell forever in that place Which is not scaled of any devil. 'And what good lay beyond the wall? What profit in the outer levels? Why wander wide at evenfall Seeing that none of us ere went A furlong from the Battlement But found thy country full of devils That rend and tear us limb from limb That roam in droves along the levels When first the daylight draweth dim Perplexing us in heart and mind, No certain rest a man may find Who wanders out among these devils How got you grace to dwell therein? How came you scatheless o'er the levels? Is there a city, we may win Builded of gold such as they say, If only we shall dare to stray Alone, among the shadowy devils?' Nay 'twas a little place indeed— A little place along the levels— But large enough to serve my need And built so firmly, it will last Until our city's life be past Our town and its besieging devils Its walls are sweeter far to see Than my dream city's in the levels Two weak white arms that cling to me A pure mouth with a bridge of red Two eyes that struck a light heart dead And drew it from the lewd loose devils. Two dark grey eyes that have more light Than lurid meteors on the levels— And they have kept my soul aright This was the golden place I found Thus am I strong through being bound Stronger than all the restless devils And if another man may win A golden city in the levels— And if he wish to dwell therein It must be that he go alone— Into the desert: which is grown A habitation for all Devils— A dwelling place of lust & sin— And there take harness—fight or fall A furlong from our city wall— For so it was—I crossed the levels.