The Masque of the Red Death

Valentine Wolfe
Valentine Wolfe


There are chords in the heart of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion. 

Seven rooms full of color 
Prisms of light fall on the revelers 
Outside the corridor a brazier of fire 
Projects its rays through the tinted glass 

Gigantic clock made of ebony 
Pendulum swings to and fro 
When the hour is to be struck 
The revelers stop in their paces 

To and fro in the chambers 
Stalked a multitude of dreams 
And these dreams writhed about 
Taking their hue from the rooms 

There was much of the beautiful 
Much of the wanton 
Much of the bizarre 
Something of the terrible 
And not just a little of that which might have excited disgust 
And not just a little of that which might have excited disgust 

One last chamber, the black chamber 
With panes of scarlet, a deep blood color 

Spectral image tall and gaunt 
Shrouded as the grave 
Mask conceals a stiffened corpse 
Vesture shrouded in blood 

The Red Death had come 
Like a thief in the night 
And one by one the revellers dropped 
And died in the posture of the fall 
The ebony clock went out with the last 
And the flames of the tripod expired 
And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death 
Held dominion over all


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