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A Dream of Tophet?

From the New York Tribune, December 3, 1912

 I had a dream. It was not all a dream.
     Methought I wandered in some dreadful land
     Where deep crevasses yawned on either hand,
 Belching forth clouds of hot, malodorous steam.
 O’er craggy piles of stone my path now lay,
     Oft forming barriers high above my head,
     ‘Mid smoky fires that burnt a lurid red,
 And pools of slimy mud that barred my way.
 The heavy air was filled with sulfurous stench;
     My nostrils spurned it, as I drew my breath,
     My heart turned faint, and I was sick to death.
 Such awesome smells might make the boldest blench!
 Where lies the land with horrors thus replete;
     Which gaping pits and piles of granite grace?
     Can you not answer? Lo, New York’s the place;
 I did not dream—I wandered down the street!

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