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The Valley Nis

1. The Valley Nis

Far away — far away — 

Far away — as far at least 

Lies that valley as the day 

Down within the golden east — 

All things lovely — are not they 

Far away — far away? 


It is called the valley Nis. 

And a Syriac tale there is  

Thereabout which Time hath said 

Shall not be interpreted. 

Something about Satan’s dart — 

Something about angel wings — 

Much about a broken heart — 

All about unhappy things: 

But “the valley Nis” at best 

Means “the valley of unrest.” 


Once it smiled a silent dell 

Where the people did not dwell, 

Having gone unto the wars — 

And the sly mysterious stars, 

With a visage full of meaning, 

O’er the unguarded flowers were leaning: 

Or the sun ray dripp’d all red 

Thro’ the tulips overhead, 

Then grew paler as it fell 

On the quiet Asphodel. 


Now the unhappy shall confess 

Nothing there is motionless: 

Helen, like thy human eye 

There th’ uneasy violets lie — 

There the reedy grass doth wave 

Over the old forgotten grave — 

One by one from the tree top 

There the eternal dews do drop — 

There the vague and dreamy trees 

Do roll like seas in northern breeze 

Around the stormy Hebrides — 

There the gorgeous clouds do fly, 

Rustling everlastingly, 

Through the terror-stricken sky, 

Rolling like a waterfall 

O’er th’ horizon’s fiery wall — 

There the moon doth shine by night  

With a most unsteady light — 

There the sun doth reel by day 

 “Over the hills and far away.” 


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