Babel (Howard)

Now in the gloom the pulsing drums repeat,
   And all the night is filled with evil sound;
I hear the throbbing on inhuman feet
   On marble stairs that silence locks around.

I see black temples loom against the night,
   With tentacles like serpents writhed afar,
And waving in a dusky dragon light
   Great moths whose wings unholy tapers char.
Red memory on memory, tier on tier,
   Builds up a tower, time and space to span;
Through world on world I rise, and sphere on sphere,
To star-shot gulfs of lunacy and fear—
   Black screaming ages never dreamed by man.

Was this your plan, foul spawn of cosmic mire,
To freeze my soul to stone and icy fire,
To carve me in the moon that all mankind
May know its race is futile, weak and blind—
A horror-blasted statue in the sky,
      That does not live and nevermore can die?

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was legally published within the United States (or the United Nations Headquarters in New York subject to Section 7 of the United States Headquarters Agreement) before 1964, and copyright was not renewed.

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The author died in 1936, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

Works published in 1935 would have had to renew their copyright in either 1962 or 1963, i.e. at least 27 years after it was first published / registered but not later than in the 28th year. As it was not renewed, it entered the public domain on .