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Poem by Rose Terry Cooke


With eager steps I go
Across the valleys low,
Where in deep brakes the writhing serpents hiss.
Above, below, around,
I hear the dreadful sound
Of thy calm breath, eternal Nemesis!
Over the mountains high,
Where silent snow-drifts lie,
And greet the red morn with a pallid kiss,
There, in the awful night,
I see the solemn light
Of thy clear eyes, avenging Nemesis!
Far down in lonely caves,
Dark as the empty graves
That wait our dead hopes and our perished bliss,
Though to their depths I flee,
Still do my fixed eyes see
Thy pendant sword, unchanging Nemesis!
Inevitable fate!
Still must thy phantoms wait.
And mock my shadow like its fearful twin?
Is there no final rest
In this doom-haunted breast?
Does thy terrific patience wait therein?
"Aye! wander as thou wilt,
The blood thy hand hath spilt
Stamps on thy brow its black, eternal sign;
Thyself thou canst not flee.
Writhe in thine agony!
Suffer! despair! thou art condemned--and mine." 

Rose Terry Cooke

Rose Terry Cooke's other poems:
  1. Trailing Arbutus
  2. Exogenesis
  3. Fastrada's Ring
  4. The Iconoclast
  5. Samson Agonistes

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Lewis Morris Nemesis ("WHO, without fear")
  • Ralph Emerson Nemesis ("ALREADY blushes in thy cheek")
  • Aubrey De Vere Nemesis ("I DREAMED. Great bells around me pealed")

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