Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came, and went and came, and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread 

Of this desolation; and all hearts 
Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires - and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings, the huts, 
The habitations of all things which dwell, 
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consumed,
 
And men were gathered round their blazing homes 
To look once more into each other's face; 
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye 
Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch: 
A fearful hope was all the world contain'd; 
Forest were set on fire but hour by hour 
They fell and faded and the crackling trunks 
Extinguish'd with a crash and all was black. 

The brows of men by the despairing light 
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits 
The flashes fell upon them; some lay down 
And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smiled;

And others hurried to and fro, and fed 
Their funeral piles with fuel, and looked up 
With mad disquietude on the dull sky, 
The pall of a past world; and then again 
With curses cast them down upon the dust, 
And gnash'd their teeth and howl'd: the wild birds shriek'd,
And, terrified, did flutter on the ground, 

And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
Came tame and tremolous; and vipers crawl'd 
And twined themselves among the multitude, 
Hissing, but stingless, they were slain for food:
And War, which for a moment was no more, 
Did glut himself again; a meal was bought 
With blood, and each sate sullenly apart 
Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left; 

All earth was but one thought and that was death,
Immediate and inglorious; and the pang 
Of famine fed upon all entrails men 
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
The meagre by the meagre were devoured, 
Even dogs assail'd their masters, all save one,
And he was faithful to a corpse, and kept 
The birds and beasts and famish'd men at bay, 

Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead 
Lured their lank jaws; himself sought out no food,
But with a piteous and perpetual moan 
And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand 
Which answered not with a caress, he died. 
The crowd was famish'd by degrees; but two 
Of an enormous city did survive, And they were enemies; 
They met beside 

The dying embers of an altar-place
Where had been heap'd a mass of holy things 
For an unholy usage; they raked up, 
And shivering scraped with their cold skeleton hands 
The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath 

f you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream and not make dreams your master;
If you can think and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream and not make dreams your master;
If you can think and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"