A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

Written Of Colossal Cave, Kentucky

Aisles and abysses; leagues no man explores,
Of rock that labyrinths and night that drips;
Where everlasting silence broods, with lips
Of adamant, o'er earthquake-builded floors.
Where forms, such as the Demon-World adores,
Laborious water carves; whence echo slips
Wild-tongued o'er pools where petrifaction strips
Her breasts of crystal from which crystal pours.
Here where primordial fear, the Gorgon, sits
Staring all life to stone in ghastly mirth,
I seem to tread, with awe no tongue can tell,
Beneath vast domes, by torrent-tortured pits,
'Mid wrecks terrific of the ruined Earth,
An ancient causeway of forgotten Hell.

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