"The City In The Sea/Shadow"
album _The Raven_
(Lou Reed, 2003)

written by Lou Reed

        Death has reared himself a throne

        In a strange city

        Death has reared himself a throne
        In a strange city
        Their shrines and palaces are not like ours
        They do not tremble and rot
        Eaten with time

        Death has reared himself a throne

        Lifted by forgotten winds
        Resignedly beneath the sky
        The melancholy waters lie
        A crown of stars

        In a strange city

        A heaven God does not condemn
        But the everlasting shadow
        Makes mockery of it all

        No holy rays come down
        Lights from the lurid deep sea
        stream up the turrets silently
        Up thrones, up arbors
        Of sculpted ivy and stone flowers
        Up domes, up spires
        Kingly halls all are melancholy shrines
        The columns, frieze and entablature
        Chokingly shockingly intertwined
        The mast, the viol, and the vine

        There amid no earthly moans
        Hell rises from a thousand thrones
        Does reverence to death
        And death does give his undivided time

        There are open temples and graves
        on a level with the waves
        Death looms and looks
        There is a ripple
        now a wave
        Towers thrown aside
        Sinking in the dull tide
        The waves glowing redder
        The very hours losing their breath

        Oh, the cunning stars
        watching fitfully over night after night of
        matchless wretched sleep
        matched only with the horror of the dream unfolding
        The tell-tale beating of the heart
        the suffocating breath
        The desire, the pose
        one poses upon the precipice
        to fall to run to dive to tumble to fall down
        down into the spiral down and then

        One sees one's own death
        one sees one committing murder or atrocious violent acts
        and then a cursed shadow
        not of man or God
        but the shadow resting upon the brazen doorway

        There were seven of us there
        who saw the shadow as it came out from among the draperies
        But we did not dare behold it
        We looked down into the depths of the mirror of ebony
        And the apparition spoke
        "I am a shadow
        and I dwell in the catacombs
        which border
        the country of illusion
        hard by the dim plains of wishing"

        And then did we start shuddering
        starting from our seats
        for the tones in the voice of the shadow
        were not the tones of any one man
        but of a multitude of beings
        and varying in their cadences
        from syllable to syllable
        fell duskily upon our ears in the well-remembered
        and familiar accents of a thousand departed friends

transcribed by Shiroh KOUCHI (wildside@mx21.tiki.ne.jp)