Letter to Clark Ashton Smith

From H. P. Lovecraft

March 22, 1929

Dear C A S:—

I was exceedingly glad to receive yours of the 10th, with the sheaf of delectable poetry enclosed. There isn't one which failed to charm me—Lichens & Cumuli being perhaps the most magical from the standpoint of my imagination. Your never-ending genius & fertility are both marvellous & enviable. I can't write except when blessed with reposeful leisure—haven't produced a thing since The Dunwich Horror. By the way—that tale has just earned me a highly interesting letter from a curious old lady in Boston, a direct lineal descendant of the Salem witch Mary Easty, who was hanged on Gallows Hill Aug. 19, 1692. She hints at strange gifts & traditions handed down in her family, & asks me if I have access to any antient secret witch-lore of New England. Also, she wants to know if Dunwich & Arkham are real places! I shall answer the letter, & see if I can get the good old soul to relate some of the whispered witch-traditions! A story of Salem horror based on actual "inside dope" from a witch-blooded crone would surely be a striking novelty!

* * * * * * *

I envy you the springtime which has visited your region so much sooner than it visits New England. We are still viewing brown earth, matted leaves, & bare boughs, though for the past week & a half it has been astonishingly mild for the season. The other day I took the first woodland outing of the season; carrying my reading & writing along as I do in summer, & spending the afternoon atop the great lakeside rock in the Quinsnicket region—a favourite haunt of mine. There were still patches of snow on the shady slopes, & the ice of the ponds was still unmelted; but brooks were running genially & noisily, & a haze of awakening lay upon all the hills & upland meadows. There is a curious magic in a New England spring even before the visual scene takes on beauty. It always makes me regret my lack of poetic powers.

With every good wish,
Yr most obt hble Servt
H P L

Selected Letters (Arkham House) 350

Printed from: www.eldritchdark.com/writings/correspondence/120
Printed on: November 19, 2017