A Dream of the Abyss

Clark Ashton Smith

I seemed at the sheer end:
Albeit mine eyes, in mystery and night
Shrouded as with the close deep caul of death,
Or as if underneath Lethean lentors drowned,
Saw never lamp nor star nor dead star's wraith of light
Yet seemed I at the world's sheer end;
And fearfully and slowly I drew breath
From silent gulfs of all uncertainty and dread,
Precipitate to nadir from around;
Nor trusted I on any side to tread
One pace, lest I should overstep the brink,
And infinitely and forever sink
Past eye-shot of the Cyclopean sun
When from the bulwark of the world, adown oblivion,
He on the morrow should stare after me.

Swift from infinity,
The enormous Fear that lives between the stars
Clutched with the cold great darkness at my heart;
Then from the gulf arose a whispering,
And rustle as of silence on the wing
To stay and stand
Anear at my right hand:
What powers abysmal, born of the blind air,
What nameless demons of the nether deep
That 'scape the sun and from the moonlight live apart,
Came and conspired against me there,
I heard not, ere the whispering
Ceased, and a heavier darkness seemed to spring
Upon me, and I felt the silence leap
And clasp me closer, and the sweep
Of ah the abyss reach up and drag
Body and feet from the crumbling uttermost crag
To the emptiness unknown;
Nor knew I, plunging through those nadir firmaments,
If Azrael or Abbadon bore me thence,
Or if I fell alone.

Printed from: www.eldritchdark.com/writings/poetry/146
Printed on: November 22, 2017