Clark Ashton Smith

Like ghosts returning stealthily
From those grey lands
Palled with funereal ashes falling
After the burnt-out sunset,
The mists of the valley reach with wavering, slow,
Malignant arms from pine to pine, and climb the hill
As fatal memories climb
To assail some heart benighted and bewitched. . . .

And once they would have crept
Around me in resistless long beleaguerment,
To lay their death-bleak fingers on my heart:
But now
My memories are of you and of the many graces
And tender, immortal, mad beatitudes of love;
And every chill and death-born phantom,
Made harmless now and dim,
Must pass to haunt the inane, unpassioned air;
And only living ghosts
Of raptures gone or ecstasies to be,
May touch me and attain within the circle
Your arms have set about me.

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