Exotic Memory

Clark Ashton Smith

(From Christophe des Laurières)

Thy body bright as wine-washed ivory,
Thy fervid charms, bare as the moon is bare,
I knew them all (I know not when nor where)
In lands beside some amber-foaming sea.

On a terrace crowned with terebinth and palm
I found thee lying, languid and supine,
Thy breast of dreams voluptuous and divine
All given to the winds of myrrh and balm.

We saw the sun, a molten amethyst,
Sink in the scented ocean's foam and fire
And a slow night with ruby planets rise;

And all the night's black temple walled our tryst,
Where, with libations and with liturgies,
We served the burning altars of desire.

Bibliographic Citation

Top of Page