Clark Ashton Smith

Darling, how near we lay
To Lethe on that day
When, wandering far amid the wreathèd fog
And through the veiling verdure spring had drawn
On slopes where fire had ravened years agone,
We paused awhile, and made our bed between
The mounting bushes green
And the black, fallen log. . . .
Closely, more closely ever,
Like flames that meet and mingle in blown air,
Mouth drew to mouth, bosom to bosom there
In the long kiss that could not sever.
Sequestered and apart,
In death-grey mist and silence deeplier furled,
While faded the wan world
In ghostliness and mystery retreating,
We felt the answering throb of heart to heart
Like one warm pulse amid oblivion beating.
And our love seemed a solitary flame
Soaring from lands of pallid nothingness
That had no bound nor name;
Where all hours that had been
And days to be
Were part of some abolished calendar;
Where all things fell away, and ebbed afar
As if dissolved within
The wavering vapors thin:
Yea, the pale mists, and life, and memory
And all things passed before our ecstasy
Like alien phantoms, furtive and unknown,
To their dim tombs returning. . . .

O love unquenchable and stilly burning!
The peace at thy white core was made our own. . . .
A little, and we too had surely passed
With incorporeal ease
Upon the voidness vast—
Going with those frail vapors like a breath,
Drifting from mortal ecstasy to death
Among the ghostly trees.

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