Clark Ashton Smith

(Translated "from the French of Charles Pierre Baudelaire")

Great woods, you frighten me like some cathedral's gloom!
You howl as howls an organ; through the undying dole
And long death-rattles in my heart's accursed room,
Responding echoes of your De Profundis roll.

I hate you, Ocean! all your rampant rage and vain
Tumult resounds within my soul; the laughter drear
Of a vanquished man, with insults filled and sobs of pain,
This ever in the sea's enormous laugh I hear.

How you would pleasure me, O Night! without the stars,
Whose wan or flameful splendor speaks a language known:
For I seek the null, the bare, the tenebrous alone.

But, dwelling past the lifted curtains and drawn bars
Of darkness, on my ken in teeming myriads rise
The vanished Beings with vigilant familiar eyes.

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