On Re-Reading Baudelaire

Clark Ashton Smith

Forgetting still what holier lilies bloom
Secure within the garden of lost years,
We water with the fitfulness of tears
Wan myrtles with an acrid sick perfume;
Lethean lotus, laurels of our doom,
Dark amarant with tall unswaying spears,
Await funereal autumn and its fears
In this grey land that sullen suns illume.
Ivy and rose and hellebore we twine.
Voluptuous as love, or keen as grief,
Some fleeing fragrance lures us in the gloom
To Paphian dells or vales of Proserpine. . . .
But all the flowers, with dark or pallid leaf,
Become at last a garland for the tomb.

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