The Saturnienne

Clark Ashton Smith

Beneath the skies of Saturn, pale and many-mooned,
Her palace is;
Her wyvern-warded spires of celadon, enruned
With names benign and mightier names of malefice,
Illume with saffron phares
A marish by the black, lethargic seas lagooned;
Her dragon-holden stairs
Go down in coiling jet and gold on some unplumbed abyss.

Long as a leaping flame, exalted over ail,
Across the sun
Her banners bear Aidennic blooms armorial
And beasts infernal on a field of ciclaton;
Amid her agate courts,
Like to a demon ichor, towering proud and tall,
A scarlet fountain spurts,
To fall upon parterres of dwale and deathly hebenon.

From out her amber windows, gazing languidly
On a weird land
Where conium and cannabis and upas-tree
Seem wrought in verdigris against the copper sand,
She sees and sees again
A trailing salt like leprous dragons from the sea
Far-crawled upon the fen;
And foam of monster-cloven gulfs beyond a fallow strand.

Or, looking from her turrets to the south and north,
She notes the gleam
Of molied mountains and of rivers pouring forth,
Clear as the dawn, to fail in fulvous rill and stream
The widening waste amid;
Or swell the fallen meres, abominable, swarth,
In green mirages hid,
To be the unquested grails of bell, of death and deathful dream.

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