Clark Ashton Smith

In valleys where the lotos falls
And rots by lily-stifled streams,
A sleeper, dreaming of the sea,
Shall rise, and leave the halcyon lawns,

And follow fainting trails alone
Into the waste that has no well,
Of fare on some fantasmal quest
To climes beyond the boreal snow.

For, sated with the lotos-fruit,
He craves again the vanishing brine,
The sunken ships, the siren isles,
The maelstroms haunted by the mew.

Amid chimera and mirage
He plucks the acrid outland pome
And mordent herbs that make him whole,
And trails the meteor and the star

To leave this vulture-burnished bones
In lands of knightlier sleep than they
Shall haply share whose bones are laid
Where now the lotos-blossoms blow.

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