Clark Ashton Smith

Love was the flight of a crimson bird
Across the forest of your soul,
Where cypress-leaf and cypress-bole,
By mordant airs of autumn stirred,
Sigh with a long and sea-like word.

Joy was the burning heart-red bloom
A fair and wandering witch let fall
At twilight from her coronal,
Where mottling ivies mesh the tomb
Lost in a laurel-given gloom.

Time is the drip of fountain-spray
Upon the unbroken sword you flung
Amid the pouting poppies young
In a lost garden far away,
Where the white girls of Circe lay.

Life is a house of painted stone
Reflected in a sunless lake,
Where drowning domes and turrets shake
In the black winds for ever blown
From shoreless tides no sail has known.

Grief is the mirror-builded hall
Wherein you roam eternally,
Seeking the ghost you shall not see
In sorrow half-sardonical —
And meet yourself at every wall.

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Printed on: May 24, 2019