Shadows

Clark Ashton Smith

Thy shadow falls on the fount,
On the fount with the marble wall. . . .
And in alien time and space
On the towns of a doom├Ęd race
The shadows of glaciers mount;
And patchouli-shadows crawl
On the mottling of boas that bask
In the fire of a moon fantasque;
And the light shades of bamboo
Flutter and ruffle and lift,
In the silver dawn they sift
On the meadows of Xanadu . . . .
They shall fall, till the light be done,
By moon and cresset and sun,
From gnomon and fir-tree and throne,
And the vine-caught monoliths leaning
In the woods of a world far-flown;
They shall pass on the dim star-dials
By the peoples of Pluto wrought;
They shall follow the shifted vials
Of a sorceress of Fomalhaut;
They shall move on the primal plains
In the broken thunder and rains;
They shall haply reel and soar
Where the red volcanoes roar
From the peaks of a blackening sun;
They shall haply float and run
From the tails of the lyre-birds preening
On the palms of a magic mead;
And their mystery none shall read,
And none shall have known their meaning
Ere night and the shadows are one.

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