Some Blind Eidolon

Clark Ashton Smith

Longer ago than Eden's oldest morn,
Ere beast or man was born,
I chose for mine
The love whereto some ancient evil clings,
With sombre spectra barring still the wings
That wear the irised flame of suns divine—
The love whereto some ancient evil clings.

Down all the planet-paven ways of time,
Lengthening from the prime
A shadow falls—
A thing that climbs the pharos-guarded gates,
Or by the wizard's dying brazier waits,
Or lairs amid the many tapered halls—
A thing that climbs the pharos-guarded gates.

Have we not known, O witch, O queen, O maid,
The stain that creeps unstayed
In love's alloy?
The fretful moth that frays the bed of lust?
The wingless and unweariable disgust
That overtakes the philtre-goaded joy—
The fretful moth that frays the bed of lust?

Though proud as gardened Babylon our bliss,
Mortal corruption is
The seed self-sown
Amid the rampant flowers and the founts....
The laughter of some blind eidolon mounts
Where the self-deluded mourner sobs alone
Amid the ruined flowers and the founts.

Dark loves of all the vanished avatars,
What candor-heated stars,
What crimson hells,
Consumed us long ago but cleansed us not,
Nor could absolve us of the sombre blot!
Yea, all the Moloch-hearted suns and hells
Consumed us long ago but cleansed us not!

Where limbos of unfathomed ice immure,
Shall yet we couch secure
Our sundered day?
What sea wherein the unshapen planets sleep
Shall make us one in its potential deep—
Washing the lethal dross of self away—
What sea wherein the unshapen planets sleep?

Printed from: www.eldritchdark.com/writings/poetry/515
Printed on: November 23, 2017