Ye Shall Return

Clark Ashton Smith

Ye who have dwelt in palaces
Opulent and decayed and lone
Upon oblivion's closer shore,
But in some daemon-stirred unrest

Departing thence, sojourn awhile
By fevered fens and driven seas,
Or in the moil of towns unclean
And fumes of toiling titan fires;

Or climb the sharpened mountain-horns
To see earth's kingdoms gleam afar,
Litters with promise and mirage
Beneath a mistless diamond vault;

Or, pausing in Mylitta's vales
At yonic altars carved to sin,
Purchase the ancient carnal kiss
Forewritten on the lips of clay:-

Know surely that ye shall return
Into the shadow-land ye left,
And draw again your languored breath
Where breathe the poppies of the dusk.

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Printed on: January 16, 2019