Clark Ashton Smith

I would rather look upon thy face than upon the gardens of Atlantis, in the setting of a hyacinthine sun than necromancers have summoned.

I would rather gaze in to thine eyes than into the nocturnal pools where Venus descends, in the warm and balmy silence of a summer wood of pine and fir.

I would rather lie upon thy breast than upon the grass of orchards, overstrewn with the fallen petals of apricot-flowers.

I would rather press my lips to thy body, for the perfume of joy and the savour of pleasure that abideth there in, than bruise the red leaflets of the vernal oak for their keen and all-pervading spice.

From: Strange Shadows: The Uncollected Fiction and Essays of Clark Ashton Smith. Ed. Steve Behrends, Donald Sidney-Fryer and Rah Hoffman. Greenwood Press 1989.

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