Clark Ashton Smith

There are days when all the beauty of the world is dim and strange; when the sunlight about me seems to fall on a land remoter than the poles of the moon. The roses in the garden surprise me, like the monstrous orchids of unknown colour, that blossom in planets beyond Aldebaran. And I am startled by the yellow and purple leaves of October, as if the veil of some tremendous and awful mystery were half-withdrawn for the moment. In such hours as these, O heart of my heart, I fear to touch thee, I avoid thy caresses, dreading that thou wilt vanish as a dream at dawn, or that I shall find thee a phantom, the spectre of one who died and was forgotten many thousand years ago, in a far-off land on which the sun no longer shines.

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