Friday, October 4, 2019


This poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) was unpublished in his lifetime, and is not available on The Eldritch Dark, so here's the complete text:

Enormous from the mountain's night,
          From silence, and the night of snow,
          The moon arises, lone and slow,
In mists of cold and crimson light.

Her monstrous orb incarnadine, 

          A roe's-egg seems, that griffins bear
          Along the gulf of silver air,
And darkling valleys deep with pine.

Like many of CAS' shorter poems, "Fantasie" manages to achieve a lot with a minimal number of words.  

The opening stanza presents a compelling vision of moonrise on a chilly night, and the second stanza exits with one of those near-perfect phrases that one finds frequently in the work of CAS: "darkling valleys deep with pine."  Through skilled use of internal rhyme, CAS manages, with those five words alone, to paint a robust image of pine trees in remote and lonely valleys, shrouded under the mantle of night.  Quite breathtaking in its simple effectiveness.

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