Saturday, October 12, 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This poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) was unpublished in his lifetime, and is not available on The Eldritch Dark, so here's the full text:

With hectaonstylon and hundred-gated wall,
With domes Titanical of copper heaped upon
Some wide horizon wan, where fiery heavens fell;

With climbing pyramid on pyramid exalt
In mythical basalt, within whose tomb is hid
Some bestial horror bid to ward the vault.

With fanes of monstrous form, in sombre granite hewn,
With towers to stab the moon, with pinnacles that storm
Like steely swords enorm the molten sun at noon.

The title "Ombos" presumably refers to the ancient Egyptian city of the same name (today known as Kom Ombo), which was a center of worship for the crocodile-headed god Sobek.   

The poem seems to be a description of the double temple at Ombos, which had separate spaces for the worship of Sobek and the falcon-headed god Horus.  While this poem is not a standout from CAS' poetic corpus, it nonetheless has some powerful language in the final stanza:

With towers to stab the moon, with pinnacles that storm
Like steely swords enorm the molten sun at noon.

The phrase "towers to stab the moon" prompts wonderful imagery that only CAS could birth!

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