Monday, February 10, 2020


Although this poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) was published in his hometown newspaper (the Auburn Journal), it was never included in any of his published collections of verse.  Likewise, it is not available on The Eldritch Dark, so here's the complete text:

Our love hath found a secret land,
          A world from all the world apart,
And we may wander hand in hand
          E'en in the loud and whirling mart,
To meadows of a secret land.

We pass along the crowded ways:
          But still, with clinging kisses fond,
We loiter 'neath the myrtle-sprays,
          In green, Edenic peace beyond
The clangor of the crowded ways.

Never from one eternal tryst
          The miles have held our meeting hearts:
Our spirits cling, as love may list,
          And keep the embrace that never parts
In realms of one eternal tryst.

The theme of Cocaigne, or the mythical land of ease and plenty, does seem like natural territory for CAS to explore, given his role as a largely non-commercial artist in a capitalist society.  This poem suggests that a truly deep love between two people can create a land of Cocaigne that only those lovers can share, a truly romantic notion well at odds with the grind of daily living that was part of CAS' reality.

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