Sunday, August 30, 2020


This poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) was unpublished in his lifetime, and is not available on The Eldritch Dark, so here's the complete text:

Slowly, sweetly, from the fear that folds or breaks,
Deliver the soul; listen to the many secrets avowed
In silence, like one caressed by raven hair;
Watch for the sweetness flowing on the breeze

In the dusk, in an evening of storm with the flesh electrised,
Let golden fingers wander on the keyboard;
Minorate the voice; calm the ardor of fire;
Exalt the colour of grey with the colour of rose.

Essay the accord of words mysterious
Harmonious like the eyelid kissing the eye;
Make undulate the flesh of gold pale in the mist,

And, in the soul an immense sigh inflates,
Leave, in going, the memory
Of a great swan of snow with long, long plumes.

This is quite a mysterious verse, but it seems to hint at a transcendence experienced after death, the journey accompanied by music and the last memories of the mortal coil left behind.  

In the lines that describe sound, CAS has created some beautiful music of his own, particularly in the second stanza ("Let golden fingers wander on the keyboard").

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