Thursday, January 6, 2022

"O Golden-Tongued Romance"

Read "O Golden-Tongued Romance" at The Eldritch Dark:

This poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) was first published in the March 1952 issue of Weird Tales magazine.  The title is derived from the first line of John Keats' "On Sitting Down to Read King Lear Once Again".

I love how this poem combines graveyard imagery with the quest to find, grasp, and retain the romantic spirit, the very thing that John Keats sought in the pages of one of Shakespeare's greatest dramas:

And yet the thing we yearned for,
The thing that we returned for
From tomb and catacomb,
It may not wholly dwindle
While moon or meteor kindle
A phantom beacon on the ebon foam.

"O Golden-Tongued Romance" seems entirely appropriate for Weird Tales, given that much of the content found in those pages was built around a distinct core of romantic yearning, albeit draped in the fantastic and the supernatural.  I think that CAS was the best writer ever to contribute to that legendary publication, and it's entirely fitting that he should contribute a poem that so perfectly captures the very best of the Weird Tales spirit.

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