Tuesday, October 16, 2018

In Extremis

This short poem was unpublished in the lifetime of Clark Ashton Smith (CAS), and is not available on The Eldritch Dark, so here's the text itself:

Within Life's arc of light I stand
          That lyeth white and clear
To calmly watch upon each hand
          The Shadow creeping near.

Slowly the arc grows narrower
          The encroaching night draws on;
Black, pitiless its bastions rear,
          The light will soon be gone.

This grim little poem gets right to the heart of things, with a rather bleak vision of the inevitable destination of all human lives.  CAS apparently wrote this when he was still a teenager, demonstrating a sense of drama and morbidity that is not so unusual in creative young people.

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