Friday, October 26, 2018

The Palace of Jewels

This is apparently an early version of a poem that Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) would later expand to sixteen stanzas.  So I'll consider this early version now, and will be interested to see how it compares to the longer version which I'll encounter later:

It rears beside the cliff-confronted sea,
          Where, spurred by winds, the waves aspire in foam —
A palace towering large and massively,
          To flower in minaret and dome.

Naught but the ocean's music echoes there;
          No lutes pervade its halls with mirth and sigh,
And wanders love, through close and pleasance fair,
          The velvet, figured butterfly.

Within, in silence tapestried and old,
          And dusk that lingers through the widest day,
Are heapéd treasure-chests that, spilling hold
          Jewels of varied hue and ray.

Here caskets weirdly wrought and prodigal
          Of opals color-clouded, and the fire,
Thrilling in crystal through the sombre hall,
          Wherewith the diamonds aspire.

And sapphires lighten, all astorm with blue,
          Beside the deeper emerald's mimic sea;
And slumberous rubies, with a burst of hue,
          Awaken intermittently.

This is a gloriously visual spectacle of color and light.  This palace almost seems like a dream come true for the parties of adventurers associated with the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, since this particular edifice is full of treasure but largely devoid of living things to defend the treasure.

No comments:

Post a Comment