Thursday, November 29, 2018


Here is another poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) that was apparently unpublished in his lifetime, and is not available on The Eldritch Dark:

Intensified and re-enforced with clouds,
          In searchless secrecy descends the night;
          Against the shrinking lakes of western light,
The hills ambiguous stand, disguised with shrouds
Of mist-inwoven and unfeatured gloom;
          A little and engulfed from sight, they sink
          In rising tides of dark upon whose brink,
Of chartless waves no beacon-stars illume.

Lost utterly are earth and firmament,
          As in some final night of doubts and fears,
                    Wherein the abysses of Oblivion lie.
Till, lo! the heaven-eclipsing clouds are rent,
          And through the rift a lone, bright star brightly peers,
Like some great watchful and unsleeping Eye.

"Nocturne" really is the perfect title for this poem, since it has the quality of an oil painting, although executed with words.  The language of this poem is beautiful, and the second line ("In searchless secrecy descends the night") has such a strong visual character that I feel as though I can envision exactly what CAS was seeing in his own mind's eye when he wrote this.

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