Sunday, November 11, 2018


Here's another poem unpublished in the lifetime of Clark Ashton Smith (CAS), and not available on The Eldritch Dark, so let's start with the text itself:

O Time, great satrap of Eternity, 
Gigantic sifter of our destinies,
To whose stern, inexorable decrees
Both king and mendicant must bow the knee,
Thine is an all-embracing sovereignty;
All men must go their life and striving cease
At thy strong bidding; nothing may appease
Or stay thy doom; none may evade or flee.

Thou sitt'st apart, thy glass within thy hand,
The glass wherein the grains of death and fate
Drop silently, as flees each wingéd hour.
And irrevocably doth fall that gleaming sand
A never-ceasing stream, on which do wait
The tides of life and death, and wealth and power.

This sonnet is a fairly straightforward ode to Time, personified as a potentate with power over all things.  The first few lines of the sestet are especially good, where CAS gives us the image of Time seated, forever holding the hourglass that measures out the span of our days. While this is not a major item from CAS' body of work, it is nonetheless solid and effective.

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