Read "Beauty Implacable" at The Eldritch Dark:
This is an intriguing portrait of Beauty as a harsh mistress, and does seem to read as a declaration by the poet himself, given what I know of Clark Ashton Smith's (CAS) artistic inclinations.
Given that CAS was likely just in his early twenties when he wrote these lines, they have a remarkable maturity, given that the sentiments expressed could well lend themselves to purple prose and exaggerated dramatic flourishes. All of those boiling emotions are present, yet rendered with a restraint that does not hinder the meaning:
I, desolate with Beauty, and undone,
Say Death is not so strong to change or mar,
And Love and Life not so desired as she.
Those three lines by themselves possess a rare music, and it's hard to see how they could be improved.
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