Thursday, May 28, 2020


Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) wrote several poems with the title "Song".  This specific poem was unpublished in his lifetime, and is not available on The Eldritch Dark, so here's the complete text:

I am grown tired of suffering,
Grief is a trite and tasteless thing,
And the dark Tyrian I have worn
Against the wind of ways forlorn,
Is faded in this deeper morn.

Ah! give me joy, to-day, tomorrow,
For I am surfeited with sorrow:
Be thou the source of memory,
And let thy bosom shut from me
All days and ways unshared with thee.

Within the grouping of romance-themed poems from CAS that I have been reading recently, this one stands out as a bit more than ordinary, both for the unusual rhyme pattern across the three final lines of each stanza, but more importantly for the deeply felt sense of attachment to the romantic partner to whom the poem is addressed.

The closing lines especially express a maturity of concept worthy of CAS' skills:

Be thou the source of memory,
And let thy bosom shut from me
All days and ways unshared with thee.

A phrase like "Be thou the source of memory" captures the depth of what a meaningful human relationship can encompass, and does so with notable economy and poetic music.

No comments:

Post a Comment