Sunday, August 16, 2020


This is another poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) that was unpublished in his lifetime, and it's not available on The Eldritch Dark, so here's the complete text:

As you lie below in darkness and in duress,
     And you hear the young spring call,
There shall come to you far lonelier than loneliness--
     The pity of it all.

And your eyes shall see their confines ere they darken
     But your heart must have no dread,
For across the lonely spaces you shall hearken,
     The dead men call their dead.

These lines seem to describe a recently buried corpse, not yet adjusted to a new existence at the other side of life.  It's short and simple, but as is so often the case with CAS' writings, there is no doubt as to the final outcome: "The dead men call their dead."


  1. There's a grim humor, and even grimmer comfort, in this one. Accepting black oblivion as the natural next step in life is a less terrifying prospect than usual, but what's especially amazing to me is how viscerally this experience is worded, with the confines of your own eyes and the concentration of your heart! It makes me feel as if I'm truly buried.

  2. That's a great observation that the poem "makes me feel as if I'm truly buried." Short as this poem is, CAS really does manage to capture the essence of an unwanted (but inevitable) experience.