Laus Mortis


Clark Ashton Smith

The imperishable phantoms, Love and Fame,

Nor Beauty, burning on the mist and mire

A fugitive uncapturable fire,

Nor God, that is a darkness and a name—

Not these, not these my choric dreams acclaim,

But Death, the last and ultimate desire,

Great Death I praise with litany and lyre

And somber prayer implacably the same.

O, incommunicable hope that lies

Deep in despair, as tapers that illume

Some fearful fane's archaic, sacred gloom!

O, solace of all weary hearts and wise!—

The dream which Satan hath for anodyne,

Which is to God a sweet and secret wine.


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