The Melancholy Pool


Clark Ashton Smith

Marked by the priesthood of the Night's misrule,

The shadow-cowled, imprecatory trees—

Cypress that guarded woodland secrecies

And graves that waited for the delaying ghoul,

Nathless I entered the melancholy pool,

Chief care of all, but closlier sentinelled

By those whose roots were deepest in deep eld.

Where the thwart-woven boughs were wet and cool

As with a mist of poison, I drew near

To mark the tired stars peer dimly down

Through riven branches from the height of space,

And shudder in those waters with quick fear,

Where in black deeps the pale moon seemed to drown—

A haggard girl, with dead, despairing face.

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