Ave Atque Vale


Clark Ashton Smith

Black dreams; the pale and sorrowful desire

Whose eyes have looked on Lethe and have seen,

Deep in the sliding ebon tide serene,

Their own vain light inverted; the vain lyre

That only tell of love and languishing;

Autumnal roses blind with rain; slow foam

From desert-sinking seas, with honeycomb

Of aconite and poppy—these I bring

With this my bitter, barren love to thee;

And from the grievous springs of memory,

Far in the great Maremma of my heart,

I proffer thee to drink; and on thy mouth,

Within the one kiss wherein we meet and part,

Leave fire and dust from quenchless leagues of drouth.

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