Clark Ashton Smith

January 13, 1893 – August 14, 1961


This is the fire of Hestia's careful hearth;
The flame that fed on many-towered Troy;
Selene's light about the Latmian boy;
The all-consuming ardor of Melkarth.

This is the peregrine star that will return,
Faithful to the olden ephemerides;
The torch of corybantic mysteries;
The spark still burning in the stoppered urn.

This is the lamp ancestral hands have lit
Deep in the doorless crypts of blood and bone . . . .
For you and me, it is a witch-fire blown

Where secret airs and obscure pinions flit,
That has outburned Walpurgis and the moon
And lifts in quenchless rose to a cloudy noon.
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