Clark Ashton Smith

January 13, 1893 – August 14, 1961

Ode (O)

O young and dear and tender sorceress!
Your delicate, slim hands
Reweave the glamors of Hellenic lands
To enchant the noon or night—
With many a soft caress
Restore the lost and lyrical delight.
The limbs of maenads flown
Have given you their grace,
And immemorial Aprils haunt your face.
All that was not, but should have been, mine own,
Your gentle beauty brings
Till the heart finds again its forfeit wings.
The young, Favonian loves
That passed aversely, darkling and unknown,
About your bosom dwell like coted doves.
Long-fallen fruits by necromancy burn
Upon your lips; and perished planets rise
Into the beryl evening of your eyes;
And the lost autumns in your hair return.

In you each yesterday
Shall past tomorrow stay;
And love would linger here,
Letting your pulses tell his destined time
Through all the clement year:
Yea, having known your fair, Arcadian heart,
He would not thence depart:
Harsher it were than death
To face again the lonesome rain and rime,
And draw reluctant breath
From the grey rigors of an alien clime.
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