Letter to Clark Ashton Smith

From H. P. Lovecraft

March 22, 1929

Dear C A S:—

I was exceedingly glad to receive yours of the 10th, with the sheaf of delectable poetry enclosed. There isn't one which failed to charm me—Lichens & Cumuli being perhaps the most magical from the standpoint of my imagination. Your never-ending genius & fertility are both marvellous & enviable. I can't write except when blessed with reposeful leisure—haven't produced a thing since The Dunwich Horror. By the way—that tale has just earned me a highly interesting letter from a curious old lady in Boston, a direct lineal descendant of the Salem witch Mary Easty, who was hanged on Gallows Hill Aug. 19, 1692. She hints at strange gifts & traditions handed down in her family, & asks me if I have access to any antient secret witch-lore of New England. Also, she wants to know if Dunwich & Arkham are real places! I shall answer the letter, & see if I can get the good old soul to relate some of the whispered witch-traditions! A story of Salem horror based on actual "inside dope" from a witch-blooded crone would surely be a striking novelty!

* * * * * * *

I envy you the springtime which has visited your region so much sooner than it visits New England. We are still viewing brown earth, matted leaves, & bare boughs, though for the past week & a half it has been astonishingly mild for the season. The other day I took the first woodland outing of the season; carrying my reading & writing along as I do in summer, & spending the afternoon atop the great lakeside rock in the Quinsnicket region—a favourite haunt of mine. There were still patches of snow on the shady slopes, & the ice of the ponds was still unmelted; but brooks were running genially & noisily, & a haze of awakening lay upon all the hills & upland meadows. There is a curious magic in a New England spring even before the visual scene takes on beauty. It always makes me regret my lack of poetic powers.

With every good wish,
Yr most obt hble Servt

Selected Letters (Arkham House) 350

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