The Cypress

Clark Ashton Smith

(From José A. Calcaño)

If passing sometime
beside my grave
thy love would awaken
the soul once mine,
thou wilt see a bird
on a cypress perched:
then speak with the bird,
which is my soul.

If thou callest my name,
if thou summonest me,
softly repeating
that love is for aye,
thou wilt hear the wind
in the cypress blowing:
then speak with the wind,
which is my soul.

But if being even now
the thrall of another
thou troublest and floutest
my ultimate slumber,
take care, O unkindest,
approach not the cypress,
flee from its shadow
which is my soul.

Flee from the bird,
whatever its plumage,
flee from the wind,
whatever its rune.
Ah! . . . vain is thy flight,
wheresoever thou goest
there follows the shadow
cast by the cypress.

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