Dominium in Excelsis

Clark Ashton Smith

Exalt thyself: be more than man,
Be saint or be magician,
And where the burning Sword awaits
Defy the old seraphic ban.

Thy will, that climbs from dark estates,
Shall divinize the godless fates,
This fiery ecstasy of dream
Melt down the grim, forbidden gates

That open into spheres extreme
Beyond the starry-bubbled stream—
Beyond Capella, past Altair—
Where amaranthine gardens gleam.

Thy feet shall tread the Scorpion's lair,
Thy hands shall catch the comet's hair;
Or over Endor thou shalt ride
Unfrighted on the tamed Nightmare.

And thence go down where ghosts have died
And famished ghouls and vampires glide;
Or tarry in years behind the tomb;
Or in the multiple futures bide.

Thou shalt respire the flame and fume
Of Beltis' altars drowned in gloom
Under her sharded fanes; or share
The fabled Atlantean doom,

And rise unharmed to light and air
Out of old death, once more to death
With antinomian deed and thought
The planet of thy slain despair—

Till stones and atoms, shadow-wrought,
Dissolving shall return to naught,
Or into fairer shapes be brought.

Bibliographic Citation

Top of Page