Farewell to Eros

Clark Ashton Smith

Lord of the many pangs, the single ecstasy!
From all my rose-red temple builded in thy name,
Pass dawnward with no blasphemies of praise or blame,
No whine of suppliant or moan of psaltery.

Not now the weary god deserts the worshipper,
The worshipper the god ... but in some cryptic room
A tocsin tells with arras-deadened tones of doom
That hour which veils the shrine and stills the chorister.

Others will make libation, chant thy litanies....
But, when the glamored moons on immost Stygia glare
And quenchlessly, the demon-calling altars flare,
I shall go forth to madder gods and mysteries.

And through Zothique and primal Thule wandering,
A pilgrim to the shrines where elder Shadows dwell,
Perhaps I shall behold such lusters visible
As turn to ash the living opal of thy wing.

Haply those islands where the sunsets sink in rest
Will yield, O Love, the slumber that thou hast not given;
Or the broad-bosomed flowers of some vermilion heaven
Will make my senses fail as on no mortal breast.

Perchance the wind, on Aquilonian marches blowing
From the low mountains isled in seaas of russet grass,
Will make among the reeds a sweeter shuddering pass
Than tremors through the chorded flesh of women flowing.

Perchance the fountains of the dolorous rivers four
In Dis, will quench the thirst thy wine assuages never;
And in my veins will mount a twice-infuriate fever
When the black, burning noons upon Cimmeria pour.

Yea, in those ultimate lands that will outlast the Earth,
Being but dream and fable, myth and fantasy,
I shall forget ... or find some image reared of thee,
Dreadful and radiant, far from death, remote from birth.

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