Lamia

Clark Ashton Smith

Out of her desert lair the lamia came,
A lovely serpent shaped as women are.
Meeting me there, she hailed me by the name

Belov├Ęd lips had used in days afar;
And when the lamia sang, it seemed I heard
The voice of love in some old avatar.

Her lethal beauty like a philtre stirred
Through all my blood and filled my heart with light:
I wedded her with ardor undeterred

By the strange mottlings of her body white,
By the things that crept across us in her den
And the dead who lay beside us through the night.

Colder her flesh than the serpents of the fen,
Yet on her breast I lost mine ancient woe
And found the joy forbid to living men.

But, ah, it was a thousand years ago
I took the lovely lamia for bride...
And nevermore shall they that meet me know

It is a thousand years since I have died.

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