Laus Mortis

Clark Ashton Smith

The imperishable phantoms, Love and Fame,
Nor Beauty, burning on the mist and mire
A fugitive uncapturable fire,
Nor God, that is a darkness and a name—
Not these, not these my choric dreams acclaim,
But Death, the last and ultimate desire,
Great Death I praise with litany and lyre
And somber prayer implacably the same.

O, incommunicable hope that lies
Deep in despair, as tapers that illume
Some fearful fane's arcanic, sacred gloom !
O, solace of all weary hearts and wise !—

The dream which Satan hath for anodyne,
Which is to God a sweet and secret wine.

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