Ave Atque Vale

Clark Ashton Smith

Black dreams; the pale and sorrowful desire
Whose eyes have looked on Lethe and have seen,
Deep in the sliding ebon tide serene,
Their own vain light inverted; the vain lyre
That only tells of love and languishing;
Autumnal roses blind with rain; slow foam
From desert-sinking seas, with honeycomb
Of aconite and poppy—these I bring
With this my bitter, barren love to thee;
And from the grievous springs of memory,
Far in the great Maremma of my heart,
I proffer thee to drink; and on thy mouth,
With the one kiss wherein we meet and part,
Leave fire and dust from quenchless leagues of drouth.

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