A Phantasy of Twilight

Clark Ashton Smith

Ere yet the soaring after-fire was flown,
I found a city in the twilight lone -
Asleep in lapse of some forgotten land
And griping horizons of deserts prone.

Ah, strange with time and ruinous it was!
The seeping sand through idle gates did pass,
The garths were barren, and each breasted grave
Was rock-reluctant to the nursling grass!

But in the dusking palaces I saw
Twilight rebuild the broken thrones of Law -
Affording unto fanes long-desecrate,
What elder glooms of mystery and awe!

And walls and columns, in the ghostly gleam,
Lit as with memory of a past supreme,
Held mightier form portentous for awhile,
Ere night should whelm them like a crumbling dream.

And, lo, from courts and arches, unconfined,
Rode forth, unto some desert bourn assigned,
The evanescent pomps of ghostly dust,
On thin and momentary manes of wind!

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