Sonnet (Empress)

Clark Ashton Smith

Empress with eyes more sad and aureate
Than sunset ebbing on a summer coast,
What gold chimera lovest thou the most—
What gryphon with emblazoned wings elate,
Or dragon straying from the dim estate
Of kings that sway the continents uttermost
Of old Saturnus? Or what god, or ghost,
Or spacial demon for thy spirit's mate
Art fain to choose? Howbeit, in thy heart,
Though void as now to vision and desire
The days and years deny thee, shall abide
The passion of the impossible, the pride
Of lust immortal for the monstrous ire
And pain of love in scarlet worlds apart.

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