Sonnet (How)

Clark Ashton Smith

How shall our hearts, those fragile shrines of thee,
Forefend the siege of wrackful circumstance?
Or this thy brittle, earth-wrought beauty be
The unshaken ultimate fortress of romance?
How shall the Golden Age thy bosom brings—
That home of dreams unharbored otherwhere—
Not fall before this brazen press of things,
Till we too fade like morning phantoms there?
How shall one rose from out our seasons done
Rear to the rune of any necromant? . . .
When all is over, let the cindered sun
Go down in night no memory shall haunt—
Yes, let full-fountained Lethe rise and flow
As on the loves of lovers long ago.

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