To George Sterling (High)

Clark Ashton Smith

High priest of this our latter Song,
Whose voice sustains her empery
Far-fled beside the western sea,
With ocean-tones thy voice is strong;

And as the spirit of a height,
Whose calm, majestic eyes behold
The lower hills like waves outrolled,
And watch from vantages of light

The abysmal surge of heavenly wars,
And know sidereal mirth and pain,
Thou call'st to me, who may not gain
Thy vast horizon of the stars.

Yet though I breathe a fainter tone,
And bring to Beauty's deathless shrine
A lesser offering than thine,
Whose blooms in loftier soil are grown,

Mayhap the note that I have sung,
Obedient to the Muse's call,
Is not in vain; the coronal
Of fragile flowers not voidly flung.

And this the recompense I find:
To pass, a cadence of her lyre--
A flame to feed her alter-fire--
And breath on some supernal wind.

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