The Blindness of Orion

Clark Ashton Smith

So blind Orion, groping for the morn
With eyes uplift whereon forever hung
Infinite burden and suspense of night,
Had clomb the long and mountain-ending vast,
Led by the Cyclops. Many a dim ravine
Where serried pines were silent ere the dawn
And many a slope or terrace of the snow,
Pure as Pentelic marble for the tread
Of roseal-footed light, lay far behind
Still drowned in stagnant purples. Toiling up
Even to the very threshold of the heavens,
They heard the ascending eagles hail the sun
Round the forsaken throne of Phosphorus,
Until the morning's levin-colored ray
Lightened upon the Cyclops, and he paused,
And over him ethereal glory drave
To rouse the dreaming colors in the cloud,
To give the sea its immemorial green
And strike the towering cities into gold
Along the low horizon.

Then, at last,
On dark Orion groping for the suns,
From out the sole, the Appollonian source,
Returning vision flowed, and he had power
And privilege once more upon the light,
And might receive its seven ministers,
Even with gathering rays of stars remote,
And take the tithe of beauty proffered still
By terrene shapes and images—by forms
Of flowers and statues and of women dancing;
Of sapling laurels, ancient olives gnarled;
The noontide shapes of headlands and of clouds;
The meres that curve in darkening amaranth
Amid the sunset range; and seas and rivers
Straight-tided or with currents serpentine
Dividing variously their protean shores.

Bibliographic Citation

Top of Page