To the Nightshade

Clark Ashton Smith

Sullen and sinister, darkly dull of leaf,
Thou rearest amid the brighter flowers,
Like a presage of evil in dreams of joyance—
Evil of beauty thy blossoms,
And purple like the agony of Death,
And their fruit as its livid consummation.
Such a flower art thou
As might spring from the rotting of ancient sin,
Its unavoidable latter confession,
Or from the corroded altar-stone,
Now merged with the blood of its victims—
A hideous and fruitful wedlock—
In some place of sacrifice to monstrous gods.

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