Clark Ashton Smith

I am that spawn of witch and demon
By time's mad prophets long foretold:
The unnamed fear of king and freeman,
I roam the lawless outland wold,
Couching amid the weeds and mould
With dire Alecto for my leman.

I am that hidden piper, playing
The Pan-like strains of malefice
That lure the lonely traveller, straying
Upon the crumbling precipice:
To filmed morass or blind abyss
His feet must follow, never staying.

I am that swart, unseen pursuer
Whose lust begets a changeling breed:
All women know me for their wooer:
Mine is the whisper the maidens heed
At twilight; mine the spells that lead
The matron to the nighted moor.

I am that messenger whose call
Convenes dark mage and banished lord
And branded witch and whip-flayed thrall,
To plot, amid the madness poured
On the black Sabbat's frothing horde,
The bale of realms, the planet's fall.

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