Clark Ashton Smith


Thy tears are not as mine: Thou weepest as a green fountain among palms and roses, with lightly falling drops that bedew the flowery turf. My tears are like a rain of marah in the desert, leaving a bitter pool whose waters are fire and poison.

The Secret Rose

My soul hath dreamt of a rose, whose marvellous and secret flower, fraught with an unimaginable perfume, hath never grown in any garden. Only in valleys of the shifting cloud, only among the palms and fountains of a land of mirage, only in isles beyond the seas of sunset it blooms for a moment, and is gone, But ever the ghost of its fragrance haunts the hall of slumber; and the women whom I meet in dreams wear always its blossom for coroal.

The Wind and the Garden

To thee my love is something strange and fantastical, and far away, like the vast and desolate sighing of the desert wind to one who dwells in a garden of palm and rose and lotus, filled by no louder sound than the mellow lisp of a breeze of perfume, or the sigh of silvering fountains.


Before thee, O goddess of my dreams, idol of my desires, I have burnt amber and myrrh, frankincense, and all the strange and rich perfumes of lands a thousand leagues beyond Araby or Taprobane. Strange and rich offerings have I brought thee, the gems of unknown regions, and the spoil of cities remoter than Caydon or Samarkand. But these delight thee not, only the simple-scented flowers of string, and the diamonds and opals of dew, strung on the threads of the spider.

A Coronal

The pale flowerless poppies of Proserpine, the cold, blind lotus of Lethe, and the strange, white sea-blooms that glow from the lips of drowned men in the blue darkness of the nether sea,-these have woven as the coronal for my dead love.

Bibliographic Citation

Top of Page