The Lake of Enchanted Silence

Clark Ashton Smith

It lies with in a land that is only seen by the sun and the moon and the horizon-questing stars. The sky-wrestled mountains, like sentries of Eternity, surround with their immemorial zone of azure-shadowed snows the serenity of the lake's unfathomable dream. They bar therefrom the sounds of the aeons that thunder on the shores of Eternity, and the winds that ring with the rumour of iron years, and shut from all save the azure infinite, and the fires and clouds and shadows of the sky.

The lake is feed with the snows of the mountains, and with silence that flows from the mien of space, and is filled with the blue splendour of the sky. Infinitely finds itself doubled herein.

On the shore of the lake grow the blue and white amaranths of a perennial summer, and there is no life save that of butterflies and the most beautiful birds. He who penetrates this land may drink the silence of the lake, and look upon it till the image of infinity fills imperturbably the depths of a mind that has become as calm and smooth as the waters.

From: Strange Shadows: The Uncollected Fiction and Essays of Clark Ashton Smith. Ed. Steve Behrends, Donald Sidney-Fryer and Rah Hoffman. Greenwood Press 1989.

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