Dissonance

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Dissonance  (1919) 
by Clark Ashton Smith
1919.

The harsh, brief sob of broken horns; the sound
Of hammers, on some clanging sepulcher;
Lutes in a thunder-storm; a dulcimer
By sudden drums and clamoring bugles drowned;
Crackle of pearls, and gritting rubies, ground
Beneath an iron heel; the heavy whirr
Of battle-wheels; a hungry leopard's purr;
And sigh of swords withdrawing from the wound:—

All, all are in they dreadful fugue, O life,
Thy dark, malign and monstrous music, spun
In hell from a delirious Satan's dream ! . . .
O! dissonance primordial and supreme—
The moan, the thunder, evermore at strife,
Beneath the unheeding silence of the sun !

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1961, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.