Laus Mortis

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Laus Mortis  (1921) 
by Clark Ashton Smith
1921.

The imperishable phantoms, Love and Fame,
Nor Beauty, burning on the mist and mire
A fugitive uncapturable fire,
Nor God, that is a darkness and a name—
Not these, not these my choric dreams acclaim,
But Death, the last and ultimate desire,
Great Death I praise with litany and lyre
And somber prayer implacably the same.

O, incommunicable hope that lies
Deep in despair, as tapers that illume
Some fearful fane's arcanic, sacred gloom !
O, solace of all weary hearts and wise !—

The dream which Satan hath for anodyne,
Which is to God a sweet and secret wine.

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.