Mirrors

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Mirrors  (1922) 
by Clark Ashton Smith
1922.

Mirrors of steel or silver, gold or glass antique!
Whether in melancholy marble palaces
In some long trance you drew the dreamy loveliness
Of Roman queens, or queens barbarical, or Greek:
Or, further than the bright and sun-pursuing beak
Of argosy might fare, beheld the empresses
Of lost Lemuria; or behind the lattices
Alhambran, have returned forbidden smiles oblique

Of wan mysterious women—mirrors, mirrors old,
Mirrors immutable, impassible as fate,
Your bosoms held the perished beauty of the past
Nearer than straining love might ever hope to hold;
And fleeing faces, lips too phantom-frail to last,
Found in your magic depth a life re-duplicate.

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.