Psalm

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Psalm  (1922) 
by Clark Ashton Smith
1922.

From - Ebony and Crystal

My beloved is a well of clear waters,
To which I have come at noontide,
From the land of the Abomination of Desolation,
From the lion-dreaded waste,
Where nothing dwelleth but the inconsolable crying of an evil wind,
And the wandering realms and cities of the wide mirage;
Where no one passeth except the sun,
Who walked like a terrible god through the hell of the brazen skies;
And the dreadful cohorts of the constellations,
Who pass remote in alien years,
And clad with icy azures of unattainable distance.

My beloved is a singing fountain,
Set in a wide oasis,
Between the frondage of the fruitful palm,
And the branches of the flowering myrtle:
The wind that bloweth thereon,
Hath lain in a vale of cassia and myrrh,
And caressed the vermillion blossoms of the pomegranate,
Whose red is the red of the lips of Astarte;
A thousand nightingales are gathered there,
From all the gardens of lost romance;
And plots of purple and silver lillies,
More beautiful than the meadows of mirage,
Revive the flowers of Sabean queens,
And the blossoms worn by all the princesses of legend.***
Ah, suffer me to dwell
Thereby, and forget the gilded cities of desire,
The domes of spectral gold,
That fled from horizon to horizon
Before me, and left my feet in the sinking vales and shifting plains of the desert,
Whose waters are green with corruption,
And bitter with the dust and ashes of death.
Ah, suffer me to sleep
In the balsam-laden shadows of the palm and myrtle,
By the ever-springing fountain!

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.