Shadow of Nightmare

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Shadow of Nightmare  (1912) 
by Clark Ashton Smith
1912.

What gulf-ascended hand is this, that grips
My spirit as with chains, and from the sound
And light of dreamland, draws me to the bound
Where darkness waits with wide, expectant lips ?
Albeit thereat my footing holds, nor slips,
The night-born menace and the fear confound
All days and hours of gladness, girt around
With sense of near, unswervable eclipse.

So lies a land whose noon is plagued with whirr
Of bats, than their own shadows swarthier,
That trace their passing upon white abodes,
Wherein from court to court, from room to room,
In hieroglyphics of abhorrent doom,
Is trailed the slime of slowly crawling toads.

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.