The Ancient Track

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
The Ancient Track  (1930) 
by H. P. Lovecraft
Published in Weird Tales, vol. 15, no. 3, March 1930

There was no hand to hold me back
That night I found the ancient track
Over the hill and strained to see
The fields that teased my memory.
This tree that wall - I knew them well,
And all the roofs and orchards fell
Familiarly upon my mind
As from a past not far behind.
I knew what shadows would be cast
As the late moon came up at last
From back of Zaman's Hill, and how
The vale would shine three hours from now.
And when the path grew steep and high
, And seemed to end against the sky,
I had no fear of what might rest
Beyond that silhouetted crest.
Straight on I walked, while all the night
Grew pale with phosphorescent light,
And wall and farmhouse gable glowed
Unearthly by the climbing road.
There was the milestone that I knew
-"Two miles to Dunwich" - now the view
Of distant spire and roofs would dawn
With ten more upward paces gone…

The was no hand to hold me back
That night I found the ancient track,
And reached the crest to see outspread
A valley of the lost and dead;
And over Zaman's Hill the horn
Of a malignant moon was born,
To light the weeds and vines that grew
On ruined walls I never knew.
The fox-fire glowed in field and bog
And unknown waters spewed a fog
Whose curling talons mocked the thought
That I had ever known this spot.
Too well I saw from the mad scene
That my loved past had never been -
Nor was I now upon the trail
Descending to that long dead vale.
Around was fog - ahead, the spray
Of star-streams in the Milky Way...
There was no hand to hold me back
That night I found the ancient track.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was legally published within the United States (or the United Nations Headquarters in New York subject to Section 7 of the United States Headquarters Agreement) before 1964, and copyright was not renewed.
For Class A renewals records (books only) published between 1923 and 1963, check the Stanford Copyright Renewal Database and the Rutgers copyright renewal records.
For other renewal records of publications between 1922 - 1950 see the Pennsylvania copyright records scans.
For all records since 1978, search the U.S. Copyright Office records.

The author died in 1937, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 75 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.


Works published in 1930 would have had to renew their copyright in either 1957 or 1958, i.e. at least 27 years after it was first published / registered but not later than 31 December(31 December) in the 28th year. As it was not renewed, it entered the public domain on 1 January 1959(1 January 1959).