The Land of Evil Stars

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The Land of Evil Stars  (1922) 
by Clark Ashton Smith

'Neath blue days, and gold, and green,
Blooms the glorious land serene,
Flaming shields of dawns between;
And the rapt white flowers suffice
To illume
With their bright eyes
Fluctuant ecstatic gloom
'Twixt the fallen emerald sun
And the unrisen azure one.

But the season of the night
Comes in all the suns' despite;
And, ah, gorgeous then their sorrows
At departure into morrows
Of remoter lands forgot—
Until now remembered not
For the lovelier flowers of this,
And each lake's pure lucency,
And recalled regretfully,
Regretfully, for leaving this.

In the star-possessèd night
The land knows another light—
All the small and evil rays
Of the sorcerous orbs ablaze
With ecstatical intense
Hate and still malevolence—
Dwelling on the fields below
From the ascendancy of even
Till the suns, re-entering heaven,
Glorify with triple glow
The dim flowers smitten low.

Ah, not cold, or kind, as ours,
The stars of those remotest hours !
Peace and pallor of the flowers
They have fevered, they have marred
With the poison of their light,
With distillèd bale and blight
Of a red, accurst regard:
All the toil of sunlight hours
They undo
With their wild eyes—
Eldritch and ecstatic eyes,
Stooping timeward from the skies,
Burning redly in the dew.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1927.

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 60 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.