Clark Ashton Smith

To George Sterling

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And I too found the seaward way
—Venus Letalis.

Deep are the chasmal years and lustrums long
Since, following that dark Venus of thy dream,
Thou camest to the lulling foams's extreme. . . .
But, safely builded beyond change and wrong,
And past "the fleeting plaudits of the throng,"
With blazons blown on some ethereal stream
In crystal and in haliotis gleam,
Crag-founded, thine aeolian domes of song.
Yet, ah! the vanished voice we shall not hear!
Alas! thy footsteps ending on the sand
By doubtful seas and skies not understood. . . .
Strange shells are found along that silent strand:
Thou too hast often held them to thine ear
And heard the baffled murmur of thy blood.

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