Clark Ashton Smith


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Whatever alien fruits and changeling faces
And pleasances of mutable perfume
The flambeaux of the senses shall illume
Amid the night-furled labyrinthine spaces,
In lives to be, in unestablished places,
All, all were vain as the rock-raveled spume
If no strange close restore the Paphian bloom,
No path return the moon-shod maenad's paces.

Yea, for the lover of lost pagan things,
No vintage grown in islands unascended
Shall quite supplant the old Bacchantic urn,
No mouth that new, Canopic suns make splendid
Content the mouth of sealed rememberings
Where still the nymph's uncleaving kisses burn.

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