Clark Ashton Smith


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O gentlest love, I have not played
For you upon the lute of jade;
Nor on that fabulous bassoon
Wrought from the horns of minotaurs,
And set with subtly changing spars
And lucid metals of the moon—

The thing my childish fingers found
Cast on a god-frequented ground,
And unto whose compelling note
Sprang the brown dryad from her tree,
And palest vampires came to me
With limbs more sweet than trodden lote.

I have not made such melodies
As call the philtered sorceries:
But I will weave, some autumn day,
A song to make your beauty mine—
Wrought not with mystical design
And chords of passionate dismay.

For I will tell, with wonted words,
A tale of two that autumn birds
Had led beneath oblivious skies,
Who plucked the wilding asters rare,
And peered from grasses like your hair
To distance blue as your blue eyes.

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