Anterior Life (La Vie Anterieure)

Clark Ashton Smith

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Long since, I lived in lordly porches fronting
With thronged, enormous pillars to the tide,
Where day as in basaltic caverns died
With seaward gleams along the columns shunting.

The surges rolled the reflex of the skies
Before my portals, mystically blending
Their consonance of solemn chords unending
With the nacre and rose ignited in mine eyes.

I lay supine through days with amber scented,
Blue-litten by the vast and vagrant wave,
Nursing a somber secret none could know:

On the full bosom of a golden slave
My feet reposed, and sable queens invented
Fantastic love to tease my weary woe.

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