Amor Hesternalis

Clark Ashton Smith

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Our blood is swayed by sunken moons
And lulled by midnights long foredone;
We waken to a foundered sun
In Atlantean afternoons:
Our blood is swayed by sunken moons.

In gardens of another age,
For us, the Grecian roses fall,
The gold figs ripen by the wall;
And your pale breasts my love assuage—
In gardens of another age.

Our lot is with the lost and old:
We live, as in some fabulous
Fair idyl of Theocritus
Or tale by Heliodorus told—
Our home is with the lost and old.

Unmuted still, our pain abides,
Part of the lyre that Sappho smote,
And in the songs Catullus wrote
Our rapture and our grief resides.
Unmuted still, our pain abides.

A lamp in realms of night and death,
Our love reveals a tidal shore;
And still we follow, still implore
The sunken horns of Ashtoreth
In lands where all is night and death.

We are the specters of past years:
But soon Atlantis from the main
Shall lift; and Sappho bring again,
Risen from ancient brine and tears,
The Living Lesbos of past years.

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