Clark Ashton Smith
The Unremembered - Poem by Clark Ashton Smith
What stern prenatal palls occlude from us
Once-dominant Signs, once-rampant arms! How strait
The sunless road, suspended, separate,
That leads from death to birth! Not luminous
With lodestar, or with star calamitous,
The Past is closed as by the night-black spate
Of planet-gulfing seas—its keyless gate
Lost in Avernian shadows cavernous.
In his bleak mercy, Death forever strips
The soul of light and memory, rendering blind
Our vision, lest surmounted deeps appal,
As when on mountain-heights a glance behind
Betrays with knowledge, and the climber slips
Down gulfs of fear to some enormous fall.
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