Howard Phillips Lovecraft

(1890-1937 / the United States)

The Messenger - Poem by Howard Phillips Lovecraft

The thing, he said, would come in the night at three
From the old churchyard on the hill below;
But crouching by an oak fire's wholesome glow,
I tried to tell myself it could not be.

Surely, I mused, it was pleasantry
Devised by one who did not truly know
The Elder Sign, bequeathed from long ago,
That sets the fumbling forms of darkness free.

He had not meant it - no - but still I lit
Another lamp as starry Leo climbed
Out of the Seekonk, and a steeple chimed
Three - and the firelight faded, bit by bit.

Then at the door that cautious rattling came -
And the mad truth devoured me like a flame!

Comments about The Messenger by Howard Phillips Lovecraft

  • Oilibheir Álain Christie (3/27/2017 7:49:00 AM)

    This is the right display for the lovecraftian sonnet form, indeed: Three quatrains (in this case all quatrains are ABBA rhymed; and its variants CDDC and EFFE) and one couplet. It corresponds to the shakespearian sonnet form.
    Just too bad that you have not restored that structure to the 36 sonnets in Fungi from Yuggoth.
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  • (8/20/2016 6:00:00 PM)

    After reading Lovecrafts stories you kind of realize Stephen Kings a bit of an amateur when it comes to installing primal fear, not knowing what's beyond the door is more terrifying then known. (Report) Reply

  • Moira Cameron (8/20/2016 5:51:00 PM)

    I have never read any of Lovecraft's poems, but have read many of his stories. This was a delightful discovery. I love how it ends without the reader knowing what really happens - leaving it all to our imagination. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (8/20/2016 4:54:00 PM)

    There are probably a number of ways this poem could be taken- -but I am in the mood for a straight forward lovable tale about soul-sucking monsters stirring in the dark... yummy Stephen King/Edgar Allen Poe kind of poetry or plot (Report) Reply

  • Savita Tyagi (8/20/2016 10:26:00 AM)

    This is a poignant write rocking between faith and doubt and mesmerized by the ultimate truth! (Report) Reply

  • Liza Sudina (8/20/2016 2:19:00 AM)

    And the mad truth devoured me like a flame! - this is a genius poem! (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 3, 2010

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