Saturday, October 21, 2023

Above the Desert's Dark-Obscured Expanse

 The Moonlight Desert
by Clark Ashton Smith

Above the desert’s dark-obscured expanse
The rounded moon uplooms; at once laid clear
The waste leaps on the sight, the far and near
Known equally. As in a silver trance,
Its sand agleam, the desert lies outrolled.
How bright, seen through the burnt-out atmosphere,
The moon and the augmented stars appear,
Yet how aloof, incurious and cold!
Silent as they the waste outspreads, in white
Unbroken, save where lonely boulders cast
Their dusky-purple shadows on the sand--
Holding Death’s terror and its wisdom fast
Within that silence -- sinister and bright,
A dead, unutterably ancient land.