Tuesday, October 17, 2023

The Fallen Kingdoms of Romance

by Clark Ashton Smith

Who has seen the towers of Amithaine
Swan-throated rising from the main
Whose tides to some remoter moon
Flow in a fadeless afternoon?...
Who has seen the towers of Amithaine
Shall sleep, and dream of them again. 

 On falcon banners never furled,
Beyond the marches of the world,
They blazon forth the heraldries
Of dream-established sovereignties
Whose princes wage immortal wars
For beauty with the bale-red stars. 

 Amid the courts of Amithaine
The broken iris rears again
Restored from gardens youth has known;
And strains from ruinous viols flown
The legends tell in Amithaine
Of her that is its chatelaine. 

 Dreamer, beware! in her wild eyes
Full many a sunken sunset lies,
And gazing, you shall find perchance
The fallen kingdoms of romance,
And past the bourns of north and south
Follow the roses of her mouth. 

 For trumpets blare in Amithaine
For paladins that once again
Ride forth to ghostly, glamorous wars
Against the doom-preparing stars.
Dreamer, awake!... but I remain
To ride with them in Amithaine.