I. THE BOOK
pub. the Fantasy Fan, 2 No. 2 (October 1934), 24.)
place was dark and dusty and half-lost
tangles of old alleys near the quays,
of strange thing brought in from the seas,
with queer curls of fog that west winds tossed,
lozenge panes obscured by smoke and frost,
showed the books, in piles like twisted trees,
from floor to roof-congeries
crumbling elder lore at little cost.
charmed, and from a cobwebbed heap
up the nearest tome and thumbed it through,
at curious words that seemed to keep
secret, monstrous if only one knew
looking for some seller old in craft,
find nothing but a voice that laughed.
pub. The Fantasy Fan, 2, no. 2 (October 1934), 24.)
the book beneath my coat, at pains
hide the thing from sight ins uch a place;
through the ancient harbour lanes
often-turning head and nervous oace.
furtive windows in old tottering brick
at me oddly as I hastened by,
thinking what they sheltered, I grew sick
a redeeming glimpse of clear blue sky.
one had seen me take the thing-but still
laugh echoes in my whirling head,
I could guess what nighted worlds of ill
in that volume I had coveted.
way grew strange-the walls alike and madding-
ar behind me, unseen feet were padding.
pub. The Fantasy Fan, 2, No. 5 (January 1935), 72.)
not know what windings in the waste
thos strange sea-lanes brought me home once more
on my porch I trembled, white with haste
get inside and bolt the heavy door
the book that old the hidden way
the void and through the space-hung screens
hold the undimensional worlds at bay
keep lost aeons to their own demesnes.
the key was mine to those vague visions
sunset spires and twilight woods that boord
in the gulfs beyond this earth's precisions
as memories of infinitude
key was mine, but as I sat there mumbling
attic window shook with a faint fumbling.
pub. Driftwind, 11, No. 5 (December 1936), 180.)
day had come again, when as a child
once- that hollow of old oaks,
with a ground-mist that enfolds and chokes
slinking shapes which madness has defiled
that the same-an herbage rank and wild
round an altar whose carved signs involve
Nameless One to whom a thousand smokes
aeons gone, from unclean towers up-piled.
the body spread on that dank stone,
knew those things which feasted were not men;
this strange, grey world was not my own,
Yuggoth, past the starry voids-and then
body shrieked at me with a dead cry,
all too late I knew that it was I!
pub. The Fantasy Fan, 2, No. 5 (January 1935), 72)
daemon said that he would take me home
the pale, shadowy land I half-recalled
a high place of stair and terrace, walled
marble balustrades that sky-winds comb,
miles below a maze of dome on dome
tower on tower beside a sea lies sprawled.
more, he told me, I would stand enthralled
those old heights, and hear the far-off foam.
this he promised, and through sunset's gate
swept me, past the lapping lakes of Flame,
red-gold thrones of gods without a name
shriek in fear at some impending fate
a black gulf with sea-sounds in the night"
was your home," he mocked, "when you had sight!"
pub. Driftwind, 5, No. 5 (March 1931), 16.)
the lamp inside those hollow cliffs
chiselled sign no priest in Thebes could read,
from whose caverns frightened hieroglyphs
every living creature of earth's breed.
more was there-just that one brazen bowl
traces of a curious oil within;
wtih some obscurely patterned scroll
symbols hinting vaguely of strange sin.
the fears of forty centuris meant
us as we bore off our slender spoil
when we scanned it in our darkened tent
struck a match to test the ancient oil
blazed-Great God!. . . But the vast shapes we saw
that mad flash have seared our lives with awe.
pub. Driftwind, 9, No. 4 (October 1934), 125)
great hill hung close over the old town
against the main street's end
tall, and wooded, looking darkly down
the steeple at the highway bend
hundred years the whispers had been heard
what happened on the man-shunned slope
of an oddly mangled dear or bird
of lost boys whose kin had ceased to hope
day the mail-man found no village there
were its folks or house seen again
came out of Aylesbury to state
they all told the mail-man it was plain
he was mad for saying he had spied
great hill's gluttonous eyes, and jaws stretched wide
pub. Driftwind, 5, No. 3 (November 1930), 36.)
miles from Arkham I had struck the trail
rides the cliff-edge over Boynton Beach,
hoped that just at asunset I could reach
crest tht looks on Innsmouth in the vale.
out at sea was a retreating sail
as hard years of ancient winds could bleach
evil with some portent byeond speech
that I did not wave my hand or hail.
out of Innsmouth! Echoing old renown
long-dead times, but now a too-swift night
closing in, and I have reached the height
I so often scan the distant town
spires and roofs are there-but look! The gloom
on dark lanes, as lightless as the tomb!
pub. Weird Tales, 16, No. 3 (September 1930), 322.)
the city I had known before;
ancient, leprous town where mongrel throngs
to strange gods, and beat unhallowed gongs
crypts beneath foul alleys near the shor.
rotting, fish-eyed houses leered at me
where they leaned, drunk and half-animate,
edging through the filth I passed the gate
the black courtyard where the man would be....
dark walls closed me in, and loud I cursed
ever I had come to such a den,
suddenly a score of windows burst
wild light, and swarmed with dancing men:
soundless revels of the dragging dead-
not a corpse had either hands or head!
Tales, 39, No. 9 (January 1947), 96.)
took me slumming, where gaunt walls of brick
outward with s viscous stored-up evil
twisted faces, thronging foul and thick
messages to alien god and devil
fires were blazing in the streets
from flat roofs a furtive few would fly
birds into the yawning sky
hidden drums droned on with measured beats.
those fires where brewing monstrous things,
that those birds of space has been Outside-
to what dark planet's crypts they plied
wht they brought from Thog beneath their wings
others laughed-till struck too mute to speak
what they glimpsed in one bird's evil beak.
pub. The Providence Journal, 102, No. 116 (14 May 1930), 15.)
Seth Atwood was past eight when
tried to sink that deep well by his door
only Eb to help him bore and bore
laughed, and hoped he'd soon be sane again
yet, instead, young Eb went crazy, too,
that they shipped him to the county farm
bricked up the well-mouth up as tight as glue-
hacked an artery in his gnarled left arm.
the funeral we felt bound to get
to that well and rip the bricks away
all we saw were iron handholds set
a black hole deeper than we could say
yet we put the bricks back-for we found
hole too deep for any line to sound.
pub. Driftwind, 7, no. 3 (November 1932), 100.)
told me not to take the Briggs' Hill path
used to be the highroad through to Zoar,
Goody Watkins, hanged in seventeen-four,
left a certain monstrous aftermath.
when I disobeyed, and had in view
vine-hung cottage by the great rock slope,
not think of elms or hempen rope,
wondered why the house still seemed so new.
a while to watch the fading day,
faint howls, as from a room upstairs,
through the ivied panes one sunset ray
in, and caught the howler unawares.
- and ran in frenzy from the place,
from a four-pawed thing with human face.