The 85 Weirdest, Day 30: Clark Ashton Smith
The March/April 85th anniversary issue of Weird Tales features our big list of “The 85 Weirdest Storytellers of the Past 85 Years.” We’re breaking it down online, too: one honoree per day, in no particular order, for 85 days!
CLARK ASHTON SMITH (1893-1961) was the only one of his contemporaries that H.P. Lovecraft regarded with awe, writing: “In sheer daemonic strangeness and fertility of conception, [he] is perhaps unexcelled by any other writer dead or living.” In the space of five years, Smith gifted the world with just over one hundred ultra-imaginative tales of “inconceivable fear and unimaginable love.” (And that’s not counting all the poems!) He managed to depict cosmic outsideness tinged with human fraility.
THE TEARS OF LILITH
by Clark Ashton Smith
O lovely demon, half-divine!
Hemlock and hydromel and gall,
Honey and aconite and wine
Mingle to make that mouth of thine—
Thy mouth I love: but most of all
It is thy tears that I desire—
Thy tears, like fountain-drops that fall
In gardens red, Satanical;
Or like the tears of mist and fire,
Wept by the moon, that wizards use
To secret runes when they require
Some silver philter, sweet and dire.