Friday, January 13, 2023

To the Daemon

Tell me many tales, O benign maleficent daemon, but tell me none that I have ever heard or have even dreamt of otherwise than obscurely or infrequently. Nay, tell me not of anything that lies between the bourns of time or the limits of space: for I am a little weary of all recorded years and charted lands; and the isles that are westward of Cathay, and the sunset realms of Ind, are not remote enough to be made the abiding-place of my conceptions; and Atlantis is over-new for my thoughts to sojourn there, and Mu itself has gazed upon the sun in aeons that are too recent,

Tell me many tales, but let them be of things that are past the lore of legend and of which there are no myths in our world or any world adjoining. Tell me, if you will, of the years when the moon was young, with siren-rippled seas and mountains that were zoned with flowers from base to summit; tell me of the planets gray with eld, of the worlds whereon no mortal astronomer has ever looked, and whose mystic heavens and horizons have given pause to visionaries. Tell me of the vaster blossoms within whose cradling chalices a woman could sleep; of the seas of fire that beat on strands of ever-during ice; of perfumes that can give eternal slumber in a breath; of eyeless titans that dwell in Uranus, and beings that wander in the green light of the twin suns of azure and orange. Tell me tales of inconceivable fear and unimaginable love, in orbs whereto our sun is a nameless star, or unto which its rays have never reached.


  1. Swifter and stranger grow
    The visions: now a mighty city looms,
    Hewn from a hill of purest cinnabar
    To domes and turrets like a sunrise thronged
    With tier on tier of captive moons, half-drowned
    In shifting erubescence. But whose hands
    Were sculptors of its doors, and columns wrought
    To semblance of prodigious blooms of old,
    No eremite hath lingered there to say,
    And no man comes to learn: for long ago
    A prophet came, warning its timid king
    Against the plague of lichens that had crept
    Across subverted empires, and the sand
    Of wastes that cyclopean mountains ward;
    Which, slow and ineluctable, would come
    To take his fiery bastions and his fanes,
    And quench his domes with greenish tetter.

    1. Okay, you got me with tetter. So close to not having to look anything up.