The Complete Poetry of H. P. Lovecraft, Howard Lovecraft
Howard Lovecraft

The Complete Poetry of H. P. Lovecraft

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Like Poe, Lovecraft began writing significantly more poetry than fiction, and at one point considered himself primarily a poet. This is his (more of less) complete public domain poetry.
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Lovecraft is a master of his genre !

Ode to Selene or Diana
Immortal Moon, in maiden splendour shine.

Dispense thy beams, divine Latona’s child.

Thy silver rays all grosser things define,

And hide harsh truth in sweet illusion mild.

In thy soft light, the city of unrest

That stands so squalid in thy brother’s glare

Throws off its habit, and in silence blest

Becomes a vision, sparkling bright and fair.

The modern world, with all it’s care & pain,

The smoky streets, the hideous clanging mills,

Face ’neath thy beams, Selene, and again

We dream like shepherds on Chaldæa’s hills.

Take heed, Diana, of my humble plea.

Convey me where my happiness may last.

Draw me against the tide of time’s rough sea

And let my sprirt rest amid the past
On the Vanity of Human Ambition

Apollo, chasing Daphne, gain’d his prize
But lo! she turn’d to wood before his eyes.
More modern swains at golden prizes aim,
And ever strive some worldly thing to claim.
Yet ’tis the same as in Apollo’s case,
For, once attain’d, the purest gold seems base.
All that men seek ’s unworthy of the quest,
Yet seek they will, and never pause for rest.
True bliss, methinks, a man can only find
In virtuous life, & cultivated mind.
The place was dark and dusty and half-lost
In tangles of old alleys near the quays,
Reeking of strange things brought in from the seas,
And with queer curls of fog that west winds tossed.
Small lozenge panes, obscured by smoke and frost,
Just shewed the books, in piles like twisted trees,
Rotting from floor to roof—congeries
Of crumbling elder lore at little cost.
I entered, charmed, and from a cobwebbed heap
Took up the nearest tome and thumbed it through,
Trembling at curious words that seemed to keep
Some secret, monstrous if one only knew.
Then, looking for some seller old in craft,
I could find nothing but a voice that laughed.
II. Pursuit
I held the book beneath my coat, at pains
To hide the thing from sight in such a place;
Hurrying through the ancient harbor lanes
With often-turning head and nervous pace.
Dull, furtive windows in old tottering brick
Peered at me oddly as I hastened by,
And thinking what they sheltered, I grew sick
For a redeeming glimpse of clean blue sky.
No one had seen me take the thing—but still
A blank laugh echoed in my whirling head,
And I could guess what nighted worlds of ill
Lurked in that volume I had coveted.
The way grew strange—the walls alike and madding—
And far behind me, unseen
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