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Though mainly known for his short stories and novels, it is Lovecraft’s poetical work that, maybe unsurprisingly for a blog with a focus like mine, interests me most.

It’s hard to write Gothic fiction, and harder to write Gothic poetry, because the stylistic frames are so closely defined. So, the parallels between Lovecraft’s texts, and Mr C’s work might be genre-imposed, rather than being based on direct reception. Still, many of the tropes that Coleridge is famous for echo in Lovecraft.

The City

      It was golden and splendid,
That City of light;
A vision suspended
In deeps of the night;
A region of wonder and glory, whose temples were marble and white.
I remember the season
It dawn’d on my gaze;
The mad time of unreason,
The brain-numbing days
When Winter, white-sheeted and ghastly, stalks onward to torture and craze.

More lovely than Zion
It shone in the sky,
When the beams of Orion
Beclouded my eye,
Bringing sleep that was fill’d with dim mem’ries of moments obscure and gone by.

Its mansions were stately
With carvings made fair,
Each rising sedately
On terraces rare,
And the gardens were fragrant and bright with strange miracles blossoming there.

The avenues lur’d me
With vistas sublime;
Tall arches assur’d me
That once on a time
I had wander’d in rapture beneath them, and bask’d in the Halcyon clime.

On the plazas were standing
A sculptur’d array;
Long-bearded, commanding,
Grave men in their day—
But one stood dismantled and broken, its bearded face batter’d away.

In that city effulgent
No mortal I saw;
But my fancy, indulgent
To memory’s law,
Linger’d long on the forms in the plazas, and eyed their stone features with awe.

I fann’d the faint ember
That glow’d in my mind,
And strove to remember
The aeons behind;
To rove thro’ infinity freely, and visit the past unconfin’d.

Then the horrible warning
Upon my soul sped
Like the ominous morning
That rises in red,
And in panic I flew from the knowledge of terrors forgotten and dead.

Text taken from www.hplovecraft.com.

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