Shadows (Howard)

A black moon nailed against a sullen dawn
Shakes down dark petals of a sombre rose;
The long lank shadows, sons of solitude,
Slink to the hills that silent, crouch and brood.
Across the East a grisly radiance grows,
And in the West the last grim star is gone.
Sons of the glaring idols of the night,
There still are groves amid the ebon crags,
In silent valleys, far from human sight,
Where horror slinks and doom, and sunlight lags.
There still are caves which know no mortal foot
And crawling rivers, blind and ghastly still,
And rocks that grip the oak tree’s twining root—
The asphodel still blooms beneath the hill.


I know your faces leering through the dark,
Your mumbling lips that fail of human speech.
The winds of night enfold you, swift and stark,
Unhallowed phantoms, whispering each to each.
You thrill with horror subtle, nameless, blind—
But grimmer shadows haunt the human mind.


From a letter to Tevis Clyde Smith, June 23, 1926:

I am that which was, was never,
Is, is not, shall be and shall not be.
I am unsubstantial existence, vague Being.
I am Unreality, a dreamy fog floating in this abyss
Of Self Beyond Self.
I live but I do not exist.
I have being but I have no form.
Men desire me but they now not what I am
Or from whence I come.
I come from nowhere and I am because I came not
And go not.
I am the essence of Nothing, the heights of
Attainment, the shade of a dim cloud that has no
Existence. I am built out of the fabric of
Unreality and Nonexistence and I am as powerful
As Babel, as unstable as a sea-fog.
Men are my slaves.
Only a free man can be my slave.
If a man be not free, he is no slave;
And being my slave, then only is he free.