Sphinx and Medusa

by Clark Ashton Smith

The old constraint of an essential bond
Hath linkt them in my mind: opposed they stare,
Twin silences, that through Time's Otherwhere,
The ruinous past, thus each to each respond,
One with mysterious gaze that sees beyond
The straining suns, calm as the voidness there;
And one with eyes like deserts of despair,
Flameless as granite, clear as diamond.

They gaze across the past... Yet thought must see
That eve of time when man no longer yearns,
Grown deaf before Life's Sphinx, whose lips are barred;
When from the spaces of Eternity,
Silence, a rigorous Medusa, turns
On the lost world the stress of her regard.

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