Sunday, 19 April 2009

Dreams of Arkham

Like any truly original writer, H.P. Lovecraft has spawned hordes of imitators. Most of these plagiarists are content with stealing one of Lovecraft’s plots, inventing some new entity to give them at least the impression of contributing something new and then making their sad concoctions “contemporary” by adding a lot of gore and/or sex.

However, some sensitive souls touched by Lovecraft actually manage to create something that captures some of the Gentleman of Providence’s unique vision. And as Lord Bassington-Bassington is in the process of preparing for his upcoming lecture on Lovecraft, The Chronicles see fit to present two excerpts from Lin Carter’s poetic cycle Dreams of R’lyeh, and some pictures by Symbolist artist Harold Arthur McNeill.

II. Arkham

How much I loved the city’s ancient ways
Quaint cobbled streets, fanlights above the door;
Arkham preserved a softer, gentler lore
In this day’s turmoil, from lost nobler days.
I loved the crooked alleys, narrow, grey,
And gabled houses all awry…
But even then it had begun to die;
The very air was noisome with decay.

The river-mist, rank with rotten smell,
The crowded houses, slumped, ramshackle, thin;
Arkham was like a corpse whose outward shell
Preserved a lifelike semblance, while within
Worm, mould and maggot, in a wriggling slime
Bear witness to the leprous touch of time.

XXIV. The Dream-Daemon

In dreams the Daemon comes upon the hour
Of full moon over Arkham. And I see
The opal shores of seas unknown to me
Where Babel-tall, bizarre, the cities tower –
Black and basalt metropolis of myth
Athrong with ziggurat and pyramid
That scale dark skies where ebon moons are hid.
Is it a dream of Yaddath or of Ith?

Or some outré and undimensioned sphere
Beyond the cosmos? I seek not to learn
Upon what occult world those ruins rear,
Remembering those books I ought to burn.
This much I know: the cities and the shore
Were somewhere, somehow, known to me before…


  1. Loathsomeness waits and dreams in the deep, and decay spreads over the tottering cities of men.

  2. I'm dreaming of a dead city
    Where Deep Ones swim in depths of night.
    Where Cthulhu's sleeping while stars go creeping
    Until the time when they are right.