[Christmas Greetings]

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Szerző: Howard Phillips Lovecraft • Év: ?

1. [To Samuel Loveman]

At ease behind thy lofty casement,

   Charm’d magick, op’ning on the foam

Of perilous seas wherein have placement

   The faery spire and island dome,

Accept these maund’rings, dull and charmless,

   Such as old men in dotage whine;

Assur’d that they at least are harmless,

   Pat to the season, and benign!


2. [To Eugene B. Kuntz et al]

May good St. Nick, like as a bird of night,

Bring thee rich blessings in his annual flight;

Long by thy chimney rest his pond’rous pack,

And leave with lessen’d weight upon his back!


3. [To ?]

In wishing Christmas joys for you,

I don’t know where to stop, that’s true;

But sure, to stop were useless pains,

Since not a bound my wish restrains!


4. [To Anne Tillery Renshaw]

Madam, accept a halting lay

That fain would cheer thy Christmas Day;

But fancy not the bard’s good will

Is as uncertain as his quill!

—From the Copy-Reviser


5. [To Sarah Susan Lovecraft]

May these dull verses for thy Christmastide

An added ray of cheerfulness provide,

For tho’ in art they take an humble place,

Their message is not measur’d by their grace.

As on this day of cold the turning sun

Bath in the sky his northward course begun,

So may this season’s trials hold for thee

The latent fount of bright futurity!

—Yr aff. son & obt Servt., H.P.L.


6. [To M. P. K.J

Since heathen creeds a Christmas wish prevent,

A card Brumalian speaks my good intent;

For know ye, that this season held its cheer

Long ere it grew to saints and Christians dear.

—M. Lollius Paganus


7. A Brumalian Wish [To Maurice W. Moe]

From the damnable shadows of madness,

   From the corpse-rotten hollow of Weir,

Comes a horrible message of gladness,

   And a ghost-guided poem of cheer—

And a gloom-spouting pupil of Poe sends the pleasantest wish of the year!


May the ghouls of the neighbouring regions,

   And the cursed necrophagous things,

Lay aside their dark habits in legions,

   For the bliss that Brumalia brings—

And may Druids innum’rable bless thee, as they dance on the moor’s fairy-rings!


So, Galba, may pleasures attend thee

   Thro’ all thy bright glorious days;

May the world and the mighty commend thee,

   And the cosmos resound with thy praise—

And may all future ages be brilliant with the light of thine intellect’s rays!

—Edward John Ambrose Bierce Theobald


8. [To Lillian D. Clark]

Tribute, like Charity, begins at home,

   Nor will this first-writ message farther roam;

In vain the westward postman bears his pack—

   For each o’erflowing Christmas wish comes back!


9. [To James F. Morton, Samuel Loveman, and Annie E. P. Gamwell]

As Saturnalian garlands wreathe

The pillars of each pagan door,

Let one unalter’d Roman breathe

His annual Yuletide wish once more!


10. [To Albert A. Sandusky]

Hot dawg, ol’ cell-mate—may the day be

Grief’s funeral for one rough baby!

Fly o’er the gas Yule’s twin red banners,

And Santa’ll fill ‘em with bananas!


11. [To Charles A. A. Parker]

There was an old geezer nam’d THEOBALD,

Who’d rather have dropped in than scribbled;

   But his roll ebb’d too low—

   For ‘twas all outbound flow

Whilst inbound the jack only dribbled!


12. [To Rheinhart Kleiner and Jonathan E. Hoag]

Once more Boeotia in presumption scrawls

A flatt’ring message to Aonian halls,

And hopes the Bard, in retrospective vein,

May live the old remember’d days again!


13. [To Frank Belknap Long]

Whilst you invade with prattling joy

   The chrome-blue swamp oneiroscopick,

And like a multivalent boy

   Divagate some bidextrous topick;

Whilst, as I say, you thus amuse

   A modern mind with Eliot leanings,

Pray laugh not if your Grandpa choose

   A simpler rhyme, and one with meanings.


We old folks know, of course, the world

   Is but a chaos frail and vicious;

A very rubbish-vortex, hurl’d

   In shapes delusive and capricious;

But split me, Child, if we can mend

   Our stale empirick imperfection,

Or keep from making outlines blend

   The way they do before dissection!


And so tonight with pen in hand

   To wish the blessings of the season,

I’m curst if I can well command

   The mode in analytick reason!

I can’t take Santa Claus apart,

   In shreds denigrate with strabismus,

So, Child, I’ll quit the quest of art,

   And wish an Old Man’s Merry Christmas!


14. [To W. Paul Cook]

O’er frosty meads my humble couplets roll

To greet in song the world’s most gen’rous soul;

This lib’ral day from thee was sure design’d,

Since ‘tis so plain a pattern of thy mind!


15. [To C. W. Smith]

As now the Yuletide hours appear,

And firesides beam with festive cheer,

May no blest hearth at evening shine,

TRYOUT, with warmer glow than thine!


16. [To ?]

Illustrious Monarch, in whose lofty mind

The scholar and executive are join’d,

See round the throne thy docile subjects kneel

To speak this wish, that all united feel:

“May each bright moment of thy holidays

Glow with the warmth of joy’s unhinder’d blaze!”


17. [To ?]

The cottage hearth beams warm and bright,

   The candles gaily glow;

The stars emit a kinder light

   Above the drifted snow.


Down from the sky a magic steals

   To glad the passing year,

And belfries sing with joyous peals,

   For Christmastide is here!


18. [To Rheinhart Kleiner]

St. John, accept ‘mid winter’s blast

A pictur’d mem’ry of the past;

July his image sends to cheer

Your Christmas and your coming year.


19. [To ?]

In these dull lines regards I give—

Conserver from Conservative;

But conservation does not fill

My mind when dealing out good will!


20. [To Verna McGeoch]

Tho’ late I vow’d no more to rhyme,

   The Yuletide season wakes my quill;

So to a fairer, flowing clime

   An’ ice-bound scribbler sends good will.


21. [To Philip B. McDonald?]

Plotinus, tho’ thy mystic mind

   Soars high o’er the atomic world,

Scorn not the wishes, bright and kind,

   At thee by T. LUCRETIUS hurl’d!


22. [To Mary Faye Durr]

Behold a wretch with scanty credit,—

An editor who does not edit—

But if thou seek’st a knave to hiss,

Change cars—he lives in Elroy, Wis.!


23. [To W. Paul Cook]

That Yuletide came from Saturn’s annual feast,

Is claim’d by ev’ry pompous sciolist;

The gen’rous attitude, they say, is drawn

From lib’ral Roman virtues, past and gone:

What rot to fool each shallow-pated ass—

For Christmas was set up in Athol, Mass.!


24. [To John Milton Samples]

May Yuletide lend its genial ray

To ease the burdens of the way;

And with its pow’r at last restore

The CLARION’S peal to Georgia’s shore.


25. [To Arthur Goodenough]

Bright Tityrus of the mountains green,

   Who sweetly pip’st in beechen shades,

Let Christmas find thy blest demesne

   The haunt of all th’ Aonian maids.


From frozen steeps in song proclaim

   The sleeping Pan, and let them ring

With Flora’s and Apollo’s name,

   Prophetic of the verdant spring.


26. [To C. W. Smith]

May Nymphs and Graces ever bless

   Thy home, and keep thy pathway bright,

Cheering each day with happiness

   And sending joyous dreams each night.


May TRYOUT flourish as of yore,

   And THOMAS free from snares remain;

And long by thy congenial door

   May Pleasure pause with all her train!


27. [To Jonathan E. Hoag]

As garlands on each happy door

Proclaim the Christmas feast once more,

Let THEOBALD send his deep regard

To SCRIBA, Muse-befriended bard.

May the New Year auspicious hold

Fresh honours added to the old;

And may there beam, thro’ Fortune’s art,

An AVALON within thy heart!


28. [To L. Evelyn Schump]

May Yuletide bless the town of snow

   Where Mormons lead their tangled lives;

And may the light of promise glow

   On each grave cit and all his wives.


29. [To Rheinhart Kleiner, Alice M. Hamlet, and Eugene B. Kuntz]

In Yuletide verse I’d fain convey

Thoughts from a bard of yesterday;

Yet deem no wish that I repeat,

Like my dull rhyming, obsolete!


30. [To Laurie A. Sawyer]

As Christmas snows (as yet a poet’s trope)

Call back one’s bygone days of youth and hope,

Four metrick lines I send—they’re quite enough—

Tho’ once I fancy’d I could write the stuff!


31. [To a cat]

As once Hortensia, mythical and bright,

A sparkish COLE to couplets could incite;

So thou, Sir Tatt, with less fictitious grace,

Inspir’st a lover of thy furry race!


32. Theobaldian Hibernation [To Edith Miniter]

See in his cell the lonely Hermit sit,

   Whilst the gay world its festival is keeping;

Fantastick figures in his visions flit—

   Forgotten dust, thro’ many an aeon sleeping:

But lo! he stirs—and on a Lydian breeze

Wafts his grave message down the centuries!


33. [To Winifred Virginia Jackson]

Inferior worth here hails with limping song

The new-crown’d Monarch of Aonia’s throng;

And sends in couplets weak and paralytick,

The Yuletide greetings of a crusty critick!


34. [To D. R.]

In these dull lines, deserving of no praise,

Old age to infancy a tribute pays;

And hopes that time to you may kindly give

Unfading youth, but boundless years to live!


35. [To Annie E. P. GamwellJ

This deathless epick hath not far to go,

And its round trip is mostly made for show;

Yet it conveys good will no less sincere

For Saturnalia and the coming year!


36. [To Lillian D. Clark and C. W. Smith]

As Saturnalian days draw near

To mark the climax of the year,

And green-drap’d temples glimmer bright

With waxen tapers’ sacred light;

As Phoebus draws his heav’nly rein 5

And turns his coursers north again,

I trust that you may richly share

In ev’ry boon the gods prepare!


37. [To Alfred Galpin, Myrta Alice Little, Winifred Jackson, and Verna McGeoch]

Tho’ Christmas to the stupid pious throng,

These are the hours of Saturn’s pagan song;

When in the greens that hang on ev’ry door

We see the spring that lies so far before.


38. [To Annie E. P. Gamwell]

Tho’ short the course my humble note must run,

In warm good-will ‘tis not to be outdone:

May this bright day and Saturnalian mirth

Improve your fortunes, and reward your worth!


39. [To Lillian D. Clark]

My trifling lines, in wit too feebly dumb,

Arrive anon exactly whence they come!

But tho’ their circling bounds be monstrous small,

They hold good wishes with no bounds at all!


40. [To Lillian McMullen and Jonathan E. Hoag]

To poetry’s home the bard would fain convey

The brightest wishes of a festal day;

Yet fears they’ll seem, so lowly is the giver,

Coals to Newcastle; water to the river!


41. [To Rheinhart Kleiner]

To shades Aonian I address my song,

Where dreams the noblest of the poet-throng;

And makes my fondest Yuletide wishes known

In couplets he wou’d be asham’d to own.


42. [To W Paul Cook]

May Yule to thee all blessings swift impart,

Artist, and patron of each soaring art;

Long live thy house, and may the future know

Athol as nucleus of the Muses’ glow:

Let foremost stand, for ornament and use,

Thy tasteful volumes, and thy bright Recluse!


43. [To James F. Morton]

From mines celestial Santa digs a gem

To deck your proud Museum’s diadem;

A common stone, yet worthy of a. place

In some dark alcove, or inferior case:

‘Tis Christmas cheer—swell’d livelier and greater

By him who bears it to a sage Curator!


44. [To C. W. Smith]

Enclos’d you’ll find, if nothing fly astray,

Cheer for a bright New-England Christmas day;

Yet will that cheer redound no less to me,

For where these greetings go, my heart shall be!


45. [To Edward L. Sechrist]

May Polynesian skies thy Yuletide bless,

And primal gods impart thee happiness;

Zimbabwe’s wonders hint mysterious themes,

And ne’er a Dybbuk lurk to mar thy dreams!


46. [To John Russell]

To old Britannia’s storied strand

   May Yuletide greetings glide,

As with a warm extended hand

   I brush the seas aside!


47 [To Jonathan E. Hoag, Samuel Loveman, and Eugene B. Kuntz]

Son of the Muse, may Yuletide bear

   A thousand joys to crown thy worth,

Whilst Fame supplies her curule chair

   To seat thee with the great of earth.


Sweet as the Musick of thy lyre

   Be all the coming year shall bring,

And with thine own Aonian fire

   May life to thee of beauty sing!


48. [To Rheinhart Kleiner]

A wreath to thee, whose double art

Can play the bard’s and draughtsman’s part,

And give to what thy visions trace

A setting worthy of their grace!

The monkish scribe, beat by thy hand,

Shares envy with the poet. band;

Nor will th’ impartial judge allow

That any do as well as thou.

Thus humbled, let us all draw near

To wish our victor Christmas cheer!


49. [To George Kirk]

Since Chelsea is old SANTAS very home,

I trust he’ll call before he starts to roam,

And find in KIRK a worthy youth to crown

With all the fame that MOORE of old laid down!


50. [To Arthur Leeds]

May Yuletide such beneficence evince

That thou mayst walk as gay as Pilsen’s Prince;

Let wealth come fast, and sweet content still faster,

Till thou ‘rt as placid as a Burgomaster!


51. [To Everett McNeil]

May Gallic shades thy Yuletide bless,

And all their pleasing lore express,

   Of wilderness and stream;

TONTY, successful, bids thee raise

For bold CHAMPLAIN thy potent praise,

   And revel in the theme!


52. [To Albert A. Sandusky]

Run out of slang, and far from fresh supplies,

I pen this feeble message to the wise:

Forgive the style, and grasp the good intent,

For ne’er was Christmas cheer more truly meant!


53. [To Edith Miniter]

From distant churchyards hear a Yuletide groan

As ghoulish Goodguile heaves his heaps of bone;

Each ancient slab the festive holly wears,

And all the worms disclaim their earthly cares:

Mayst thou, ‘neath sprightlier skies, no less rejoice,

And hail the season with exulting voice!


54. [To Anne Tillery Renshaw and Wilfred B. Talman]

Each column by Potomac clear

   May Christmas wreaths entwine;

And may of all the season’s cheer

   A goodly share be thine!


55. [To Edgar J. Davis]

May Santa bring to Harvard’s brightest son

A Pickle for a Very Knowing One,

Whilst Father Charles and reed-crown’d Merrimack

Unite to swell with praise his gen’rous pack.


56. [To Alfred Galpin, Victor E. Bacon, and Wilfred B. Talman]

May good St. Nick, unaw’d by lights Parisian,

Bring thee rich blessings in his annual mission;

Long by thy chimney rest his pond’rous pack,

And leave with lessen’d weight upon his back.


57. [To Maurice W. Moe]

May Yuletide pow’rs thy worth reward,

And give thee happiness unmarr’d;

Attending angels guard thy path

And shield thee from celestial wrath.


58. [To Charles A. A. Parker]

Let Cliftondale to Yuletide croakings bark,

As the dull Raven greets the sprightly Lark!


59. [To James F. Morton]

Whilst cheaper souls extatick bark,

   And slop effusive o’er each page,

To milder purrs I bid thee hark,

   As feline Theobald greets a Sage.


When by the happy Yuletide fire

   There soars the Ave and Te Deum,

May Jersey’s choicest cats conspire

   To fix their mews in thy Musaeum!


60. [To Rheinhart Kleiner]

The simple rustick here essays

To fan your urban Yuletide blaze,

And tincture with his clumsy bit

Sophistication’s polish’d wit!


61. [To Frank Belknap Long]

As ev’ry year the Farmer’s Almanack

Tells us that Christmas once again is back,

Our thoughts ancestral turn to former days,

And old dreams flicker o’er the fagot’s blaze.

Take, then, this token, by a patriarch penn’d,

Who would to youth the antient lore commend,

Nor scorn that art which elder souls admire,

Flung whitely heav’nward in a Georgian spire!


62. [To Samuel Loveman, Victor E. Bacon, and Eugene B. Kuntz]

From Georgian byways, snowy, quaint, and steep,

To Hellas’ temple, pois’d above the deep,

These Yuletide wishes fly, and bid you hold

Abundant revels, fill’d with joys of old.


63. [To George Kirk]

Where Chelsea’s cluster’d steeples climb,

   And peaceful hearths at Christmas glow,

Let simple age direct a rhyme

   To sing the praise of long ago.


With wholesome boons may all be blest

   Who bide within thy happy door:

Charlie, small Oscar, and the rest—

   And thou, whose Art can highest soar!


64. [To Everett McNeil]

With happy heart let Theobald pitch in

To sing thy rescue from Hell’s Kitchen;

So late himself from slums escap’d,

His joy with genuine warmth is shap’d!

Each with like words the season greets—

D—n 49th and Clinton Streets!


65. [To Wilfred B. Tolman]

Colonial greetings!—tho’ I sorrow much

That I can’t send them fluently in Dutch.

Even the house this modest card commands

Savours but little of New-Netherlands!

But spite of that, believe the wishes good,

And that I’d curve the roof-line if I could;

Whilst genealogy assures you true

That old Saint Nick is Holland thro’ and thro’!


66. [To Alfred Galpin]

Let simple Age melodick youth address,

And wish a Maestro Yuletide happiness.

From Georgian hills the cordial message flies,

To sing old days beneath the western skies.


67. [To Sonia H. Greene]

Once more the ancient feast returns,

And the bright hearth domestic burns

   With Yuletide’s added blaze;

So, too, may all your joys increase

Midst floods of mem’ry, love, and peace,

   And dreams of Halcyon days.


68. [To Jonathan E. Hoag]

May Christmas gladness, nimble, warm, and witty,

Descend abundant on old Whipple City;

And bring a special blessing and reward

For Scriba, first as citizen and bard!


69. [To Lillian D. Clark]

Restor’d to ancient scenes where I belong,

Returning gladness fills my annual song;

And these fond wishes, bright with Yuletide’s glow,

Take pleasure that they have not far to go!


70. [To Annie E. P. Gamwell]

As from the steeple, Georgian, white, and fair,

The bells of Christmas cheer the ancient air,

These greetings flow, wherein the past essays

With warm regard to fan your Yuletide blaze.


71. [To Albert A. Sandusky]

Here’s the old stuff—without much pep

As measur’d by your zippy rep,

But warm and cordial-like clear thro’,

And best a simple goof can do!


72. [To C. W. Smith]

Restor’d to ancient scenes where I belong,

Returning gladness fills my song;

And doubly glad I am when I address

Tryout, rejoicing in like happiness!


73. [To Edith Miniter]

Hark, from the nighted crypt a Georgian song

Of one restor’d to where he doth belong.

Encircling ghouls the daemon chorus swell,

And cordial ululations wish thee well!


74. [To Edward L. Sechrist]

From Georgian spires to Southern seas

   A wealth of blessings showers;

Abounding honey to thy bees,

   And peace to all thy hours!


75. [To W. Paul Cook]

May Athol as of yore be merry

With bright rejoicings Culinary,

And may no Christmas joy of old

Be Vagrant from the hearthside fold!


76. [To Rheinhart Kleiner]

St. John, whose art sublimely shines

In liquid odes and melting lines,

Let Theobald his regard express

In verse of lesser loveliness.

As now in regal state appear

The festive hours of Yuletide cheer,

My strongest wish is that you may

Feel ev’ry blessing of the day!


77. [To Alice M. Hamlet]

As gay Inzana with her light

Dispels the stars of Christmas night,

And happy gods intone an hymn

From blest Sardathrion to the Rim.


78. [To ?]

Accept, skill’d bard, a Yuletide line

From one whose gifts are less than thine.

If wanting in the words be aught,

Pray deem it present in the thought.


79. [To ?]

As you ‘neath tropick skies enjoy

   The fav’ring sun’s most genial rays,

And can your golden hours employ

   In gentle summer’s blissful ways,

Take the good wishes of an Arctick friend—

The only kind of warmth our clime can lend!


80. [To Felis (Frank Belknap Long’s cat)]

Little Tiger, burning bright

With a subtle Blakeish light,

Tell what visions have their home

In those eyes of flame and chrome!

Children vex thee—thoughtless, gay—

Holding when thou wouldst away:

What dark lore is that which thou,

Spitting, mixest with thy meow?


81. [To Charles A. A. Parker]

May that fleet lark, whose late ambitious flight

Cheer’d my dull hours, and made my cottage bright,

Soar past such realms as these, and from the blue

Draw down, grave Clarence, some reward for you!


82. [To Edith Miniter]

Saturnalian cheer again at hand,

   With greens and holly on each door,

The tireless rhymer, smug and bland,

   Begins anew the annual bore.


Not his to vaunt a poet’s bays,

   Whose bays may only reach the moon—

So trite and callous in my ways,

   I jazz once more the hackney’d tune.


83. [To Tat (Edith Miniter’s cat)]

Tom Grey, ‘tis no elegiack strain

   I sound in Yuletide gratulation,

For sure, I hope it still is plain

   Your state is one of animation.


As far from my Novanglian lea

   I meditate in many a boneyard,

The grey slabs turn my thoughts to thee,

   Yet purring gravely in thine own yard.


84. [To Albert A. Sandusky]

Well, Kid, I gotta leave it skip

Dat I have kinda lost my grip

In shootin’ Mexpet since me gas

Got switched so fur from Cambridge, Mass.


But hell! les’ hope that or Doc Time,

Touch’d by dis bevo’d fadeout rhyme,

Will some day patch the busted chain

An’ tune de outfit up again!


85. [To Edward H. Cole]

CARBO, attend the Muses’ pleasing flight

On this benignant Saturnalian night,

And let good will approach your holly’d gates

Deckt with those chaplets that the lyre creates:

But stay! by what ungentle thought impell’d,

You ask what poetry this card e’er held?


86. [To Edward L. Sechrist]

Minstrel of coral bow’rs whose limpid lay

Brings tropick visions ev’n on Christmas Day,

May golden seas stretch placid for thy proa,

And all for thee smile she of Hina-Moa!


87. [To Alice M. Hamlet]

May Christmas bring such pleasing boons

   As trolloom scarce can shew;

More potent than the Elf-King’s runes

   Or Erl of long ago!

And sure, the least of Santa’s spells

Dwarfs all of poor Ziroonderel’s!


88. [To Sonia H. Greene]

Once more the greens and holly grow

Against the (figurative) snow

   To mark the Yuletide cheer;

Whilst as of old the aged quill

Moves in connubial fondness still,

   And quavers, “Yes, My Dear!”


May Santa, wheresoe’er he find

Thy roving footsteps now inclin’d,

   His choicest boons impart;

Old Theobald, tho’ his purse be bare,

Makes haste to proffer, as his share,

   Affection from the heart!


89. [To Lillian D. Clark]

Slight is the tour my lines essay,

But vast the fondness they convey:

And no less vast is all the throng

Of joys I’d like to send along!


90. [To Annie E. P. Gamwell]

No false address is this with which I start,

Since the lines come directly from my heart.

Would that the rest of me were hov’ring nigh

That spot where my soul rose, and where ‘twill die.

But since geography has scatter’d round

That empty shell which still stalks on the ground,

To Brooklyn’s shores I’ll waft a firm command,

And lay a duty on the dull right hand:

“Hand,” I will broadcast, as my soul’s eyes look

O’er roofs of Maynard, Gowdy, Greene, and Cook,

past Banigan’s toward Seekonk’s red-bridg’d brook,

“To daughter Anne a Yuletide greeting scrawl

Where’er her footsteps may have chanc’d to fall,

And bid her keep my blessing clear in view

In Providence, Daytona, or Peru!”


91. [To Rheinhart Kleinert

For thee, Lothario, as the Yule

Revives the joy of Saturn’s rule,

   Three boons I have in mind:

May Brooklyn thee her bard proclaim,

The world accord thee Elia’s name,

   And all the fair be kind!


92. [To James F. Morton]

God rest thee, merry Gentleman, may naught

Intrude this Yuletide to dismay thy thought;

May woe in seven letters, clos’d with E,

Lie horizontal, and remote from thee,

Whilst thy sure fame, in vast museums stor’d,

Mounts vertical to join the heav’nly horde!


93. [To Everett McNeil]

On thee, skill’d scribe, whose magick touch distils

From all the past its choicest, keenest thrills,

May ev’ry age a Yuletide boon bestow,

Purg’d of each vestige of alloying woe:

May Sieur Du Lhut with noble rage inspire,

And Pere Marquette call down his heav’nly fire!


94. [To Arthur Leeds]

May merry Yule—a festive, crisp, and bright one—

Beam o’er the hearth of Arthur Leeds—the right one;

And may the other—changeling red-flag Levy—

Reap Bolshevik confusion, hot and heavy!


95. [To Frank Belknap Long]

At thee, decadent Sir, this tome is hurl’d,

Appropriate to a purple-incense world;

O’er each strange leaf with Mediterranean zeal

The dodd’ring donor bids thy vision steal:

‘Tis Greek to him—the simple country squire—

But youth is youth, and age respects its fire!


96. To Mr. and Mrs. C. M. Eddy, Jr.

Behold a pleasure and a guide

   To light the letter’d path you’re treading;

Achievements with your own allied,

   But each the beams of polish shedding.


Here masters rove with easy pace,

   Open to all who care to spy them,

And if you copy well their grace,

   I vow, you’ll catch up and go by them!


97. [To C. W. Smith and Harold Bateman Munroe]

Once more the festive day comes round,

   And all the air is filled with greeting;

A welcome, captivating sound,

   Tho’ telling us that time is fleeing.

Well—let it fly on noiseless wings,

   Whilst harmless joys make each day golden;

And hail the piny night that brings

   The breath of Yule, and mem’ries olden.


98. [To Edith Miniter]

The Shepherds’ sign once more illumes the air,

And lights old Tremont’s snowdrifts—if they’re there.

The waits’ sweet carols fill the maple wood,

And care is maul’d into a festive mood.

Holly and mistletoe flaunt gaudy banners,

Whilst Santa stocks all stockings with bananas.


99. [To ?]

Health to the Tramp whose sturdy feet

   Along the vary’d highroads ramble;

May you with fav’ring fortune meet,

   Nor feel the stings of wayside bramble.

May plenty wait at ev’ry door,

   Exempt from bloodhounds’ barb’rous teasing,

And may the junction 24

   Lead you to haystacks soft and pleasing!


100. To an Author of Juvenile Fiction [Everett McNeil?]

Behold a double blessing, sweet and mild,

This night of homage to the story’d child;

Thee, as thyself the angels once commend,

Then crown thee freshly as the children’s friend!


101. [To Sonia H. Greene]

Sweets to the sweet, and beauties to beauty tend—

And sure, in PATER beauty knows no end!

What apter tribute for the fair design’d,

Than this assembled beauty of the mind?

The deft magician draws in golden page

Immortal glories from a shining age,

And keeps, a well of never-dying lore,

The titan raptures we can make no more.


102. [To ?]

Alas! what words can shew with fitting grace

Regard and blessings that the pen outrace!

Would that a monarch’s pomp or conqueror’s gold

Were mine to prove what else stands feebly told!


103. [To ?]

With catnip deck the temple doors,

   And to the gods a fat mouse offer—

Tonight our annual praise outpours

   In pious purrs that mock the scoffer.

Let not a claw disturb the bliss,

   Let not a back in scorn be vaulted.

Lives there a cat with sceptick hiss

   Or meow for worship so exalted?


104. [To Lillian D. Clark]

Enclos’d you’ll find, if nothing fly astray,

Cheer in profusion for your Christmas Day;

Yet will that cheer redound no less to me,

For where these greetings go, my heart shall be!


105. [To Annie E. P. Gamwell]

As when a pigeon, loos’d in realms remote,

Takes instant wing, and seeks his native cote,

So speed my blessings from a barb’rous clime

To thee and Providence at Christmas time!


106. [To Sonia H. Greene]

In Yuletide mood my pencil fain wou’d trace

The cheer I soon shall utter face to face,

And each crude line to warmth may well aspire,

Lit by Affection’s bright enduring fire.


107. [To Frank Belknap Long]

Precocious Sir, who draw’st with wizardry

Charm from the sky, and horror from the sea;

Whose airy soul explores with lyrick art

All space and time where Beauty hath a part;

From fields of Fame one moment deign to gaze

On lower realms, whence rise inferior lays:

Mark antient Theobald—prosy, stiff, and drear,

Yet warm as any in his Christmas cheer!


108. [To Felis (Frank Belknap Long’s cat)]

Haughty Sphinx, whose amber eyes

Hold the secrets of the skies,

As thou ripplest in thy grace,

Round the chairs and chimney-place,

Scorn on thy patrician face:

Hiss not harsh, nor use thy claws

On the hand that gives applause—

Good-will only doth abide

In these lines at Christmastide!


109. [To Frank Belknap Long]

A plain old soul, nor sharp nor analytical,

   Seeks here in all sincerity to please

A modern Child, sophisticate and critical,

   Who finds our world a wearisome disease.


Take then this volume, lofty and fastidious,

   Where Disillusion shakes its scornful head;

Ne’er will the donor frown with glance invidious,

   Tho’ deep thou study what he hath not read!


110. [To Alfred Galpin]

A welcome home, Son! may you find

   The antient hearth a little pleasing,

And old-time folks a bit more kind

   Than city sirens with their teasing.

May flowing Fox without a sham

   Delight an eye with lakesides sated,

And may your ears prefer the dam

   To rumblings of the elevated!


May a fond parent’s smile appeal

   A shade above collegiate smirking,

And birthplace leisure easier feel

   Than five-six-five-oh and hard working.

Include a look at A. H. S.,

   Where shades Mocratick lurk to cheer ye,

But shun that sneaking pythoness—

   That little flint-heart wretch O’Leary!


And as for me—why, Son, no change

   With aged Theobald seems to tamper;

You’ll always find within your range

   The senile quaver of your Grampa.

And at this point that quaver grows

   To tones of festive benediction,

Whilst the Old Man sincerely throws

   Worlds of regards without one fiction!


111. [To Maurice W. Moe]

Hail, learned Mocrates, whose pious gaze

Reads CHRISTMAS in these genial holidays;

Accept my pagan blessings, tho’ they be

A SATURNALIAN festival for me!


112. [To Edith Miniter]

Madam, what thankful Raptures rouse my Breast,

Out from the native Shades I love the best;

I pine for Greens and Groves I cannot see,

And lo! Novanglia’s Woodlands come to me!


Clark Ashton Smith:
Hasisevő, avagy a Gonosz Apokalipszise, A


Robert E. Howard:
Harp of Alfred, The


Robert E. Howard:
Red Thunder



Howard Phillips Lovecraft:
Cthulhu hívása

Ez az egyetlen történet Lovecraft részéről, amelyben jelentős szerepet kap a szörnyisten, Cthulhu. 1926 későnyarán, kora őszén íródhatott. A dokumentarista stílusban megírt történet nyomozója, Thurston, a szemita nyelvek egyetemi kutatója darabkáról darabkára rakja össze a rejtélyes kirakóst. A fiatal kutató egyre több tárgyi és írásos bizonyítékát leli a hírhedt Cthulhu-kultusz létezésének. A kultisták a Necronomicon szövege alapján a nagy szörnyisten eljövetelét várják. A történetek a megtestesült iszonyatról beszélnek, ami átrepült az űrön és letelepedett a Földön sok millió évvel ezelőtt. Most hosszú álmát alussza tengerborította városában: Ph’ngluimglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn, vagyis R'lyeh házában a tetszhalott Cthulhu álmodik. A Csendes-óceán déli részén néhány bátor tengerész megtalálta a várost és felébresztette a Nagy Öreget. Ennek hatására őrülethullám robogott végig a Földön, több ember lelte halálát ezekben az időkben. A találkozást csak egy tengerész élte túl, de ő is gyanús körülmények között halt meg. A fiatal kutató érzi, hogy ő is erre a sorsra juthat... A novellát nagy részben Lord Tennyson Kraken című költeménye inspirálta: Cthulhu is egy csápos, polipszerű szörny, egy alvó isten (ez a gondolat nagyban Lord Dunsany műveinek Lovecraftra gyakorolt hatásának köszönhető). S. T. Joshi felveti, hogy számottevő hatást váltott ki Lovecraftra Maupassant Horlája és Arthur Machen A fekete pecsét története című története is. Maga Lovecraft e történetet roppant középszerűnek, klisék halmazának titulálta. A Weird Tales szerkesztője, Farnsworth Wright először elutasította a közlését, és csak azután egyezett bele, hogy Lovecraft barátja, Donald Wandrei bebeszélte neki, hogy más magazinnál is érdeklődnek a sztori iránt.


Howard Phillips Lovecraft:
Őrület hegyei, Az; Hallucináció hegységei, A

Egy déli sarki kutatócsoport, köztük a narrátor, William Dyer a Miskatonic Egyetemről az Antarktiszra indul 1930/31 telén. A fagyott környezetben 14, a hideg által konzerválódott idegen lényre bukkannak. Miután a kutatók több csoportra oszlanak, és az egyikről nem érkezik hír, a megmaradt tagok felkeresik az eltűntek táborát, ahol szétmarcangolt emberi és állati maradványokat találnak - néhány idegen létformának pedig mindössze hűlt helyét... Legnagyobb döbbenetükre azonban a kutatás során feltárul előttük egy évmilliókkal régebben épített, hatalmas kőváros, amely a Nagy Öregek egykori lakóhelye lehetett. A kisregényt szokás Poe Arthur Gordon Pym című kisregényének folytatásaként tekinteni, az enigmatikus és meg nem magyarázott jelentésű kiáltás, a "Tekeli-li!" miatt. Eredetileg a Weird Talesbe szánta Lovecraft, de a szerkesztő túl hosszúnak találta, ezért öt éven át hevert a kisregény felhasználatlanul a fiókban. Az Astounding végül jelentősen megváltoztatva közölte a művet, több bekezdést (nagyjából ezer szót) kihagyott, a teljes, javított verzió először 1985-ben látott napvilágot.


Abraham Merritt:
Moon Pool, The

Amikor dr. David Throckmartin elmeséli egy csendes-óceáni civilizáció ősi romjain átélt hátborzongató élményeit, dr. Walter Goodwin, a regény narrátora azzal a meggyőződéssel hallgatja a hihetetlen történetet, hogy a nagy tudós valószínűleg megzavarodott. Azt állítja ugyanis, hogy feleségét és kutatócsoportjának több tagját magával vitte egy "fényjelenség", amely az úgynevezett Holdtóból emelkedik ki teliholdas éjszakákon. Amikor azonban Goodwin eleget tesz Throckmartin kérésének, és társaival a titokzatos szigetre utazik, fantasztikus, megdöbbentő kalandok sorozata veszi kezdetét.



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