Friday, December 4, 2009

"Festival" by H.P. Lovecraft

It's Christmas time again here at Of Epic Proportions and that means another month full of exciting and frightful holiday myths and legends. To kick things off this year I've decided to start with a poem by one of my all-time favorite authors; early 20th-Century writer
H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937).

Though Lovecraft is best remembered today for his innovative work in the realms of science-fiction and horror, the man was also an accomplished poet and a true lover of Christmas. The following poem by Lovecraft was original published in the December 1926 issue of Weird Tales magazine under the title "Yule Horror."

There is snow on the ground,
And the valleys are cold,
And a midnight profound
Blackly squats over the world;
But a light on the hilltops half-seen hints of feastings unhallowed and old.

There is death in the clouds,
There is fear in the night,
For the dead in their shrouds
Hail the sun’s turning flight,
And chant wild in the woods as they dance round a Yule-altar fungous and white.

To no gale of earth’s kind
Sways the forest of oak,
Where the sick boughs entwined
By mad mistletoes choke,
For these powers are the powers of the dark, from the graves of the lost Druid-folk.

And mayst thou to such deeds
Be an abbot and priest,
Singing cannibal greeds
At each devil-wrought feast,
And to all the incredulous world shewing dimly the sign of the beast.

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