The Call of Cthulhu: Verse Version
Let us think of elder days, those places
And people of time remote, long withdrawn;
But whose inkling of greater things, beings
Or projected power in fearsome shapes formed,
Has survived beneath man’s advancing tread.
Of these, perhaps a sighting can be glimpsed,
Or overheard, in half-remembered tales,
Where these apportioned are gods and monsters,
And in poetry called mythical beasts,
Of numberless shape and variety.
In this innocent age, certain events
Recorded in manuscript by the late,
And respected, Francis Wayland Thurston,
Of Boston, will hint to skeptical minds
Of dangers unfathomed lurking behind.
I. The Horror in Clay
It is most merciful, the wisest say,
That the human mind is unable found
To correlate its content in totum.
On placid isles of ignorance we live,
With black and infinite seas all around,
And ‘tis not meant for man to row afar.
Our science, each part one way its path hews,
And harm, to our epoch, but little seen;
Though some day yet, we will piece together
This scattering of divided knowledge,
And then, the terror of vistas opened,
And our beleaguered position within,
Shall in revelation render us mad,
Or send us from the deadly light flying,
To peace and safety of the new dark age.
Of the cosmic cycle, of its grandeur
And compass, the esoteric have guessed,
And understood that we within, our world
And race, but transient incidents make.
To what strange survivals their hints guide us,
Those which freeze the blood if not smugly masked.
But it proceeds not from the them, the single,
But forbidden glimpse of those past aeons,
Which chill thought, and madden my every dream.
Like all truth, from accident it flashed out,
From pieces sep’rate, but then together joined:
An old notice, a dead professor’s notes.
My hope is none other this piecing makes,
And, if I live, I’ll never knowing be
The last link in a chain so hideous.
The professor too wished to silence keep,
Would his papers burned, had not death seized him.