He thought of the ancient legends of Ultimate Chaos, at whose centre sprawls the blind idiot god Azathoth, Lord of All Things, encircled by his flopping horde of mindless and amorphous dancers, and lulled by the thin monotonous piping of a daemoniac flute held in nameless paws.
DESCRIPTION: In this passage from the short story “The Haunter of the Dark” (1935), the narrator describes Azathoth, the chief god in Lovecraft’s mythology.
CITATION: Lovecraft, H. P. “The Haunter of the Dark.” The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories. Edited by S. T. Joshi, Penguin Books, 1999, pp. 336-60.
The day had come again, when as a child
I saw—just once—that hollow of old oaks,
Grey with a ground-mist that enfolds and chokes
The slinking shapes which madness has defiled.
It was the same—a herbage rank and wild
Clings round an altar whose carved sign invokes
That Nameless One to whom a thousand smokes
Rose, aeons gone, from unclean towers up-piled.
I saw the body spread on that dank stone,
And knew those things which feasted were not men;
I knew this strange, grey world was not my own,
But Yuggoth, past the starry voids—and then
The body shrieked at me with a dead cry,
And all too late I knew that it was I!
DESCRIPTION: In his poem “Recognition,” Lovecraft describes his speaker’s sense of horror when, in a dreamlike state, he sees himself sacrificed and consumed by ghouls.
CITATION: Lovecraft, H. P. “Recognition.” The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works of H. P. Lovecraft. Edited by S. T. Joshi, Hippocampus Press, 2013, p. 82.
The drums of the jungle in ecstasy boom,
And summon the chosen to torture and doom;
The quivering throngs wait expectant and sad,
While the shrieks of the priest echo drunkenly mad.
Round the altars are tributes of barley and cream,
And the acolytes stagger in opiate dream.
It is thus that the Shadow grows mighty and whole,
As it feeds on the body and sucks at the soul.
DESCRIPTION: In his poem “Beyond Zimbabwe,” Lovecraft describes a mysterious entity, a shadowy monster, which African tribes have tried to appease with human sacrifices.
CITATION: Lovecraft, H. P. “Beyond Zimbabwe.” The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works of H. P. Lovecraft. Edited by S. T. Joshi, Hippocampus Press, 2013, p. 95.