St. Toad’s Cracked Chimes

“Beware St. Toad’s cracked chimes!” I heard him scream
As I plunged into those mad lanes that wind
In labyrinths obscure and undefined
South of the river where old centuries dream.
He was a furtive figure, bent and ragged,
And in a flash had staggered out of sight,
So still I burrowed onward in the night
Toward where more roof-lines rose, malign and jagged.

No guide-book told of what was lurking here—
But now I heard another old man shriek:
“Beware St. Toad’s cracked chimes!” And growing weak,
I paused, when a third greybeard croaked in fear:
“Beware St. Toad’s cracked chimes!” Aghast, I fled—
Till suddenly that black spire loomed ahead.


DESCRIPTION: In his poem “St. Toad’s,” Lovecraft describes a nightmarish church, which the speaker cannot seem to avoid.

CITATION: Lovecraft, H. P. “St. Toad’s.” The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works of H. P. Lovecraft. Edited by S. T. Joshi, Hippocampus Press, 2013, p. 90.

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