When the evening shadows come
Then my fancies they do roam
Round the dear old rustic cottage by the lane,
Where in days that are no more
Liv’d the maid I did adore,
Liv’d my own beloved sweetheart, darling Jane!
O my dearest, sweetest pride,
Thou couldst never be my bride,
For the angels snatch’d you up one summer day;
Yet my heart is ever true,
And I love you yes I do,
And I’ll mourn for you until I pine away!
I—pine—a—away (by 1st Tenor).
DESCRIPTION: In his poem “My Lost Love,” Lovecraft parodies the romantic poetry of his fellow amateur James Laurence Crowley.
CITATION: Lovecraft, H. P. “My Lost Love.” The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works of H. P. Lovecraft. Edited by S. T. Joshi, Hippocampus Press, 2013, pp. 226-7.
Matrimony may be more or less normal, and socially essential in the abstract, and all that—but nothing in heaven or earth is so important to the man of spirit and imagination as the inviolate integrity of his cerebral life—his sense of utter integration and defiant independence as a proud, lone entity face to face with the illimitable cosmos. And if he has the general temperament that usually goes with such a mental makeup, he will not be apt to consider a haughty celibacy any great price to pay for this ethereal inviolateness. Independence, and perfect seclusion from the futile herd, are things to necessary to a certain type of mind that all other issues become subordinate when brought into comparison with them. Probably this is so with me.
DESCRIPTION: In a letter to his friend Maurice W. Moe, Lovecraft explains why he prefers the life of the mind to matrimony.
CITATION: Lovecraft, H. P. “To Maurice W. Moe.” 2 July 1929. Lord of a Visible World: An Autobiography in Letters. Edited by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, Ohio University Press, 2000, pp. 193-7.
Young Strephon for his Chloë sigh’d
In accents warm but vain;
Th’ Hibernian nymph his suit deny’d,
Nor melted at his pain.
But one day from an Eastern scene
Fair (?) Hecatissa came;
She ey’d the swain with fav’ring mien,
And felt the Paphian flame.
No answ’ring flame the youth display’d;
He scorn’d her doubtful charms,
And still implor’d th’ Hibernian maid
To seek his outstretch’d arms.
Thus Strephon, both unlov’d and lov’d,
Both pleading and refusing,
Plann’d, that to passion might be mov’d
The maiden of his choosing.
With seeming scorn he ceas’d his sighs,
And careless turn’d away;
Then courted with dissembling eyes
The maid from Boston Bay.
The willing fair (?) his wooing heard;
With bliss his suit receiv’d;
Bright Chloë, list’ning, notes each word,
With jealous longing griev’d.
DESCRIPTION: In his poem “A Pastoral Tragedy of Appleton, Wisconsin,” Lovecraft affectionately mocks the romantic entanglements of his friend Alfred Galpin.
CITATION: Lovecraft, H. P. “A Pastoral Tragedy of Appleton, Wisconsin.” The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works of H. P. Lovecraft. Edited by S. T. Joshi, Hippocampus Press, 2013, pp. 131-2.
Behold great Whitman, whose licentious line
Delights the rake, and warms the souls of swine;
Whose fever’d fancy shuns the measur’d pace,
And copies Ovid’s filth without his grace.
In his rough brain a genius might have grown,
Had he not sought to play the brute alone;
But void of shame, he let his wit run wild,
And liv’d and wrote as Adam’s bestial child.
Averse to culture, strange to humankind,
He never knew the pleasures of the mind.
Scorning the pure, the delicate, the clean,
His joys were sordid, and his morals mean.
Thro’ his gross thoughts a native vigour ran,
From which he deem’d himself the perfect man:
But want of decency his rank decreas’d,
And sunk him to the level of the beast.
Would that his Muse had dy’d before her birth,
Nor spread such foul corruption o’er the earth.
DESCRIPTION: In his poem “Fragment on Whitman,” Lovecraft criticizes Walt Whitman’s poetry for its licentiousness.
CITATION: Lovecraft, H. P. “Fragment on Whitman.” The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works of H. P. Lovecraft. Edited by S. T. Joshi, Hippocampus Press, 2013, pp. 202-3.