Stoic Decay

pictures / projects by gElm / Lem de Grosnpreg

Illustrations for Tales by Clark Ashton Smith

She Wept Those Mythical Tears

Now the lamia was vexed, for her beauty was grown an evil legend in both Thebais and Elephantine; so that men were become fearful of her lips and cautious of her embrace, and she had no lover for almost a fortnight. → Sadastor

A Monstrous Thing Emerged

It had a pale, hairless, egg-shaped body, large as that of a gravid she-goat; and this body was mounted on nine long wavering legs with many flanges, like the legs of some enormous spider. The creature ran past me to the water’s edge; and I saw that there were no eyes in its oddly sloping face; but two knife-like ears rose high above its head, and a thin, wrinkled snout hung down across its mouth, whose flabby lips, parted in that eternal chuckle, revealed rows of bats’ teeth. → The Abominations of Yondo

This Macabre Purple Landscape

Intent as on some ulterior cryptic purpose, some charnel errand not to be surmised by the living, it went by with a tranquil pace, an effortless and gliding tread in which, despite my terror and stupefaction, I perceived a certain horrible and feminine grace. → The Ninth Skeleton

A Sky of Leaden Vapors

And so it was that I set foot on the bridge of shadowy arches, under which the black waters flowed in stealthy division and were joined again in a silence as of Styx and Acheron. → A Night in Malneant

A Taper in his Hand

There was a crash as of many thunders, and the golden lamps went out in a darkness that seemed full of falling dust, of raining fragments. → The End of the Story

The Appurtenances of His Art

But, though these things and the power they held or symbolized were the terror of the peoples and the envy of all rival magicians, the thoughts of Malygris were dark with immitigable melancholy, and weariness filled his heart as ashes fill the hearth where a great fire has died. Immovable he sat, implacable he mused, while the sun of afternoon, declining on the city and on the sea that was beyond the city, smote with autumnal rays through the window of greenish-yellow glass, and touched his shrunken hands with its phantom gold and fired the bales-rubies of his rings till they burned like demonian eyes. → The Last Incantation

The Lidless Horror

The only unusual notes were struck by two heavy brass candlesticks on his table wrought in the form of rearing serpents, and a stuffed rattlesnake that was coiled on top of one of the low bookcases. → The Resurrection of the Rattlesnake

A Strange Gravity

The man was Jonas McGillicuddy, and he was on his way home after a somewhat prolonged absence. His return was unannounced, and would prove as unexpected to his wife and three children as his departure had been. → The Phantoms of the Fire

Teasing Eyes & Whimsical Mouths

He lay very still, fighting with a dark, terrible perplexity. → Thirteen Phantasms


Many, if not all, of these stories can be found here.