I Remember Lemuria

Amazing Stories cover, March 1945 thumbnail
10082944935_f9d6af6969_o thumbnail
Amazing Stories cover, March 1945

Sensational ‘Racial Memory’ story

This entire issue can be downloaded here

Racial Memory was a concept very much in vogue at the start of the 20th century. Robert E Howard’s poem ‘Cimmeria’ is one of my favorite examples.

I remember
The dark woods, masking slopes of sombre hills;
The grey clouds’ leaden everlasting arch;
The dusky streams that flowed without a sound,
And the lone winds that whispered down the passes.

Vista on vista marching, hills on hills,
Slope beyond slope, each dark with sullen trees,
Our gaunt land lay. So when a man climbed up
A rugged peak and gazed, his shaded eye
Saw but the endless vista – hill on hill,
Slope beyond slope, each hooded like its brothers.

It was a gloomy land that seemed to hold
All winds and clouds and dreams that shun the sun,
With bare boughs rattling in the lonesome winds,
And the dark woodlands brooding over all,
Not even lightened by the rare dim sun
Which made squat shadows out of men; they called it
Cimmeria, land of Darkness and deep Night.

It was so long ago and far away
I have forgot the very name men called me.
The axe and flint-tipped spear are like a dream,
And hunts and wars are shadows. I recall
Only the stillness of that sombre land;
The clouds that piled forever on the hills,
The dimness of the everlasting woods.
Cimmeria, land of Darkness and the Night.

Oh, soul of mine, born out of shadowed hills,
To clouds and winds and ghosts that shun the sun,
How many deaths shall serve to break at last
This heritage which wraps me in the grey
Apparel of ghosts? I search my heart and find
Cimmeria, land of Darkness and the Night.

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2 thoughts on “I Remember Lemuria”

  1. Don’t forget H P Lovecraft’s “Nemesis”:

    Thro’ the ghoul-guarded gateways of slumber,
    Past the wan-moon’d abysses of night,
    I have liv’d o’er my lives without number,
    I have sounded all things with my sight;
    And I struggle and shriek ere the daybreak, being driven to madness with fright…

    I have stumbled by cave-ridden mountains
    That rise barren and bleak from the plain,
    I have drunk of the fog-foetid fountains
    That ooze down to the marsh and the main;
    And in hot cursed tarns I have seen things I care not to gaze on again.

    I have scann’d the vast ivy-clad palace,
    I have trod its untenanted hall,
    Where the moon writhing up from the valleys
    Shews the tapestried things on the wall;
    Strange figures discordantly woven, which I cannot endure to recall…


    (And yes, save for an extra line in each verse, it can be sung to the tune of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.”)

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