H. P. Lovecraft
Written in 1918
Published December in 1920
Into the North Window of my chamber glows the Pole Star with uncanny light. All through the long
hellish hours of blackness it shines there. And in the autumn of the year, when the winds from the north
curse and whine, and the red-leaved trees of the swamp mutter things to one another in the small hours
of the morning under the horned waning moon, I sit by the casement and watch that star. Down from
the heights reels the glittering Cassiopeia as the hours wear on, while Charles' Wain lumbers up from
behind the vapour-soaked swamp trees that sway in the night wind. Just before dawn Arcturus winks
ruddily from above the cemetary on the low hillock, and Coma Berenices shimmers weirdly afar off in
the mysterious east; but still the Pole Star leers down from the same place in the black vault, winking
hideously like an insane watching eye which strives to convey some strange message, yet recalls
nothing save that it once had a message to convey. Sometimes, when it is cloudy, I can sleep.
Well do I remember the night of the great Aurora, when over the swamp played the shocking
corruscations of the demon light. After the beam came clouds, and then I slept.
And it was under a horned waning moon that I saw the city for the first time. Still and somnolent did it
lie, on a strange plateau in a hollow between strange peaks. Of ghastly marble were its walls and its
towers, its columns, domes, and pavements. In the marble streets were marble pillars, the upper parts of
which were carven into the images of grave bearded men. The air was warm and stirred not. And
overhead, scarce ten degrees from the zenith, glowed that watching Pole Star. Long did I gaze on the
city, but the day came not. When the red Aldebaran, which blinked low in the sky but never set, had
crawled a quarter of the way around the horizon, I saw light and motion in the houses and the streets.
Forms strangely robed, but at once noble and familiar, walked abroad and under the horned waning