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The Ancient Track:
The Complete Poetical Works
of H.P. Lovecraft
(second revised edition)

By H.P. Lovecraft
Edited by S.T. Joshi

Back Cover Text

“There was no hand to hold me back
That night I found the ancient track.”

The publication in 2001 of The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works of H. P. Lovecraft was a landmark. For the first time, all of Lovecraft’s 500 or more poems—including hundreds of Christmas greetings, untitled poems, fragments, and poems embedded in his published and unpublished letters—were gathered in accurate texts, with critical commentary and full bibliography.

Since that time, a dozen or more poems or poetic fragments have been discovered by scholars and researchers, and this new edition prints these items along with several other works of interest. Poems that Lovecraft revised for various authors are included, along with (where extant) the original poems that served as the basis for the revisions. The original versions of poems by Ovid, Horace, and other classical poets that Lovecraft translated are provided. In addition, the commentary and bibliography have been thoroughly revised and updated.

It can well be said that this second edition of The Ancient Track is the definitive collection of Lovecraft’s entire poetic output. It has been edited by S. T. Joshi, a leading authority on Lovecraft and the editor of Lovecraft’s collected fiction, revisions, essays, and letters.


I. Juvenilia: 1897–1905
  • The Poem of Ulysses, or The Odyssey
  • Ovid’s Metamorphoses
  • H. Lovecraft’s Attempted Journey betwixt Providence & Fall River on the N.Y.N.H. & H.R.R.
  • Poemata Minora, Volume II
    • Ode to Selene or Diana
    • To the Old Pagan Religion
    • On the Ruin of Rome
    • To Pan
    • On the Vanity of Human Ambition
  • C.S.A. 1861–1865
  • De Triumpho Naturae
II. Fantasy and Horror
III. Occasional Verse
  • The Members of the Men’s Club of the First Universalist Church of Providence, R.I., to Its President, About to Leave for Florida on Account of His Health
  • To Mr. Terhune, on His Historical Fiction
  • To Mr. Munroe, on His Instructive and Entertaining Account of Switzerland
  • Regner Lodbrog’s Epicedium
  • To an Accomplished Young Gentlewoman on Her Birthday, Decr. 2, 1914
  • To the Recipient of This Volume
  • On Receiving a Picture of Swans
  • To Charlie of the Comics
  • On the Cowboys of the West
  • To Samuel Loveman, Esquire, on His Poetry and Drama, Writ in the Elizabethan Style
  • The Bookstall
  • Content
  • The Smile
  • Inspiration
  • Respite
  • Brotherhood
  • Lines on Graduation from the R.I. Hospital’s School of Nurses
  • Fact and Fancy
  • Percival Lowell
  • Prologue to “Fragments from an Hour of Inspiration” by Jonathan E. Hoag
  • Earth and Sky
  • To M. W. M.
  • Lines on the 25th. Anniversary of the Providence Evening News, 1892–1917
  • To the Nurses of the Red Cross
  • To the Arcadian
  • Laeta; A Lament
  • To Mr. Kleiner, on Receiving from Him the Poetical Works of Addison, Gay, and Somerville
  • A Pastoral Tragedy of Appleton, Wisconsin
  • Damon and Delia, a Pastoral
  • To Delia, Avoiding Damon
  • Hellas
  • Ambition
  • To Alfred Galpin, Esq.
  • To the Eighth of November
  • Damon: A Monody
  • Hylas and Myrrha: A Tale
  • John Oldham: A Defence
  • Myrrha and Strephon
  • Wisdom
  • Birthday Lines to Margfred Galbraham
  • Tryout’s Lament for the Vanished Spider
  • Cindy: Scrub-Lady in a State Street Skyscraper
  • The Voice
  • On a Grecian Colonnade in a Park
  • The Dream
  • On Receiving a Portraiture of Mrs. Berkeley, ye Poetess
  • To a Youth
  • On the Return of Maurice Winter Moe, Esq., to the Pedagogical Profession
  • To Mr. Galpin
  • Sir Thomas Tryout
  • To Damon
  • To Rheinhart Kleiner, Esq.
  • Chloris and Damon
  • To Endymion
  • To Mr. Baldwin, on Receiving a Picture of Him in a Rural Bower
  • Damon and Lycë
  • [On the Pyramids]
  • [Stanzas on Samarkand]
  • [On Rheinhart Kleiner Being Hit by an Automobile]
  • To Samuel Loveman Esq.
  • To Saml Loveman Esq.
  • To George Kirk, Esq.
  • My Favourite Character
  • [On the Double-R Coffee House]
  • [To Frank Belknap Long on His Birthday]
  • A Year Off
  • To an Infant
  • To George Willard Kirk, Gent., of Chelsea-Village, in New-York, upon His Birthday, Novr. 25, 1925
  • [On Old Grimes by Albert Gorton Greene]
  • In Memoriam: Oscar Incoul Verelst of Manhattan
  • The Return
  • Hedone
  • To Miss Beryl Hoyt
  • Dirge of the Doomed
  • To a Sophisticated Young Gentleman
  • Veteropinguis Redivivus
  • To a Young Poet in Dunedin
  • [Metrical Example]
  • The Odes of Horace: Book III, ix
  • Gaudeamus
  • The Greatest Law
  • [Sonnet Study]
  • Verses Designed to Be Sent by a Friend of the Author to His Brother-in-Law on New Year’s Day
  • [To a Cat]
IV. Satire
  • Providence in 2000 A.D.
  • Fragment on Whitman
  • [On Robert Browning]
  • Ad Criticos
  • Frustra Praemunitus
  • De Scriptore Mulieroso
  • On a Modern Lothario
  • The End of the Jackson War
  • Gryphus in Asinum Mutatus
  • The Power of Wine: A Satire
  • The Simple Speller’s Tale
  • [On Slang]
  • Ye Ballade of Patrick von Flynn
  • The Isaacsonio-Mortoniad
  • Unda; or, The Bride of the Sea
  • [On “Unda; or, The Bride of the Sea”]
  • Gems from In a Minor Key
  • The State of Poetry
  • The Magazine Poet
  • My Lost Love
  • The Beauties of Peace
  • Epitaph on ye Letterr Rrr. . . . . . .
  • The Dead Bookworm
  • Ad Balneum
  • [On Kelso the Poet]
  • Futurist Art
  • The Nymph’s Reply to the Modern Business Man
  • The Poet of Passion
  • On the Death of a Rhyming Critic
  • To the Incomparable Clorinda
  • To Saccharissa, Fairest of Her Sex
  • To Rhodoclia—Peerless among Maidens
  • To Belinda, Favourite of the Graces
  • To Heliodora—Sister of Cytheraea
  • To Mistress Sophia Simple, Queen of the Cinema
  • The Introduction
  • Grace
  • To Col. Linkaby Didd
  • Amissa Minerva
  • [On Prohibition]
  • Monody on the Late King Alcohol
  • The Pensive Swain
  • To Phillis
  • The Poet’s Rash Excuse
  • On Religion
  • The Pathetick History of Sir Wilful Wildrake
  • Medusa: A Portrait
  • Simplicity: A Poem
  • Plaster-All
  • To Zara
  • Waste Paper
  • [On a Politician]
  • [On a Room for Rent]
  • [On J. F. Roy Erford]
  • Lines upon the Magnates of the Pulp
  • Dead Passion’s Flame
  • Arcadia
  • Lullaby for the Dionne Quintuplets
  • The Decline and Fall of a Man of the World
  • [Epigrams]
    • On a Poem for Children, Writ by J. M. W.
    • On ———’s Gaining in Weight
    • Lines on a Dull Writer Having Insomnia
    • On a Pathetick Poem, by J. M. W.
    • Idle Lines on a Poetick Dunce
    • On the Habit of Letter-Writing
  • Life’s Mystery
  • On Mr. L. Phillips Howard’s Profound Poem Entitled “Life’s Mystery”
  • On an Accomplished Young Linguist
  • “The Poetical Punch” Pushed from His Pedestal
  • The Road to Ruin
  • Sors Poetae
V. Seasonal and Topographical VI. Amateur Affairs
  • To the Members of the Pin-Feathers on the Merits of Their Organisation, and of Their New Publication, The Pinfeather
  • To the Rev. James Pyke
  • To the Members of the United Amateur Press Association from the Providence Amateur Press Club
  • The Bay-Stater’s Policy
  • To “The Scribblers”
  • R. Kleiner, Laureatus, in Heliconem
  • Providence Amateur Press Club (Deceased) to the Athenaeum Club of Journalism
  • To Mr. Lockhart, on His Poetry
  • To Jonathan E. Hoag, Esq.
  • To Arthur Goodenough, Esq.
  • To the A.H.S.P.C., on Receipt of the Christmas Pippin
  • Greetings
    • To Arthur Goodenough, Esq.
    • To W. Paul Cook, Esq.
    • To E. Sherman Cole
    • To the Silver Clarion
  • To Jonathan Hoag, Esq.
  • In Memoriam: J. E. T. D.
  • To the A.H.S.P.C., on Receipt of the May Pippin
  • Helene Hoffman Cole: 1893–1919
  • On Collaboration
  • Ad Scribam
  • Ex-Poet’s Reply
  • To Two Epgephi
  • Theobaldian Aestivation
  • The Prophecy of Capys Secundus
  • (Wet) Dream Song
  • To Mr. Hoag
  • On a Poet’s Ninety-first Birthday
  • To Saml: Loveman, Gent.
  • To Mr. Hoag
  • The Feast
  • Lines for Poets’ Night at the Scribblers’ Club
  • To Mr. Hoag
  • To Mr. Hoag
  • To Jonathan Hoag
  • To Jonathan E. Hoag, Esq.
  • The Absent Leader
  • Ave atque Vale
VII. Politics and Society VIII. Personal
  • [To His Mother on Thanksgiving]
  • An Elegy on Franklin Chase Clark, M.D.
  • [The Solace of Georgian Poetry]
  • [On Phillips Gamwell]
  • An Elegy on Phillips Gamwell, Esq.
  • Sonnet on Myself
  • Phaeton
  • Monos: An Ode
  • Oct. 17, 1919
  • To S. S. L.—Oct. 17, 1920
  • S. S. L.: Christmas 1920
  • To Xanthippe, on Her Birthday—March 16, 1925
  • Είς Σφίγγην
  • [On Cheating the Post Office]
  • An Epistle to the Rt. Honble Maurice Winter Moe, Esq. of Zythopolis, in the Northwest Territory of HIS MAJESTY’S American Dominions
  • [Anthem of the Kappa Alpha Tau]
  • Edith Miniter
  • [Little Sam Perkins]
IX. Alfredo; A Tragedy
X. Fragments
Appendix 1: Lovecraft’s Revisions of Poetry
  • A Prayer for Universal Peace, by Robert L. Selle, D.D.
  • [On the Duke of Leeds], by Unknown
  • Mors Omnibus Communis, by Sonia H. Greene
  • Alone, by Jonathan E. Hoag
  • Unity, by Unknown
  • The Dweller, by William Lumley
  • Dreams of Yith, by Duane W. Rimel
  • [On John Donne], by Lee McBride White
  • The Wanderer’s Return, by Wilson Shepherd
Appendix 2: Poems by Others
  • Metamorphoses 1.1–88, by Ovid (P. Ovidius Naso)
  • Our Apology to E. M. W., by John Russell
  • Florida, by John Russell
  • Regner Lodbrug’s Epicedium, by Olaus Wormius, tr. Hugh Blair
  • A Prayer for Universal Peace, by Robert L. Selle, D.D.
  • To Mary of the Movies, by Rheinhart Kleiner
  • A Prayer for Peace and Justice, by Henry F. Thomas
  • The Modern Business Man to His Love, by Olive G. Owen
  • His Frank Self-Expression, by Paul Shivell
  • To a Movie Star, by Rheinhart Kleiner
  • [On the Duke of Leeds], by Unknown
  • Ruth, by Rheinhart Kleiner
  • Only a Volunteer, by Sergt. Hayes P. Miller, 17th Aero-Squadran, U.S.A.
  • John Oldham: 1653–1683, by Rheinhart Kleiner
  • To Miriam, by Rheinhart Kleiner
  • Ethel: Cashier in a Broad Street Buffet, by Rheinhart Kleiner
  • Pastorale, by Hart Crane
  • Odes 3.9, by Horace (Q. Horatius Flaccus)
  • [On John Donne], by Lee McBride White
  • Irony, by Wilson Shepherd
A Chronology of Lovecraft’s Poems
Index of Titles
Index of First Lines

Topical Index

David Haden has compiled An Index to topical subjects in this book.

Bibliographic Information

The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works of H.P. Lovecraft (second revised edition). By H.P. Lovecraft, Edited by S.T. Joshi. New York, NY: Hippocampus Press; 2013; soft cover: ISBN 978-1-61498-070-4.

Purchasing This Book

This book may be purchased in softcover from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble or directly from the publisher, Hippocampus Press.

  Return to Sources of Lovecraft’s Works This page last revised 6 September 2021.
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