In honor of my very favorite holiday, I have several quotes of the day to share. First, a dark thought from Edgar Allan Poe in "Premature Burial":
"There are moments when, even to the sober eye of Reason, the world of our sad Humanity may assume the semblance of a Hell."
Second, a morbid passage from H.P. Lovecraft in "The Call of Cthulhu":
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."
One more from Lovecraft, a real favorite, this time from "Pickman's Model":
"One disgusting canvas seemed to depict a vast cross-section of Beacon Hill, with ant-like armies of the mephitic monsters squeezing themselves through burrows that honeycombed the ground. Dances in the modern cemeteries were freely pictured, and another conception somehow shocked me more than all the rest - a sense in an unknown vault, where scores of the beasts crowded about one who had a well-known Boston guidebook and was evidently reading aloud. All were pointing to a certain passage, and every face seemed so distorted with epileptic and reverberant laughter that I almost thought I heard the fiendish echoes. The title of the picture was, 'Holmes, Lowell and Longfellow Lie Buried in Mount Auburn.'"
And last, a few verses excerpted from a nasty tale by J.R.R. Tolkien: "Mewlips" from "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil." Incidentally, my favorite musical version of this verse is from Songs from Middle-Earth by the Hobbitons. The band gives 110% to make the song a fittingly creepy tribute to some truly nasty creatures.
The shadows where the Mewlips dwell
Are dark and wet as ink,
And slow and softly rings their bell,
As in the slime you sink.
You sink into the slime, who dare
To knock upon their door,
While down the grinning gargoyles stare
And noisome waters pour. ...
They peep out slyly; through a crack
Their feeling fingers creep,
And when they've finished, in a sack
Your bones they take to keep.
Beyond the Merlock Mountains, a long and lonely road.
Through the spider-shadows and the marsh of Tode,
And through the wood of hanging trees and the gallows-weed,
You go to find the Mewlips - and the Mewlips feed.