…but God! I dare not tell you what I saw!

Gustave Doré's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798).
     When reading Lovecraft, if you see some words in italics coming up, you can be assured that something deliciously dreadful is afoot. Lovecraft always had a wonderful way of setting up - or timing - his italicized passages. Here is a collection of my favorites.

The Beast in the Cave

  not like those of any mortal man.

It was the guide.

The Tomb

When you're dead ye'll ne'er drink to your king or your lass!

… I had spent the night in the bower outside the tomb. 


Slumber, watcher, till the spheres, 
Six and twenty thousand years
Have revolv'd, and I return
To the spot where now I burn.
Other stars anon shall rise
To the axis of the skies;
Stars that soothe and stars that bless
With a sweet forgetfulness:
Only when my round is o'er
Shall the past disturb thy door.

The Transition of Juan Romero

 "El ritmo, señor - el ritmo de la tierra - THAT THROB DOWN IN THE GROUND!"

“…which have a depth in them greater than the well of Democritus."

…but God! I dare not tell you what I saw!

The Statement of Randolph Carter

 "You fool, Warren is DEAD!"

The Temple

 The head of the radiant god in the sculptures on the rock temple is the same as that carven bit of ivory which the dead sailor brought from the sea and which poor Kienze carried back into the sea.

For the door and windows of the undersea temple hewn from the rocky hill were vividly aglow with a flickering radiance, as from a mighty altar-flame far within.

From Beyond

 …and now I believe I have found a way to break dawn the barriers.

"That is ultra-violet."

“…we are able to be seen as well as to see.”

…walking or drifting through my supposedly solid body

“…but I want you to see them.”

“…for they are coming.”

The Nameless City

  That is not dead which can eternal lie, 
  And with strange aeons death may die. 

The Hound

  in the Dutch language

Under The Pyramids

 …what huge and loathsome abnormality was the Sphinx originally carven to represent?

their crazy torches began to cast shadows on the surface of those stupendous columns. Hippopotami should not have human hands and crazy torches... men should not have the heads of crocodiles...

without any body above the waist.

 -  and that of which it is the merest forepaw...

The Horror At Red Hook

 'O friend and companion of night, thou who rejoicest in the baying of dogs (here a hideous howl bust forth) and spilt blood (here nameless sounds vied with morbid shriekings) who wanderest in the midst of shades among the tombs, (here a whistling sigh occurred) who longest for blood and bringest terror to mortals, (short, sharp cries from myriad throats) Gorgo, (repeated as response) Mormo, (repeated with ecstasy) thousand-faced moon, (sighs and flute notes) look favourably on our sacrifices!'

Cool Air

 for you see I died that time eighteen years ago."

The Call of Cthulhu

 "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn."

… and their mastery of dreams? 

The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath

 "Hei! Aa-shanta 'nygh!...” 

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

'The essential Saltes of Animals may be so prepared and preserved, that an ingenious Man may have the whole Ark of Noah in his own Studie, and raise the fine Shape of an Animal out of its Ashes at his Pleasure; and by the lyke Method from the essential Saltes of humane Dust, a Philosopher may, without any criminal Necromancy, call up the Shape of any dead Ancestour from the Dust whereinto his Bodie has been incinerated.'
And of ye Seede of Olde shal One be borne who shal looke Backe, tho' know'g not what he seekes.
…one shal bee in yeares to come that shal looke backe and use what Saltes or Stuff for Saltes you shal leaue him.
'To Him Who Shal Come After, & How He May Gett Beyonde Time & Ye Spheres.'
'Joseph Curwen his Life and Travells Bet'n ye yeares 1678 and 1687: Of Whither He Voyag'd, Where He Stay'd, Whom He Sawe, and What He Learnt.'
… and sounding concurrently with the still bursting cachinnations of that other voice.
…and dissolve his body in acid. Don't burn it.
…and whose peculiar handwriting Dr. Willett now unmistakably recognized from the photostatic copies of the Orne formulae which Charles had once shown him.

UAAAH                OGTHROD AI'F

Mercy of Heaven, what is that shape behind the parting smoke?

'Corvinus necandus est. Cadaver aq(ua) forti dissolvendum, nec aliq(ui)d retinendum. Tace ut potes.'

'…those cursed things have been howling down there ever since Curwen was done for a hundred and fifty-seven years gone!'

'…stones are all changed now in nine grounds out of ten. You are never sure till you question!'

The altered photograph was a very passable likeness of Dr. Allen…

…what had found him?

‘…provided he has any right to exist at all, and provided he does not destroy what called him out of space.'

“You cannot deceive me, Joseph Curwen, for I know that your accursed magic is true!



The Dunwich Horror

 "It must be allow'd, that these Blasphemies of an infernall Train of Daemons are Matters of too common Knowledge to be deny'd; the cursed Voices of Azazel and Buzrael, of Beelzebub and Belial, being heard now from under Ground by above a Score of credible Witnesses now living. I myself did not more than a Fortnight ago catch a very plain Discourse of evill Powers in the Hill behind my House; wherein there were a Rattling and Rolling, Groaning, Screeching, and Hissing, such as no Things of this Earth could raise up, and which must needs have come from those Caves that only black Magick can discover, and only the Divell unlock".

…some day yew folks'll hear a child o' Lavinny's a-callin' its father's name on the top o' Sentinel Hill!'

Nor is it to be thought (ran the text as Armitage mentally translated it) that man is either the oldest or the last of earth's masters, or that the common bulk of life and substance walks alone. The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them, they walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen. Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They had trod earth's fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread. By Their smell can men sometimes know Them near, but of Their semblance can no man know, saving only in the features of those They have begotten on mankind; and of those are there many sorts, differing in likeness from man's truest eidolon to that shape without sight or substance which is Them. They walk unseen and foul in lonely places where the Words have been spoken and the Rites howled through at their Seasons. The wind gibbers with Their voices, and the earth mutters with Their consciousness. They bend the forest and crush the city, yet may not forest or city behold the hand that smites. Kadath in the cold waste hath known Them, and what man knows Kadath? The ice desert of the South and the sunken isles of Ocean hold stones whereon Their seal is engraver, but who bath seen the deep frozen city or the sealed tower long garlanded with seaweed and barnacles? Great Cthulhu is Their cousin, yet can he spy Them only dimly. Iä! Shub-Niggurath! As a foulness shall ye know Them. Their hand is at your throats, yet ye see Them not; and Their habitation is even one with your guarded threshold. Yog-Sothoth is the key to the gate, whereby the spheres meet. Man rules now where They ruled once; They shall soon rule where man rules now. After summer is winter, after winter summer. They wait patient and potent, for here shall They reign again.

'N'gai, n'gha'ghaa, bugg-shoggog, y'hah: Yog-Sothoth, Yog-Sothoth ...'

Today learned the Aklo for the Sabaoth (it ran), which did not like, it being answerable from the hill and not from the air. That upstairs more ahead of me than I had thought it would be, and is not like to have much earth brain. Shot Elam Hutchins's collie Jack when he went to bite me, and Elam says he would kill me if he dast. I guess he won't. Grandfather kept me saying the Dho formula last night, and I think I saw the inner city at the 2 magnetic poles. I shall go to those poles when the earth is cleared off, if I can't break through with the Dho-Hna formula when I commit it. They from the air told me at Sabbat that it will be years before I can clear off the earth, and I guess grandfather will be dead then, so I shall have to learn all the angles of the planes and all the formulas between the Yr and the Nhhngr. They from outside will help, but they cannot take body without human blood. That upstairs looks it will have the right cast. I can see it a little when I make the Voorish sign or blow the powder of Ibn Ghazi at it, and it is near like them at May Eve on the Hill. The other face may wear off some. I wonder how I shall look when the earth is cleared and there are no earth beings on it. He that came with the Aklo Sabaoth said I may be transfigured there being much of outside to work on.

'But what, in God's name, can we do?'

The Whisperer In Darkness

I have certain evidence that monstrous things do indeed live in the woods on the high hills which nobody visits.
…non-human creatures watching us all the time;
The things come from another planet, being able to live in interstellar space and fly through it…
…and I think I know where they come from.
…or take me off the earth to where they come from.
People must be kept away from these hills,…
! Shub-Niggurath! The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young!
They talked to me last night – talked…
They don’t mean to let me get to California now - they want to take me off alive, or what theoretically and mentally amounts to alive - not only to Yuggoth, but beyond that - away outside the galaxy and possibly beyond the last curved rim of space.
I have seen and touched one of the things, or part of one of the things.
…but don’t come up here.
And as much of this infinity as any human brain can hold is eventually to be opened up to me, as it has been to not more than fifty other men since the human race has existed.
They were the hellish tracks of the living fungi from Yuggoth.
It seemed that complete human bodies did not indeed make the trip…

At The Mountains Of Madness

 "Arrangement reminds one of certain monsters of primal myth, especially fabled Elder Things in Necronomicon...." 
"Complete specimens have such uncanny resemblance to certain creatures of primal myth that suggestion of ancient existence outside antarctic becomes inevitable. Dyer and Pabodie have read Necronomicon and seen Clark Ashton Smith’s nightmare paintings based on text, and will understand when I speak of Elder Things supposed to have created all earth life as jest or mistake. Students have always thought conception formed from morbid imaginative treatment of very ancient tropical radiata. Also like prehistoric folklore things Wilmarth has spoken of - Cthulhu cult appendages, etc..."

"Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!"

The Thing On The Doorstep

 Was it old Ephraim's soul that was locked in? Who locked in whom?

…what devilish exchange was perpetrated in the house of horror where that blasphemous monster had his trusting, weak-willed half-human child at his mercy?

“God, Dan, if you only knew as I do just how horrible it is..."

! Shub-Niggurath! - The shape rose up from the altar, and there were five hundred that howled - The Hooded Thing bleated 'Kamog! Kamog!'

The Haunter Of The Dark

Lights still out- must be five minutes now. Everything depends on lightning. Yaddith grant it will keep up!... Some influence seems beating through it... Rain and thunder and wind deafen... The thing is taking hold of my mind...
      Trouble with memory. I see things I never knew before. Other worlds and other galaxies... Dark... The lightning seems dark and the darkness seems light...
      It cannot be the real hill and church that I see in the pitch-darkness. Must be retinal impression left by flashes. Heaven grant the Italians are out with their candles if the lightning stops!
      What am I afraid of? Is it not an avatar of Nyarlathotep, who in antique and shadowy Khem even took the form of man? I remember Yuggoth, and more distant Shaggai, and the ultimate void of the black planets...
      The long, winging flight through the void... cannot cross the universe of light . . . re-created by the thoughts caught in the Shining Trapezohedron... send it through the horrible abysses of radiance...
      My name is Blake- Robert Harrison Blake of 620 East Knapp Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin... I am on this planet...
      Azathoth have mercy!- the lightning no longer flashes- horrible- I can see everything with a monstrous sense that is not sight- light is dark and dark is light... those people on the hill... guard... candles and charms... their priests...
      Sense of distance gone -far is near and near is far. No light - no glass - see that steeple - that tower - window - can hear - Roderick Usher - am mad or going mad - the thing is stirring and fumbling in the tower.
      I am it and it is I - I want to get out... must get out and unify the forces... it knows where I am...
      I am Robert Blake, but I see the tower in the dark. There is a monstrous odour... senses transfigured... boarding at that tower window cracking and giving way... Iä... ngai... ygg...

      I see it - coming here - hell-wind - titan blue - black wing - Yog Sothoth save me - the three-lobed burning eye...