The Yellow Site

Cassilda is first brought to our attention through her song at the beginning of Robert W. Chambers' book The King In Yellow. The words, which preface the first story, give the first hints of mysterious Carcosa – in particular the multiple suns and moons, the black stars, the lake, the Hyades and the King in Yellow himself.

It is referenced in the title of the story Cassilda's Song.

The Song

Along the shore the cloud waves break,
The twin suns sink behind* the lake,
The shadows lengthen
In Carcosa.
Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies
But stranger still is
Lost Carcosa.
Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in
Dim Carcosa.
Song of my soul, my voice is dead;
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in
Lost Carcosa.

(* The original 1895 edition and most subsequent editions have the sun sinking behind the lake, but some recent editions have it sinking beneath it. The reason for the discrepancy is unknown, although it appears to have originated with Project Gutenberg – thanks to Graeme Phillips for discovering that! Make of it what you will...)

Presence in the Play

The song is part of Act 1, Scene 2 of the play, although it is unclear whether it falls before or after the other quoted section of that scene.

A similar poem opens the story The Yellow Sign: "Let the red dawn surmise / What we shall do, / When this blue starlight dies / And all is through". Whether it is part of the play or not is unclear.

James Blish moved it to the Second Act (see More Light).


STORMCLOUDS - Cassilda's Song.-0


Silver Key - Dim Carcosa


Lindbergh Baby Cassilda's Song


The song has been recorded (as either Cassilda's Song or Dim Carcosa) by the following artists: