Unpublished fragments of the work of
Aleister Crowley
explanatory notes by R P Lester and the author

Society for the Propagation of Religious Truth
Boleskine, Foyers, Inverness

This volume consists of unpublished poems dating from 1886-1903. Concerning the title Crowley writes, “The sense is of dead leaves drifting in the dusty cave of my mind.” He does not seem to have been aware that Coleridge gave the title “Sibylline Leaves” to a similar collection.

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This, the earliest poem ever written by me, has perished save the above fragment. Its date is 1886. — A.C. It should be noted that this fragment is of a wildly revolutionary tendency. It made him the Ibsen of a school where a parson and a chapel were considered with the rest of the non- Plymouth-Brethren world as so many devils let loose from hell.

TERROR, and darkness, and horrid despair!
Agony painted upon the once fair
Brow of the man who refused to give up
The love of the wine-filled, the o'erflowing cup.
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging.”
No wine in death is his torment assuaging.

. . . . .
. . . . .
Just what the parson had told me when young:
Just what the people in chapel have sung:
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging.”
. . . . .
“Desunt cetera.”

In the hospital bed she lay,
Rotting away!
Cursing by night and cursing by day,
Rotting away! {1A}
The lupus is over her face and head,
Filthy and foul and horrid and dread,
And her shrieks they would almost wake the dead;
Rotting away!

In her horrible grave she lay,
Rotting away!
Rotting by night, and rotting by day,
Rotting away!
In the place of her face is a gory hole,
And the worms are gnawing the tissues foul,
And the devil is gloating over her soul,
Rotting away!

I WILL not shake thy hand, old man,
I will not shake thy hand;
You bear a traitor's brand, old man,
You bear a liar's brand.
Thy talents are profound and wide,
Apparent power to win;
It is not everyone has lied
A nation into sin.

And look thou not so black, my friend,
Nor seam that hoary brow;
Thy deeds are seamier, my friend,
Thy record blacker now. {1B}
Your age and sex forbid, old man,
I need not tell you how,
Or else I'd knock you down, old man,
Like that extremist cow.1)

You've gained your every seat, my friend,
By perjuring your soul;
You've climbed to Downing Street, my friend,
A very greasy poll.
You bear a traitor's brand, old man,
You bear a liar's brand;
I will “not” shake thy hand, old man,
I will “not” shake thy hand.
[“And I didn't.”

Written (at the age of fifteen, and still unsurpassed) while in bed with measles at Tonbridge in Kent.

FLOATING in the summer air,
What is that for men to see?
Anywhere and everywhere,
Now a bullet, now a tree —
Till we all begin to swear:
What the devil can it be?

See its disproportioned head,
Tiny trunk and limbs lopped bare,
Hydrocephalus the dread
With a surgeon chopping there;
Chopping legs and arms all red
With the sticky lumps of hair.

Like a man in this complaint
Floats this creature in the sky,
Till the gaping rustics faint
And the smirking milkmaids cry,
As the chord and silk and paint,
Wood and iron drifteth by.

Floating in the summer sky
Like a model of the moon: —
How supreme to be so high
In a treacherous balloon,
Like the Kings of Destiny,
All the earth for their spittoon. {2A}

Toads are gnawing at my feet.
Take them off me quick, I pray!
Worms my juicy liver eat.
Take the awful beasts away!
Vipers make my bowels their meat.
Fetch a cunning knife and slay!

Kill the tadpoles in my lung,
And the woodlice in my spine,
And the beast that gnaws my tongue,
And the weasel at my chine,
And the horde of adders young
That around mine entrails twine!

Come, dissect me! Rip the skin!
Tear the bleeding flesh apart!
See ye all my hellish grin
While the straining vitals smart.
Never mind! Go in and win,
Till you reach my gory heart!

While my heart's soft pulse did go,
Devils had it in their bands.
Doctors keep it in a row,
Now, on varnished wooden stands:
And I really do not know
If it is in different hands.

MY home is set between two ivory towers,
Fresh with the fragrance of a thousand flowers.
And the twin portals of a ruby door,
Portcullissed with the pearls of India's shore,
Loosed with a smile and opened with a kiss,
Bid me a joyous welcome there, I wis.
My home is on the brink of heaven's delight,
But for that endless day a lovelier night
Is in my home, that sunset's arms enfold,
Lit with the mellowness of autumn gold.
. . . . .
Pillowed on linen of the purest white,
Half-hidden by her locks' luxurious night,
Maddened by those soft eyes of melting glow,
Enamoured of that breast of breathing snow,
Caught in the meshes of her fine-spun hair,
Rocked by the beating of her bosom fair, {2B}
Held by her lips too tempting and too warm,
Bewitched by every beauty of her form,
The blush upon her cheek is deeper red,
Half glad, and half repenting what she said.
A moment's struggle, as her form I press: —
One soft sad sigh. Love conquers. I possess.

Jabez Balfour, author of the “Liberator” frauds.

Reprinted from the 'Eastbourne Chronicle.'

GREAT Liberator, come again,
Thy country needs thee sadly;
In Scotland Yard they all complain
They “want” thee, oh! so badly.

Thou canst not tell the signs and sobs
That for thy presence yearn;
And the great heart of England throbs
With joy at thy return.

For many a year prolong thy stay
By Portland's shady harbour;
And all expenses we will pay —
Especially the barber.

A change of work is rest, they say,
So honest toil shall rest thee;
No fears that thou must go away
Need haunt thee and molest thee.

We pray a level-headed set
Of fellow men, who know thee,
In some small measure grateful yet,
May pay thee what is owed thee.

The joys of single blessedness,
And undisturbed seclusion,
We envy for thee, we confess,
Until thy final fusion.

Written at Eastbourne.

Tune — German Evening Hymn.

WAS thy fault to be too tender?
Was thine error to be weak?
Was my kiss the chief offender
Pressed upon thy blushing cheek? {3A}

Was it sin to press and press thee
Till thy burning lips at last
Madly kissed me? How I bless thee,
Now, for that superb repast!

All-consuming, all-devouring,
All-absorbing, burnt the flame;
Burnt unchecked till, hotly showering,
Passion disregarded Shame!

Was it sin — that moonlight madness?
Was our passion so accurst?
Sweetness damned to mother Sadness?
Satisfaction to bring Thirst?

Was our love to bring division?
Nay! ten thousand devils! nay!
And a devil in a vision
Hisses as I slumber, “Yea!

“Heaven of your accurst creation
Shall become a hell of fire;
Death for kisses, and damnation
For your love shall God require.”

This astonishing piece of satire was composed after some weeks in the house of a Plymouth Brother. Almost every phrase used therein is a quotation, not a parody.

IN response to many suggestions from dear Brethren, I have adapted a hymn to the wants of the Church. In view of the grossly unscriptural nature of the original hymn (so-called) many changes have been rendered necessary, but I hope and trust that this has been effected without losing the grandeur of the original.«See preface to “Hymns for the Little Flock,” 1856, from which this stupefying sentence has been bodily taken.» To this effort of mine certain “false brethren unawares brought in” have objected, saying, “Touch not the accursed thing.” I pass over the blasphemy of their thus adapting verses of Scripture to their own vile ends.

Let me, however, tell these “wolves in {3B} sheep's clothing,” these “clouds without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever (Jude 12,13), that they are “dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters” (Rev. xxii. 15), and again, that they are “fearful and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and idolaters, and all liars” (Rev. xxi. 8), and that they “shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Rev. xxi. 8), “where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark. ix. 44).

Let me only add that they are “a herd of many swine feeding” (Matt. viii. 30).

“Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Matt. xxiii. 33).

And now, beloved brethren, with every prayer that this adaptation may prove of lasting blessing to You all, bringing forth “the fruits of the Spirit” (Gal. v. 22), especially “faith, hope and charity.” “But the greatest of these is charity” (1 Cor. xiii. 13).


ONWARD, Plymouth Brethren, marching as to war,
With the cross of jesus trampled on the floor;
Kelly, Lowe or Jewell2) lead against the foe,
Forward into battle, see their followers go.
Onward, Plymouth Brethren, marching as to war,
With the cross of jesus trampled on the floor.

At the name of Barton, Raven's host doth flee,
On, M'Arthy's following, on to victory, {4A}
Stoney's scoundrels shiver at Our howls of rage,
Brothers, lift Your voices, Shriek aloud, Rampage!

Like a mighty army moves the Church of god.
Brothers, We are treading where the saints have trod.
We are all divided, fifty bodies We,
Fifty hopes and doctrines, nary charity.

Church and chapel perish! Open Plyms to hell!
But Our kind of Brethren still in safety dwell.
Raven's lot can never 'gainst the lord prevail,
We are his brave followers, you are Satan's tail.

Come then, outside peoples, join Our noble throng!
Blend with Ours your voices in the triumph song!
Glory, praise and honour unto Us alone!
Christians' necks our footstool, Heaven itself Our throne!

P.S. — BELOVED BRETHREN, — The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. For I, like Balaam (in the old legend), was compelled to express our real feelings and not our pretended ones. This, of course, absolutely ruins the adaptation. In fact, I am not certain as to whether it does not rather give us away!

Alas! we are only poor, weak, failing creatures!

Your broken-hearted, broken-winded, broken-kneed brother,


[The man Truelove was at once put our of fellowship. He will be certainly damned.

Written during the first session of the Licensing Committee of the London County Council.

I WILL not bring abuse to point my pen,
Nor a sarcastic tongue.
Think only what you might be, before men,
If you were young.

What fierce temptations might not lovers bring
In London's wicked city?
Perhaps you might yourself have one wee fling,
If you were pretty.

What might not hard starvation drive you to,
With Death so near and sure?
Perhaps it might drive even virtuous you,
If you were poor.

But is it just, or grateful to the One
That keeps even you from wrong,
Or even humble to shriek, “Get you gone,
For I am strong”?

Temptation has not touched you, Mrs. C…t!
Forsooth, I do not lie there,
For you are only not the thing you aren't
Through being neither.

And since some fall in Life's tremendous storm,
And you are on your feet,
Were it not better with a bosom warm
And accents sweet

To help to raise (and no man will upbraid you)
Your sisters fallen far?
'Tis vain! God's worst omission — Heart — has made you
The thing you are! {5A}

The occasion of this poem was the meeting of the author with a fair and virtuous damsel of pleasant address and conversation. She politely asked him to call at her residence on the following Sunday: but, on his doing so, she straightway demanded half-a-sovereign, and proffered a shameful equivalent. The indignant boy went off and gave vent to his feelings in the above rhymes.

RED is the angry sunset,
Murk is the even grey,
Heavy the clouds that hover
Over our Hell to-day.

“Say, in our dark Gomorrah,
Lord, can an angel find
Fifty, but fifty, righteous —
body — I say not Mind.”

Sadly the angel turneth —
“Stay, ere thou fleest, stay;
Canst thou not find me twenty?”
“Nay” is the answer, “nay.”

“Are there not ten, bright spirit,
Hidden, nor quickly seen,
Somewhere in Hell's dark alleys,
Somewhere in Walham Green?

“Speak, for I see thy forehead
Sadden in dark denial,
Is there not one that standeth
Tempter and longsome trial?

“Is not a candle burning
Somewhere amid the flame
Scorching the smoke of London
With its eternal shame?

“Is there no gate so stubborn
That shall not find a key,
That with our Sovereign's image
Graven in majesty?” {5B}

Why not the Devil's portrait
Graven in Walham Green?
Why with the bare suggestion
Dare we insult our Queen?

Give me the golden trumpet
Blown at the judgment-day,
Closing the gate of mercy
Over the Cast Away.

Melt me its gold to money,
Coin me that small, small ring
Stamped with the Hoof of Satan,
Bearing the name of King.

Then, in the murky midnight,
Silently lead me down,
Down into Hell's dark portals,
Far in the West of Town.

Then to the shrieks of devils
Writhing in torments keen,
Sing me the song that tells me
Ever of Walham Green.

Sing of the little half-sovereign
Dancing in golden sheen;
Leave me in Hell — or, better,
Leave me in Walham Green.

O LESBIAN maiden!
O plumed and snowlike in glory of whiteness!
O mystical brightness
With love-lyrics laden!
Joy's fulness is fainting for passion and sorrow.
To-night melts divine to the dawn of to-morrow,
O Lesbian maiden! {6A}

The flame-tongue of passion
Is lambent and strong;
In mystical fashion
Sucks sweetness from shade,
As the voice of thy song
In the halls of the dead,
Breaking fitful and wild,
Weird waking the slumber of Venus, the sleep of her child,
O Lesbian maiden!

Thy tongue reaches red
On that pillar of might!
Flaming gold from thy head
Is a garland of light
On the forehead of night,
As we lie and behold
All the wonders untold
That the joys of desire
In their secrets enfold,
As the pillars of fire
On the ocean of old!
O Lesbian maiden!

The delight of thy lips
Is the voice of the Spring
That the nightingales sing
Over Winter's eclipse,
While my fingers enring
The white limbs of thy sleep
And my lips suck the lips
Of the house of my dream,
And press daintily deep,
Till the joys are supreme
That thine amorous mouth
On the home of thy love
Would exhaust the fierce drouth
Of the rivers thereof,
Till thy white body quiver
With mystic emotion
As the star-blossoms shiver
On silvery river
Rushed into the ocean!
O Lesbian maiden! {6B}

UNDER the summer leaves
In the half-light
Love his old story weaves
Far out of sight.
Here we are lone, at last.
Heaven is overcast
Yet with no night.
Ere her immortal wings
Gather the thread of things
Into her might,
Up will the moon arise
Through the black-azure skies:
Birds shall sing litanies
Still of delight.

Let my lips wander where
Tender moss grows,
Where through their dusky air
Beams a red rose.
Where the bee honey sips
Let my desirous lips,
Kissing, unclose
Delicate lips and chaste,
Sweetness divine to taste
While the sun glows;
There in the dusk to dwell
By the sweet water-well
In the wood's deepest dell
Where — my love knows.

Skies are grown redder far;
Tempest draws nigher;
Dark lowers a single star;
Mars, like the fire!
Fiercer our lips engage;
Limbs, eyes, ears gather rage;
Sharp grows desire. {7A}
Hear thy short bitter cries?
Pity thine agonies?
Loose, though love tire?
Nay, neither hear nor spare;
Frenzy shall mock at prayer;
Torture's red torch shall flare
Till thou expire.

Stars stud a cloudless sky;
Moon silvers blue;
Breeze is content to die;
Lightly falls dew.
Calm after strain and stress
Now to our weariness
Brings love anew.
Peace brings her balm to us,
Lying as amorous
Still, and as true,
Linked by new mystery,
Lovers confessed. A sigh
Sobs to the happy sky,
“Sorrow, go to!”

— FORD.3)

BLOW on the flame!
The charcoal's vaporous fume
Shall hide our shame!
Come, love, within the gloom!
For one last night, sweet sister, be the same;
Come, nestle with me in sweet Death's hot womb!

Two sunny eyes!
And this is all my ruin!
Two gleaming thighs!
And all to my undoing!
Far-swelling curves in ivory rapture rise
Warm and too white — bethink you of the wooing! {7B}

A kiss of fire;
A touch of passionate yearning
Steals higher and higher —
And kisses are returning!
The strong white grasp draws me still nigher and nigher,
Our fusing forms in one fierce furnace burning!

Fails to us speech
In Love's exultant leaping!
Each merged in each
The golden fruit is reaping!
. . . . . .
Wilt slumber, dear? One last kiss, I beseech!
. . . . . .
Come to us, Death! My love and I are sleeping!

A volume which was never issued. MSS. and proofs have been carefully destroyed. Several of the poems in this volume are taken from that, viz. pp. 6-19.

FAREWELL, my book, whose words I have not given
One tithe of those fierce fires that in me dwell!
Now, after these long nights that I have striven,

My spirit burns to know, but may not tell,
Whether thy leaves, by autumn breezes driven,
Fly far away beyond the immutable;

Whether thy soul shall find its home in heaven,
Or dart far-flaming through the vaults of hell —
To him that loveth much is much forgiven.
Farewell! {8A}

The ordure of this goat, who is called “Master Lenonard.” — ELIPHAZ LEVI.
He's the man for muck. — BROWNING.

SMALL coffin-worms that burrow in thy brain
Writhe with delight; thy rotten body teems
With all infesting vermin, as beseems
The mirror of an obscene mind. In vain
Thy misbegotten brutehood shirks the pain
Of its avenging leprosies: death steams
In all thy rank foul atmosphere: the gleams
Of phosphorescent putrefaction wane.

Thy sordid hands reach through the filth to snatch
The offal money of a prurient swarm.
Thy liar's tongue licks liquid dung to hatch
From fetid ulcers with its slimy warm
Venom some fouler vermin, in their nest
Thy rotten heart and thy polluting breast!

Egg of the Slime! Thy loose abortive lips
Mouth hateful things: thy shifty bloodshot eyes
Lurk craftily to snare some carrion prize,
The dainty morsel whence the poison drips
Unmarked: the masked infamy that slips
Into an innocent maw: corrupter wise!
Sly worm of hell! that close and cunning lies
With sucking tentacles for finger-tips.

Earth spits on thee, contagious Caliban!
Hell spits on thee; her sin is spiritual.
Only the awful slime and excrement
That sin sheds off will own thee for a man.
Only the worms in dead men's bowels that crawl
To lick a loathlier brother are content. {8B}

THE sun of love shone through my love's deep eyes
And made a rainbow of her tender tears,
And on her cheeks I saw a blush arise
When her lips opened to say, loverwise,
“I love” — and light broke through the cloud of fears
That hid her eyes.

The storm of passion woke in her red lips,
When first they clung to mine and rested there;
Lightnings of love were eager to eclipse
That earlier sunshine, and her whole soul clips
My soul — I kissed out life, within her hair
Upon her lips.

We parted lips from lips and soul from soul
To new strange passions in unholy lands,
Where love's breath chars and scorches like a coal.
So she is dead to-day — the sweet bells toll
A lost, lost soul, a soul in Satan's bands,
A lost, lost soul!

A statue in Naples. Callipyge means “having beautiful buttocks.”

WHERE was light when the body came
Out of the womb of a perished prayer?
Where was life when the sultry air,
Hot with the lust of night and shame,
Brooded on dust, when thy shoulders bare
Shone on the sea with a sudden flame
Into all Time to abundant fame?

“Daughter of Lust by the foam of the sea!”
“Mother of flame! Sister of shame!”
“Tiger that Sin nor her son cannot tame!”
“Worship to thee! Glory to thee!”
“Venus Callipyge, mother of me.” {9A}

Fruitless foam of a sterile sea,
Wanton waves of a vain desire,
Maddening billows flecked with fire,
Storms that lash on the brine, and flee,
Dead delights, insatiate ire
Broke like a flower to the birth of thee,
Venus Callipyge, mother of me!

Deep wet eyes that are violet-blue!
Haggard cheeks that may blush no more!
Body bruised daintily, touch of gore
Where the sharp fierce teeth have bitten through
The olive skin that thy sons adore,
That they die for daily, are slain anew
By manifold hate; for their tale is few.

Few are thy sons, but as fierce as dawn.
Sweet are the seconds, weary the days.
Nights? Ah! thine image a thousand ways
Is smitten and kissed on the fiery lawn
Where the wash of the waves of thy native bays
Laps weary limbs, that of thee have drawn
Laughter and fire for their souls in pawn.

O thy strong sons! they are dark as night,
Cruel and barren and false as the sea.
They have cherished Hell for the love of thee,
Filled with thy lust and abundant might,
Filled with the phantom desire to free
Body and soul from the sound and sight
Of a world and a God that doth not right.

O thy dark daughters! their breasts are slack,
Their lips so large and as poppies red;
They lie in a furious barren bed;
They lie on their faces; their eyelids lack
Tears, and their cheeks are as roses dead;
White are their throats, but upon the back
Red blood is clotted in gouts of black. {9B}

All on their sides are the wounds of lust
Wet, from the home of their auburn hair
Down to the feet that we find so fair;
Where the red sword has a secret thrust,
Pain, and delight, and desire they share.
Verily pain! and thy daughters trust
Thou canst bid roses spring out of dust.

Mingle, ye children of such a queen,
Mingle, and meet, and sow never a seed!
Mingle, and tingle, and kiss, and bleed
With the blood of the life of the Lampsacene,4)
With the teeth that know never a pitiful deed
But fret and foam over with kisses obscene —
Mingle and weep for what years have been.

Never a son nor a daughter grow
From your waste limbs, lest the goddess weep;
Fill up the ranks from the babes that sleep
Far in the arms of a god of snow.
Conquer the world, that her throne may keep
More of its pride, and its secret woe
Flow through all earth as the rivers flow.

Which of the gods is like thee, our queen?
Venus Callipyge, nameless, nude,
Thou with the knowledge of all indued,
Secrets of life and the dreams that mean
Loves that are not, as are mortals', hued
All rose and lily, but linger unseen,
Passion-flowers purpled, garlands of green!

Who like thyself shall command our ways?
Who has such pleasures and pains for hire?
Who can awake such a mortal fire
In the veins of a man, that deathly days
Have robbed of the masteries of desire?
Who can give garlands of fadeless bays
Unto the sorrow and pain we praise? {10A}

Yea, we must praise, though the deadly shade
Fall on the morrow, though fires of hell
Harrow our vitals; a miracle
Springs at thy kisses, for thou hast made
Anguish and sorrow desirable;
Torment of hell as the leaves that fade
Quickly forgotten, despised, decayed.

They are decayed, but thou springest again,
Mother of mystery, barren, who bearest
Flowers of most comeliest children, who wearest
Wounds for delight, whose desire shall stain
Star-space with blood as the price thou sharest
Sweet with thy lovers, whose passing pain
Ripens to marvellous after-gain.

Thou art the fair, the wise, the divine!
Thou art our mother, our goddess, our life!
Thou art our passion, our sorrow, our strife!
Thou, on whose forehead no lights ever shine,
Thou, our redeemer, our mistress, our wife,
Thou, barren sister of deathlier brine,
Venus Callipyge, mother of mine!

“Daughter of lust by the foam of the sea!”
“Mother of flame! Sister of shame!”
“Tiger that Sin nor her son cannot tame!”
“Worship to thee! Glory to thee!”
“Venus Callipyge, mother of me.”

ALL night no change, no whisper. Scarce a breath,
But lips closed hard upon the cup of death
To drain its sweetest poison. Scarce a sigh
Beats the dead hours out; scarce a melody {10B}
Of measured pulses quickened with the blood
Of that desire which pours its deadly flood
Through soul and shaken body; scarce a thought,
But sense through spirit most divinely wrought
To perfect feeling; only through the lips
Electric ardour kindles, flashes, slips
Through all the circle to her lips again,
And thence, unwavering, flies to mine, to drain
All pleasure in one draught. No whispered sigh;
No change of breast; love's posture perfectly
Once gained, we change no more. The fever grows
Hotter or cooler, as the night wind blows
Fresh gusts of passion on the outer gate.
But we, in waves of frenzy, concentrate
Our thirsty mouths on that hot drinking cup,
Whence we may never suck the nectar up
Too often or too hard; fresh fire invades
Our furious veins, and the unquiet shades
Of night make noises in the darkened room.
Yet, did I raise my head, throughout the gloom
I might behold thine eyes as red as fire
A tigress maddened with supreme desire;
White arms that clasp me; fervent breast that glides
An eager snake, about my breast and sides;
Teeth keen to bite, red tongue that never tires,
And lips ensaguine with unfed desires,
A very beast of prey; hot hands caress,
And violent breath that surfeits not excess.
But raise no head! I know thee, breast and thigh,
Lips, hair, and eyes, and mouth: I will not die
But thou come with me o'er the gate of death.
So, bloody and body furious with breath
That pants through foaming kisses, let us stay
Gripped hard together to kiss life away,
Mouths drowned in murder, never satiate,
Kissing away the hard decrees of Fate,
Kissing insatiable in mad desire,
Kisses whose agony may never tire,
Kissing the gates of hell, the sword of God,
Each unto each a serpent or a rod, {11A}
A well of wine and fire, each unto each,
Whose lips are fain convulsively to reach
A higher heaven, a deeper hell. Ah! day
So soon to dawn, delight to snatch away!
Damned day, whose sunlight fins us as with wine
Drunken, with lust made manifest divine
Devils of darkness, servants unto hell —
Yea, king and queen of Sheol, terrible
Above all fiends and furies, hating more
The high Jehovah, loving Baal Peor,
Our father and our love and our god!
Yea, though he lift his adamantine rod
And pierce us through, how shall his anger tame
Fire that glows fiercer for the brand of shame
Thrust in it; so, we who are all fire,
One dull red flare of devilish desire,
The God of Israel shall not quench with tears,
Nor blood of martyrs drawn from myriad spheres,
Nor watery blood of Christ; that blood shall boil
With all the fury of our hellish toil;
His veins shall dry with heat; his bones shall bleach
Cold and detested, picked of dogs, on each
Dry separate dunghill of burnt Golgotha.
But we will wrest from heaven a little star,
The Star of Bethlehem, a lying light
Fit for our candle, and by devils' might
Fix in the vast concave of hell for us
To lume its ghastly shadows murderous,
That in the mirror of the lake of fire
We may behold the image of Desire
Stretching broad wings upon us, and may leap
Each upon other, till our bodies weep
Thick sweet salt tears, till, perfected of shames,
They burn to one another as the flames
Of our hell fuse us into one wild soul:
Then, one immaculate divinest whole,
Plunge, fire, within all fire, dive far to death;
Till, like king Satan's sympathetic breath,
Burn on us as a voice from far above
Strange nameless elements of fire and love;
And we, one mouth to kiss, one soul to lure,
For ever wedded, one, divine, endure {11B}
Far from sun, sea, and spring, from love or light,
Imbedded in impenetrable night;
Deeper than ocean, higher than the sky,
Vaster than petty loves that dream and die,
Insatiate, angry, terrible for lust,
Who shrivel God to adamantine dust
By our fierce gaze upon him, who would strive
Under our wrath, to flee away, to dive
Into the deep recesses of his heaven.
But we, one joy, one love, one shame for leaven,
Quit hope and life, quit fear and death and love,
Implacable as God, desired above
All loves of hell or heaven, supremely wed,
Knit in one soul in one delicious bed
More hot than hell, more wicked than all things,
Vast in our sin, whose unredeeming wings
Rise o'er the world, and flap for lust of death,
Eager as any one that travaileth;
So in our lust, the monstrous burden borne
Heavy within the womb, we wait the morn
Of its fulfilment. Thus eternity
Wheels vain wings round us, who may never die
But cling as hard as serpent's wedlock is,
One writhing glory, an immortal kiss.

THE ashen sky, too sick for sleep, makes my face grey; my senses swoon.
Here, in the glamour of the moon, will not some pitying godhead weep

For cold grey anguish of her eyes, that look to God, and look in vain,
For death, the anodyne of pain, for sleep, earth's trivial paradise?

Sleep I forget. Her silky breath no longer fans my ears; I dream
I float on some forgotten stream that hath a savour still of death, {12A}

A sweet warm smell of hidden flowers whose heavy petals kiss the sun,
Fierce tropic poisons every one that fume and sweat through forest hours.

They grow in darkness; heat beguiles their sluggish kisses; in the wood
They breathe no murmur that is good, and Satan in their blossom smiles.

They murder with the old perfume that maddens all men's blood; we die
Fresh from some corpse-clothed memory, some secret redolence of gloom,

Some darkling murmurous song of lust quite strange to man and beast and bird,
Silent in power, not overheard by any snake that eats the dust.

No crimson-hooded viper knows; no silver-crested asp has guessed
The strange soft secrets of my breast; no leprous cobra shall disclose

The many-seated, multiform, divine, essential joys that these
Dank odours bring, that starry seas wash white in vain; intense and warm

The scents fulfil; they permeate all lips, all arteries, and fire
New murmured music on the lyre that throbs the horrors they create.

Omniscient blossom! Is thy red slack bosom fresher for my kiss?
Are thy loves sharper? Hast thou bliss in all the sorrow of the dead?

Why art thou paler when the moon grows loftier in the troublous sky?
Why dost thou beat and heave when I press lips of fire, hell's princeliest boon,

To thy mad petals, green and gold like angels' wings, when as a flood
God's essence fills them, and the blood throughout their web grows icy cold? {12B}

To thy red centre are my eyes held fast and fervent, as at night
Some sad miasma lends a light of strange and silent blasphemies

To lure a soul to hell, to draw some saint's charred lust, to tempt, to win
Another sacrifice to sin, another poet's heart to gnaw

With dubious remorse. Ho! flame of torturing flower-love! sacrament
Of Satan, triple element of mystery and love and shame,

Green, gold, and crimson, in my heart you strive with Jesus for its realm,
While Sorrow's tears would overwhelm the warriors of either part.

Jesus would lure me: from His side the gleaming torrent of the spear
Withdraws, my soul with joy and fear waits for sweet blood to pour its tide

Of warm delight — in vain! so cold, so watery, so slack it flows,
It leaves me moveless as a rose, albeit her flakes are manifold.

He hath no scent to drive men mad; no mystic fragrance from his skin
Sheds a loose hint of subtle sin such as the queen Faustina had.

Thou drawest me. Thy golden lips are carven Cleopatra wise.
Large, full, and moist, within them lies the silver rampart, whence there slips

That rosy flame of love, the spring of blood at my light bidding spilt;
And thy desires, if aught thou wilt, are softer at my suffering.

Fill up with Death Life's loving-cup! Give me the knowledge, me the power
For some new sin one little hour, provoking Hell to belch us up. {13A}

So in some damned abyss of woe thy chant should dazzle as of old,
Thy kisses burn like molten gold, thy visions swing me to and fro.

Strange fascinations whirl and wind about my spirit lying coils;
Thy charm enticeth, for the spoils of victory, all an evil mind.

Thy perfume doth confound my thought, new longings echo, and I crave
Doubtful liaisons with the grave and loves of Parthia for sport.

I think perhaps no longer yet, but dream and lust for stranger things
Than ever sucked the lips of kings, or fed the tears of Mahomet.

Quaint carven vampire bats, unseen in curious hollows of the trees,
Or deadlier serpents coiled at ease round carcases of birds unclean;

All wandering changeful spectre shapes that dance in slow sweet measure round
And merge themselves in the profound, nude women and distorted apes

Grotesque and hairy, in their rage more rampant than the stallion steed;
There is no help: their horrid need on these pale women they assuage.

Wan breasts too pendulous, thin hands waving so aimlessly, they breathe
Faint sickly kisses, and inweave my head in quiet burial-bands.

The silent troops recede; within the fiery circle of their glance
Warm writhing woman-horses dance a shameless Bacchanal of sin;

Foam whips their reeking lips, and still the flower-witch nestles to my lips,
Twines her swart lissome legs and hips, half serpent and half devil, till {13B}

My whole self seems to lie in her; her kisses draw my breath; my face
Loses its lustre in the grace of her quick bosom; sinister

The raving spectres reel; I see beyond my Circe's eyes no shape
Save vague cloud-measures that escape the dance's whirling witchery.

Their song is in my ears, that burn with their melodious wickedness;
But in her heart my sorceress has songs more sinful, that I learn

As she sings slowly all their shame, and makes me tingle with delight
At new debaucheries, whose might rekindles blood and bone to flame.

The circle gathers. negresses howl in the naked dance, and wheel
On poinard-blades of poisoned steel, and weep out blood in agonies;

Strange beast and reptile writhe; the song grows high and melancholy now;
The perfume savours every brow with lust unutterable of wrong.

Clothed with my flower-bride I sit, a harlot in a harlot's dress,
And laugh with careless wickedness that strews the broad road of the Pit

With vine and myrtle and thy flower, my harlot-maiden, who for man
Now first forsakest thy leman, thy Eve, my Lilith, in this bower

Which we indwell, a deathless three, changeless and changing, as the pyre
Of earthly love becomes a fire to heat us through eternity.

I have forgotten Christ at last; he may look back, grown amorous,
And call across the gulf to us, and signal kisses through the vast: {14A}

We shall disdain, clasp faster yet, and mock his newer pangs, and call
With stars and voices musical, jeers his touched heart shall not forget.

I would have pitied him. This flower spits blood upon him; so must I
Cast ashes through the misty sky to mock his faded crown of power,

And with our laughter's nails refix his torn flesh faster to the wood,
And with more cruel zest make good the shackles of the Crucifix.

So be it! In thy arms I rest, lulled into silence by the strain
Of sweet love-whispers, while I drain damnation from thy tawny breast:

Nor heed the haggard sun's eclipse, feeling thy perfume fill my hair,
And all thy dark caresses wear sin's raiment on thy melting lips —

Nay, by the witchcraft of thy charms to sleep, nor dream that God survive;
To wake, this only to contrive — fresh passions in thy naked arms;

And, at that moment when thy breath mixes with mine, like wine, to call
Each memory, one merged into all, to kiss, to sleep, to mate with death!

THE Virgin lies at Bethlehem.
(Bring gold and frankincense and myrrh!)
The root of David shoots a stem.
(O Holy Spirit, pity her!)

She lies alone amid the kine.
(Bring gold and frankincense and myrrh!)
The straw is fragrant as with wine.
(O Holy Spirit, pity her!) {14B}

Mine host protects an honest roof.
(Bring gold and frankincense and myrrh!)
His spouse sniffs loud and holds aloof.
(O Holy Spirit, pity her!)

The Angel has not come again.
(Bring gold and frankincense and myrrh!)
Why did God deal her out such pain?
(O Holy Spirit, pity her!)

Her love-hours held the Holy Ghost.
(Bring gold and frankincense and myrrh!)
Where is he now she needs him most?
(O Holy Spirit, pity her!)

Joseph drinks deep outside the inn.
(Bring gold and frankincense and myrrh!)
She is half hated by her kin.
(O Holy Spirit, pity her!)

The agony increases fast.
(Bring gold and frankincense and myrrh!)
Each spasm is a holocaust.
(O Holy Spirit, pity her!)

There are three kings upon the road.
(Bring gold and frankincense and myrrh!)
She hath thrice cursed the name of God.
(O Holy Spirit, pity her!)

There stands her star above the sky.
(Bring gold and frankincense and myrrh!)
She hath thrice prayed that she may die.
(O Holy Spirit, pity her!)

Her bitter anguish hath sufficed.
(Bring gold and frankincense and myrrh!)
She is delivered of the Christ.
(The angels come to worship her.)

The original metres are in all cases closely imitated.


SEED of Abel, eat, drink, sleep!
God shall smile complaisantly.
Seed of Cain, in the muck-heap
Crawl and miserably die! {15A}

Seed of Abel, thine oblation
Sweet to Seraphim doth smell:
Seed of Cain, shall thy damnation
Ever find the bounds of Hell?

Race of Abel, see thy seed
And thy cattle flourish more!
Race of Cain, for hunger's need,
Like a dog thy bowels roar.

Seed of Abel, warm thy paunch
At the patriarchal hall!
Seed of Cain, on shivering haunch
Squat in cave, despised jackal!

Seed of Abel, love and swarm!
So thy gold shall also grow.
Seed of Cain, heart over-warm,
Guard thy lust and crush it low!

Seed of Abel, grow, well-faring
Like the bugs in forest beats!
Seed of Cain, at bay, despairing,
Throw thy children on the streets!


Seed of Abel, carrion
Shall make fat the smoking soil.
Seed of Cain, on thee has none
Laid sufficient woes of toil.

Seed of Abel, this thy shame —
To the boar-spear yields the sword.
Seed of Cain, to heaven flame,
And to earth cast Heaven's Lord!

O thou, of Angels fairest and most wise,
God by Fate's treachery shorn of liturgies!
O Satan, have pity of my long misery!

O Prince of Exile, Sufferer of wrong,
Whose vengeance, conquered, rises triply strong!
O Satan, have pity of my long misery! {15B}

Who knowest all, of under earth the king,
Familiar healer of man's suffering!
O Satan, have pity of my long misery!

Who to the leper, even the cursed pariah,
Hast taught by love the taste of heavenly fire!
O Satan, have pity of my long misery!

Thou who on Death, thine old and strong leman,
Begottest Hope — a charming madwoman!
O Satan, have pity of my long misery!

Who knowest in which caves of envious lands
God has hid precious stones with jealous hands!
O Satan, have pity of my long misery!

Thou whose clear eye discerns the arsenals deep,
Where the small folk of buried metals sleep!
O Satan, have pity of my long misery!

Whose broad hand hides the giddy precipice
From sleepers straying about some edifice!
O Satan, have pity of my long misery!

Whose skill makes supple the old bones, at needs,
Of the belated sot, 'mid surging steeds!
O Satan, have pity of my long misery!

Who taught frail man, to make his suffering lighter,
Consoling, to mix sulphur with salt nitre!
O Satan, have pity of my long misery!

O subtle complice, who as blatant Beast
Brandest vile Croesus, him that pities least!
O Satan, have pity of my long misery!

Who in girls' eyes and hearts implantest deep
Lust for the wound, the twain that wound bids weep!
O Satan, have pity of my long misery!

Staff of the exiled, the inventor's spark,
Confessor of hanged men and plotters dark!
O Satan, have pity of my long misery! {16A}

Adopted sire of whom black wrath and power
Of God the Father chased from Eden Bower!
O Satan, have pity of my long misery!

Like pensive cattle couched upon the sand
They turn their eyes to ocean's distant ring;
Feet seek each other, hand desires hand,
With langour sweet and bitter shuddering.

Some, hearts love-captured with long whispering,
Spell out the love of timorous childhood,
Where babbles in deep dell the gentle spring,
And dive among the young trees of the green wood.

Other, like sisters, slowly, with grave eyes,
Cross the rocks filled with apparitions dim,
Where Antony beheld, like lavers, rise
The nude empurpled breasts that tempted him.

Some, by the dying torch-light call thy name,
In the dumb hollow of old pagan fanes,
To succour feverish shriekings of fierce flame,
O Bacchus, soother of men's ancient pains.

Others, whose throat is thirsty for breast-blood,
To hide a whip 'neath flowing robes are fain,
Mingling in lonely night and darksome wood
The foam of pleasure and the tears of pain.

O virgins, demons, monsters, O martyrs!
Great souls contemptuous of reality!
Seekers for the Infinite, satyrs, worshippers,
Now mad with cries, now torn with agony!

You whom my soul has followed to your hell,
Poor sisters, more beloved than wept by me,
For your fierce woes, your lusts insatiable,
And the urns of love that fill the hearts of ye! {16B}

Recall, my soul, the sight we twain have looked upon
This summer morning soft and sweet,
Beside the path, an infamous foul carrion,
Stones for its couch a fitting sheet.

Its legs stretched in the air, like wanton whores
Burning with lust, and reeking venom sweated,
Laid open, carelessly and cynically, the doors
Of belly rank with exhalations foetid.

Upon this rottenness the sun shone deadly straight
As if to cook it to a turn,
And give back to great Nature hundredfold the debt
That, joining it together, she did earn.

The sky beheld this carcase most superb outspread
As spreads a flower, itself, whose taint
Stank so supremely strong, that on the grass your head
You thought to lay, in sudden faint.

The flies swarmed numberless on this putrescent belly,
Whence issued a battalion
Of lavrae, black, that flowed, a sluggish liquid jelly,
Along this living carrion.

All this was falling, rising as the eager seas,
Or heaving with strange crepitation —
Was't that the corpse, swollen out with a lascivious breeze,
Was yet alive by copulation?

And all the carcase now sounded strange symphonies
Like wind, or running water wan,
Or grain that winnower shakes and turns, whene'er he plies
With motion rhythmical his fan. {17A}

The shapes effaced themselves; no more their images
Were aught but dreams, a sketch too slow
To tint the canvas, that the artist finishes
By memory that does not go.

Behind the rocks a bitch unquietly gazed on
Ourselves with eye of wrathful woe,
Watching her time to return unto the skeleton
For tit-bits that she had let go.

Yet you are like to it, this dung, this carrion,
To this infection doubly dire,
Star of my eyes that are, and still my nature's sun,
You, O my angel! You, my own desire!

Yes! such will you be, queen, in graces that surpass,
Once the last sacraments are said;
When you depart beneath wide-spreading blooms and grass
To rot amid the bones of many dead.

Then, O my beauty! tell the worms, who will devour
With kisses all of you to dust;
That I have kept the form and the essential power
Divine of my distorted lust.


WHAT makes God then of all the curses deep
That daily reach his Seraphim divine?
Like to a tyrant gorged with meat and wine,
Our blasphemous music lulleth him to sleep.


Tears of the martyrs, and saints tortured,
Must prove intoxicating symphonies,
Since, spite of blood-price paid to gain them ease,
The heavens therewith are not yet satiated. {17B}


Jesus! recall Gethsemane afresh,
Where thy simplicity his pity sought
Who in his heaven heard, and mocked for nought,
Coarse hangmen pierce with nails thy living flesh.


When on thy godhead spat the virulence
Of scum of soldiery and kitchen-knaves;
When thou didst feel the thorns pierce bloody graves
Within thy brain where Manhood burnt intense;


When thy bruised broken body's horrid weight
Racked thy stretched arms, that sweat and blood enow
Coursed down the marble paleness of thy brow,
Lift up on high, a butt for all men's hate: —


Dreamedst thou then of those triumphant hours
When, that the eternal promise might abide,
Thy steed a mild she-ass, thou once didst ride
On roads o'erstrewn with branches and fresh flowers;


When, thy heart beating high with hope and pride,
Thou didst whip out those merchants vile with force,
At last the master? Did not keen remorse
Bite thy soul ere the spear had pierced thy side?


I, certes, I shall gladly quit this hell
Where dream and action walk not hand-in-hand!
May I use the brand and perish by the brand!
Saint Peter denied Jesus. He did well. {18A}

GLORY and praise to thee, O Satan, in the height
Of Heaven, where thou didst rule, and in the night
Of Hell, where conquered, dost dream silently!
Grant that one day my soul 'neath Knowledge-Tree
Rest near thine own soul, when from thy forehead
Like a new temple all its branches spread.

SOMETIMES I think my blood in waves appears,
Springs as a fount with music in its tears;
I hear it trickling with long murmuring sound,
But search myself in vain to find the wound.

Across the city, as in closed meres,
Making the pavements isles, it disappears;
In it all creatures' thirst relief hath found;
All nature in its scarlet hue is drowned.

I have often prayed these fickle wines to weep
For one day Lethe on my threatening fear —
Wine makes the ear more sharp, the eye more clear.

I have sought in Love forgetfulness and sleep —
My love's a bed of needles made to pierce,
That drink be given to these women fierce!

AS I one day to nature made lament
In burnt-up lands, calcined of nutriment,
As in my musing thought's vague random dart
I slowly poised my dagger o'er my heart,
I saw in full noon o'er my forehead form
A deathly cloud far pregnant with the storm,
That bore a flock of devils vicious
Most like to dwarfs cruel and curious. {18B}
Coldly they set themselves to gaze on me,
Like passers-by a madman that they see —
I heard them laugh and chuckle, as I think,
Now interchange a signal, now a wink.
“Let us at leisure view this caricature,
This shade of Hamlet mimicking his posture,
The doubting look and hair flung wide to wind!
A pity, eh? to see this merry hind,
This beggar, actor out of work, this droll,
Because he plays artistically his role,
Wishing to interest in his chanted woes
Brooks, eagles, crickets, every flower that blows,
And even to us the rubric old who made
To howl out publicly his wild tirade?”
I could have (for my pride is mountains high,
And dominates cloud tops or demon's cry) —
I could have simply turned my sovereign head,
Had I not seen, 'mid their obscene herd led,
Crime, that the sun has not yet brought to book,
Queen of my spirit with the peerless look.
And she laughed with them at my dark distress,
And turned them oft some dirtiest caress.

THE strange look of a woman of the town,
Who glides toward us like the rays that slake
the wave-wrought moon within the trembling lake,
Where she would dip her careless beauty down;
The last crown unto which a gambler's fingers cling;
A libertine caress from hungry Adeline;
The sound of music, lulling, silver, clean,
Like the far cry of human suffering:

All these, deep bottle! are of little worth
Beside the piercing balm thy fertile girth
Holds in the reverent poet's lifted soul;
To him thou givest youth, and hope, and life,
And pride, this treasure of all beggar's strife
That gives us triumph, Godhead, for its dole. {19A}

CHALDEAN fools, who prayed to stars and fires,
Believed there was a God who punished liars.
These gods of theirs they often would invoke,
Apparently with excellent effect:
They trusted to escape the penal smoke
By making Truth the trade-mark of their sect.

How fortunate that we are Christian Folk,
And know these notions to be incorrect!

This Fragment is a paraphrase of one of the elemental invocations given in Dr. Dee's famous record of magical working. — A.C.

BEHOLD, I am; a circle on whose hands
The twelvefold Kingdom of my Godhead stands.
Six are the mighty seats of living breath,
The rest sharp sickles, or the horns of death,
Which are, and are not, save in mine own power.
Sleep they? They rise at mine appointed hour.
I made ye stewards in the primal day,
And set your thrones in my celestial way.
I gave ye power above the moving time
That all your vessels to my crown might climb.
From all the corners of your fortress caves
Ye might invoke me, and your wise conclaves
Should pour the fires of increase, life and birth,
Continual dewfall to the thirsty earth.
Thus are ye made of Justice and of Truth,
The Souls of Fury, and the Lords of Ruth.
In His great Name, your God's, I say, arise!
Behold! His mercies murmur in the skies.
His Name is mighty in us to the end.
In Him we cry: Move, answer, and descend!
Apply yourselves to us; arise! For why?
We are the Wisdom of your God most high! {19B}

Versified from the Manuscript called “ש of ש in Z2.” — A.C. Z2 was a MS. of magical formulae given to advanced members of the Zelator Adeptus Minor grade in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

O SELF Divine! O Living Lord of Me!
Self-shining flame, begotten of Beyond!
Godhead immaculate! Swift tongue of fire,
Kindled from that immeasurable light
The boundless, the immutable. Come forth,
My God, my lover, spirit of my heart,
Heart of my soul, white virgin of the Dawn,
My Queen of all perfection, come thou forth
From thine abode beyond the Silences
To me the prisoner, me the mortal man,
Shrined in this clay: come forth, I say, to me,
Initiate my quickened soul; draw near,
And let the glory of thy godhead shine
Through all the luminous aethers of the air
Even to earth, thy footstool; unto me
Who by these sacred invocations draw
The holy influence within myself,
To strengthen and to purify my will
And holy aspiration to thy Life.
Purge me and consecrate until my heart
Burn through the very limit of the veil,
And rend it at the hour of sacrifice
That even the secret pillar in the midst
May be made manifest to mortal eyes.
Behold upon my right hand and my left
The mighty pillars of amazing fire,
And terrible cloud. Their tops in Heaven are veiled,
Whereon the everlasting lamps rejoice.
Their pedestals upon the Universe
Are set in rolling clouds, in thunder-gusts,
In vivid flame, and tempest: but to me,
Balanced between them, burns the holy light
Veilless, one liquid wheel of sacred fire,
Whirling immutably within itself
And formulating in the splendid sun
Of its white moony radiance, in the light
Of its immaculate eternity,
Thy glorious vision! O thou Starlight face,
And crowned diamond of my self and soul, {20A}
Thou Queenly Angel of my Higher Will,
Form in my spirit a more subtle fire
Of God, that I may comprehend the more
The sacred purity of thy divine
Essence! O Queen, O Goddess of my life,
Light unbegotten, Scintillating spark
Of the All-Self! O holy, holy Spouse
Of my most godlike thought, come forth! I say,
And manifest unto thy worshipper
In more candescent fulgours! Let the air
Ring with the passion of my holy cry
Unto the Highest. For persistent will
And the continual fervour of my soul
Have led me to this hour of victory,
This throne of splendour. O thou Beauty's Self,
Thou holiest Crown thus manifest to me,
Come forth, I say, come forth! With mightier cries
Than Jesus uttered on the quivering cross:
“Eli, Eli, lamma sabachthani,”
Thee, thee, thee only I invoke! O Soul
Of my own spirit, let thy fervid eyes
Give me their light: for thou dost stand, as God
Among the Holy Ones. Before the gods
Thy music moves, coequal, coeterne,
Thou, Lord of Light and Life and Love! Come forth!
I call thee in the holiest name of Him
Lord of the Universe, and by His Name,
Jesus, the Godhead passing through the gates
Of Hell, that even there the rescuers
Might find the darkness, and proclaim the light;
For I invoke thee by the sacred rites
And secret words of everlasting power:
By the swift symbol of the Golden Dawn
And all its promise, by the Cross of Fire,
And by the Gleaming Symbol: by the Rose
And Cross of Light and Life: the holy Ankh,
The Rose of Ruby and the Cross of Gold.
By these I say, Come forth! my holy Spouse,
And make me one with thine abundant ray {20B}
Of the vast ocean of the unmanifest
Limitless Negativity of Light
Flowing, in Jesus manifest, through space,
In equilibrium, upon the world
Illumined by the White Supernal Gleam
Through the red Cross of Calvary: Come forth,
My actual Self! Come forth, O dazzling one,
Wrapped in the glory of the Holy Place
Whence I have called thee: Come thou forth to me,
And permeate my being, till my face
Shine with thy light reflected, till my brows
Gleam with thy starry symbol, till my voice
Reach the Ineffable: Come forth, I say,
And make me one with thee: that all my ways
May glitter with the holy influence,
That I may be found worthy at the end
To sacrifice before the Holy Ones:
That in thy Glory, Strength, and Majesty,
And by the Beauty and Harmony of Heaven
That fills its fountains at the Well of Life,
I may be mighty in the Universe.
Yea, come thou forth, I mightily conjure
Thy radiant Perfection, to compel
All Spirits to be subject unto Me,
That every spirit of the Firmament
And of the Ether, and upon the Earth
And under Earth, and of the stable land,
Of water, of the whirling of the air,
Of the all-rushing fire; and every Spell
And scourge of God the Vast One may be made
Obedient unto me, to the All-Good
And ultimate Redemption: Hear me, thou!

Eca, zodacare, Iad, goho,
Torzodu odo kikale qaa!
Zodacare od zodameranu!
Zodorje, lape zodiredo Ol
Noco Mada, das Iadapiel!
Ilas! hoatahe Iaida!5)

O crowned with starlight! Winged with emerald {21A}
Wider than Heaven! O profounder blue
Of the abyss of water! O thou flame
Flashing through all the caverns of the night,
Tongues leaping from the immeasurable
Up through the glittering Steeps unmanifest
To the ineffable! O Golden Sun!
Vibrating glory of my higher self!
I heard thy voice resounding in the Abyss:
“I am the only being in the deep
Of Darkness: let me rise and gird myself
To tread the path of Darkness: even so
I may attain the light. For from the Abyss
I came before my birth: from those dim halls
And silence of a primal sleep! And He,
The voice of Ages, answered me and said:
Behold! for I am He that formulates
In darkness! Child of Earth! the Light doth shine
In darkness, but the darkness understands
No ray of that initiating light!”
Now, by Initiation's dangerous path
And groping aspiration, came I forth
Where the White Splendour shone upon the Throne,
Even to the Temple of the Holy Ones:
Now, by that Light, come forth, I say, to me,
My Lady of the Starlight and the Moon!
Come and be absolute within my mind,
That I may take no dim remembrance back
to drown this glory with earth's quivering gloom.
But, O abide within Me! Every hour
I need the lofty and the limpid stream
Of that White Brilliance: Leave me not alone,
O Holy Spirit! Come to comfort me,
To draw me, and to make me manifest,
Osiris to the weeping world; that I
Be lifted up upon the cross of Pain
And Sacrifice, to draw all human kind
And every germ of matter that hath life,
Even after me, to the ineffable
Kingdom of Light! O holy, holy Queen!
Let thy wide pinions overshadow me!

I am, the Resurrection and the Life!
The Reconciler of the Light and Dark.
I am the Rescuer of mortal things.
I am the Force in Matter manifest. {21B}
I am the Godhead manifest in flesh.
I stand above, among the Holy Ones.
I am all-purified through suffering,
All-perfect in the mystic sacrifice,
And in the knowledge of my Selfhood made
One with the Everlasting Lords of Life.
The Glorified through Trial is My Name.
The Rescuer of Matter is My Name.
I am the Heart of Jesus girt about
With the Swift Serpent! I, Osirified,
Stand in this Hall of Twofold Truth and say:
Holy art Thou, Lord of the Universe!
Holy art Thou, whom Nature hath not formed!
Holy art Thou, O Vast and Mighty One!
O Lord of Darkness and O Lord of Light!
Holy art Thou, O Light above all Gods!
O Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy King
Ineffable, O Consciousness Divine
I whose white Presence, even I, a god,
A god of gods, prostrate myself and say:
I am the spark of Thine abundant flame.
I am the flower, and Thou the splendid Sun
Wherefrom my Life is drawn! All hail to Thee,
For Holy, Holy, Holy, is Thy Name!
Holy art Thou, O Universal Lord!
Holy art Thou, whom Nature hath not formed!
Holy art Thou, the Vast and Mighty One!
O Lord of Darkness and O Lord of Light!

I see the Darkness fall as lightning falls!
I watch the Ages like a torrent roll
Past Me: and as a garment I shake off
The clinging skirts of Time. My place is fixed
In the abyss beyond all Stars and Suns.
I AM, the Resurrection and the Life!

Holy art Thou, Lord of the Universe!
Holy art Thou, whom Nature hath not formed!
Holy art Thou, the Vast and Mighty One!
O Lord of Darkness and O Lord of Light! {22A}

Written in the Temple of Apollo.

GOD of the golden face and fiery forehead!
Lord of the Lion's house of strength, exalted
In the Ram's horns! O ruler of the vaulted
Heavenly hollow!
Send out thy rays majestic, and the torrid
Light of thy song! thy countenance most splendid
Bend to the suppliant on his face extended!
Hear me, Apollo!

Let thy fierce fingers sweep the lyre forgotten!
Recall the ancient glory of thy chanted
Music that thrilled the hearts of men, and haunted
Life to adore thee!
Cleanse thou our market-places misbegotten!
Fire in my heart and music to my paean
Lend, that my song bow, past the empyrean,
Phoebus, before thee!

All the old worship in this land is broken;
Yet on my altar burns the ancient censer,
Frankincense, saffron, galbanum, intenser!
Ornaments glisten.
Robes of thy colour bind me for thy token.
My voice is fuller in thine adoration.
Thine image holds its god-appointed station.
Lycian, listen!

My prayers more eloquent than olden chants
Long since grown dumb on the soft forgetful airs —
My lips are loud to herald thee: my prayers
Keener to follow.
I do aspire, as thy long sunbeam slants
Upon my crown; I do aspire to thee
As no man yet — I am in ecstasy!
Hear me, Apollo!

My chant wakes elemental flakes of light
Flashing along the sandal-footed6)) floor.
All listening spirits answer and adore
Thee, the amazing! {22B}
I follow to the eagle-baffling sight,
Limitless oceans of abounding space;
Purposed to bind myself, but know thy face,
Phoebus, in gazing.

O hear me! hear me! hear me! for my hands,
Dews deathly bathe them; sinks the stricken song;
Eyes that were feeble have become the strong,
See thee and glisten.
Blindness is mine; my spirit understands,
Weighs out the offering, accepts the pain,
Hearing the paean of the unprofane!
Lycian, listen!

God of the fiery face, the eyes inviolate!
Lord of soundless thunders, lightnings lightless!
Hear me now, for joy that I see thee sightless,
Fervent to follow.
Grant one boon; destroy me, let me die elate,
Blasted with light intolerant of a mortal,
That the undying in me pass thy portal!
Hear me, Apollo.

Hear me, or if about thy courts be girded
Paler some purple softening the sunlight
Merciful, mighty, O divide the one light
Into a million
Shattered gems, that I mingle in my worded
Measures some woven filament of passion
Caught, Phoebus, from thy star-girt crown, to fashion
Poet's pavilion.

Let me build for thee an abiding palace
Rainbow-hued to affirm thy light divided,
Yet where starry words, by thy soul guided,
Sing as they glisten,
Dew-drops diamonded from the abundant chalice!
Swoons the prayer to silence; pale the altar
Glows at thy presence as the last words falter —
Lycian, listen! {23A}

Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhasa.

Venerable Lord and Best of Friends.

We, seeing the cycle in which Maha Brahma is perhaps more a drifting buoy than ourselves, knowing that it is called the walking in delusion, the puppet show of delusion, the writing of delusion, the fetter of delusion, are aware that the way out of the desert is found by going into the desert. Will you, in your lonely lamaserai, accept this hymn from me, who, in the centre of civilisation, am perhaps more isolated than you in your craggy fastness among the trackless steppes of your Untrodden Land?

PARIS, A.B. 2446.

MIGHTIEST self! Supreme in Self-contentment!
Sole Spirit gyring in its own ellipse;
Palpable, formless, infinite presentment
Of thine own light in thine own soul's eclipse!
Let thy chaste lips
Sweep through the empty aethers guarding thee
(As in a fortress girded by the sea
The raging winds and wings of air
Lift the wild waves and bear
Innavigable foam to seaward), bend thee down,
Touch, draw me with thy kiss
Into thine own deep bliss,
Into thy sleep, thy life, thy imperishable crown!
Let that young godhead in thine eyes
Pierce mine, fulfil me of their secrecies,
Thy peace, thy purity, thy soul impenetrably wise.

All things which are complete are solitary;
The circling moon, the inconscient drift of stars,
The central systems. Burn they, change they, vary?
Theirs is no motion beyond the eternal bars.
Seasons and scars {23B}
Stain not the planets, the unfathomed home,
The spaceless, unformed faces in the dome
Brighter and blacker than all things,
Borne under the eternal wings
No whither: solitary are the winter woods
And caves not habited,
And that supreme grey head
Watching the groves: single the foaming amber floods,
And O! most lone
The melancholy mountain shrine and throne,
While far above all things God sits, the ultimate alone!

I sate upon the mossy promontory
Where the cascade cleft not his mother rock,
But swept in whirlwind lightning foam and glory,
Vast circling with unwearying luminous shock
To lure and lock
Marvellous eddies in its wild caress;
And there the solemn echoes caught the stress,
The strain of that impassive tide,
Shook it and flung it high and wide,
Till all the air took fire from that melodious roar;
All the mute mountains heard,
Bowed, laughed aloud, concurred,
And passed the word along, the signal of wide war.
All earth took up the sound,
And, being in one tune securely bound,
Even as a star became the soul of silence most profound.

Thus there, the centre of that death that darkened,
I sat and listened, if God's voice should break
And pierce the hollow of my ear that harkened,
Lest God should speak and find me not awake —
For his own sake. {24A}
No voice, no song might pierce or penetrate
That enviable universal state.
The sun and moon beheld, stood still.
Only the spirit's axis, will,
Considered its own soul and sought a deadlier deep,
And in its monotone mood
Of supreme solitude
Was neither glad nor sad because it did not sleep;
But with calm eyes abode
Patient, its leisure that galactic load,7)
Abode alone, nor even rejoiced to know that it was God.

All change, all motion, and all sound, are weakness!
Man cannot bear the darkness which is death.
Even that calm Christ, manifest in meekness,
Cried on the cross and gave his ghostly breath,
On the prick of death,
Voice, for his passion could not bear nor dare
The interlunar, the abundant air
Darkened, and silence on the shuddering
Hill, and the unbeating wing
Of the legions of His Father, and so died.
But I, should I be still
Poised between fear and will?
Should I be silent, I, and be unsatisfied?
For solitude shall bend
Self to all selffulness, and have one friend,
Self, and behold one God, and be, and look beyond the End.

O Solitude! how many have mistaken
Thy name for Sorrow's, or for Death's or Fear's!
Only thy children lie at night and waken —
How shouldst thou speak and say that no man hears?
O Soul of Tears!
For never hath fallen as dew thy word,
Nor is thy shape showed, nor as Wisdom's heard {24B}
Thy crying about the city
In the house where is no pity,
But in the desolate halls and lonely vales of sand:
Not in the laughter loud,
Nor crying of the crowd,
But in the farthest sea, the yet untravelled land.
Where thou hast trodden, I have trod;
Thy folk have been my folk, and thine abode
Mine, and thy life my life, and thou, who art thy God, my God.

Draw me with cords that are not; witch me chanted
Spells never heard nor open to the ear,
Woven of silence, moulded in the haunted
Houses where dead men linger year by year.
I have no fear
To tread thy far irremeable way
Beyond the paths and palaces of day,
Beyond the night, beyond the skies,
Beyond eternity's
Tremendous gate; beyond the immanent miracle.8)
O secret self of things!
I have nor feet nor wings
Except to follow far beyond Heaven and Earth and Hell,
Until I mix my mood
And being in thee, as in my hermit's hood
I grow the thing I contemplate — that selfless solitude!

Written on the North Atlantic Ocean.

IN the sorrow of the silence of the sunset, when the world's heart sinks to sleep,
And the waking wind arises from the wedding of the aether and the deep,
There are perfumes through the saltness of the even; there are hints of flowers afar;
And the God goes down lamented by the lonely vesper star. {25A}

The monsters rise around us as we move in moving mist,
Slow whales that swim as musing, and lo! or ever we wist,
Looms northward in the grey, mysterious ice, cathedral high,
Clad in transparent clouds of cold, as a ghost in drapery.

The solemn dusk descending creeps around us from the East;
Clouded as with the ungainly head of a mysterious beast.
Long wisps of darkness (even as fingers) reach and hold
The sobbing West toward them, clasp the barred Hesperian gold.

Still pale a rose reflection lingers, in pure soft blue;
Even above the tempest, where a lonely avenue
Leads from the wan moon's image, shadowy in the air,
Waning, half hidden from the sun — and yet her soul is there.

So stand I looking ever down to the rolling sea,
Breast-heaves of a sleeping mother, spouse of Eternity:
The dark deep ocean mother, that another9) hath reviled,
Calling her bitter and barren — and am I not her child?

O mother sea, O beautiful, more excellent than earth,
How is thy travail understood, except thou give me birth?
O waves of death, O saltness, O sorrow manifold!
I see beneath thy darkness azure; deeper still, the heart of gold. {25B}

Am I not true, O mother, who hast held the lives of men
Sucked down to thy swart bosom — O render not again!
Keep thou our life and mix it with thine eternal sleep:
Rest, let us rest from passion there, deep! O how deep!

Deep calleth unto deep, Amen! hast thou no passion, thou?
Even now the white flames kindle on thy universal brow.
I hear white serpents hiss and wild black dragons roll;
And the storm of love is on thee — ah! shall it touch thy soul?

Nay, O my mother, in eternal calm thy virginal depths lie.
The peace of God, that passeth understanding, that am I!
Even I, perceiving deeply beneath the eyes of flame
The soul that, kindling, is not kindled: I have known thy Name.

Awake, O soaring billows! Lighten the raging dome,
Wrap the wide horizon in a single cloak of flaming foam,
Leap in your fury! Beat upon the shores unseen! Devour your food,
The broken cliff, the crumbled bank, the bar. I know the mood.

Even so I see the terror of universal strife:
Murderous war, and murderous peace, and miserable life:
The pang of childbirth, and the pain of youth, and the fear of age,
Life tossed and broken into dust in the elemental rage.

Is not God part of every the tiniest spark of man?
Is He not moulded also in His own eternal plan? {26A}
Even so; as the woes of earth is the angry crested sea.
Even so; as Her great peace abideth in the deep — so He!

What wreck floats by us? What pale corpse rolls horribly above,
Tossed on the unbewailing foam, cast out of light and life and love?
The sea shall draw thee down, O brother, to her breast of peace,
Her unimaginable springs, her bridal secrecies.

Even so draw me in life, O mother, to thy breast!
Below the storm, below the wind, to the abiding rest!
That I may know thy purpose and understand thy ways:
So, weeping always for the woe, also the love to praise!

The darkness falls intensely: no light invades the gloom.
Stillness drops dew-like from the heaven's unreverberant womb.
Westward the ship is riding on the sable wings of night,
I understand the darkness — why should I seek the light?

Written in Mexico City.

WATERS that weep upon the barren shore
Where some lone mystery of man abides;
As if the wailing of forsaken brides,
Rapt from the kiss of love for evermore,
Impressed its memory on the desolate
Sounds at its edge; on such a strand of tears
I linger through the long forgetful years,
My sin for mother, and my woe for mate.
I am a soul lost utterly — forbear!
I am unworthy both of tear and prayer. {26B}

The mystic slumber of my sense forlorn
Stirs only now and then; some deeper pang
Reminds despair there is a sharper fang,
Reminds my night of a tempestuous morn.
For I am lost and lonely: in the skies
I see no hope of any sun or star;
On earth there blooms no rose, no nenuphar;
No cross is set for hope of sacrifice.
I cannot sleep, I cannot wake; and death
Passes me by with his desired breath.

No shadow in my mind to prove a sun;
No sorrow to declare that joy exists;
A cycle of dim spectres in the mists
Moves just a little; lastly there is One,
One central Being, one elusive shape,
Not to aspire to, not to love; alas!
Only a memory in the aged mass
Of chained ones bound to me without escape!
Oh, doom of God! Oh, brand how worse than Cain's!
Divided being, undivided pains!

What is this life? (To call it life that grows
No inch throughout all time.) This bitterness
Too weak and hateful to be called distress?
Slow memory working backward only knows
There was some horror grown to it for kin;
Some final leprous growth that took my brain,
Weaving a labyrinth of dullest pain
From the sweet scarlet threat I thought was sin.
I cannot sin! Alas, one sin were sweet!
But sin is living — and we cannot meet!

So long ago, so miserably long!
I was a maiden — oh how rich and rare
Seemed the soft sunshine woven in my hair!
How keen the music of my body's song!
How white the bossom of my body's light!
How red the lips, how languorous the eyes,
How made for pleasure, for the sleepy sighs {27A}
Softer than sleep; amorous dew-dreams of night
That draw out night in kisses to the day!
So was I to my seeming as I lay.

That soft smooth-moving ocean of the west
Under the palm and cactus as it rolled,
Immortal blue, fixed with immortal gold,
Moving in rapture with my sleeping breast!
The young delicious green, the drunken smell
Of the fresh earth, the luxury of the glow
Where many colours mingled into snow,
Song-marvels in the air desirable.
So lazily I lay, and watched my eyes
In the deep fountain's sun-stirred harmonies.

I loved myself! O Thou! (I cried) divine
Woman more lovely than the flowers of earth!
O Self-hood softer than the babe at birth,
Sweeter than love, more amorous than wine,
Where is thy peer upon the face of life?
I love myself, the daughter of the dawn.
Come, silken night, in your deep wings withdrawn
Let me be folded, as a tender wife
In my own arms imagined! Let me sleep,
Unwaking from the admirable deep!

My arms fell lazily about the bed.
I lay in some delicious trance. I fell
Deep through sleep's chambers to the gate of Hell,
And on that flaming portalice I read
The legend, “Here is beauty, here delight,
Here love made more desirable than thine,
Fiercer than light, more dolorous than wine.
Here the embraces of the Sons of Night!
Come, sister, come; come, lonely queen of breath!
Here are the lustres and the flames of death.”

Hence I was whirled, as in a wind of light,
Out to the fragrance of a loftier air,
A keener scent, and rising unaware
Out of the Palace of Luxurious Night, {27B}
I came to where the Gate of Heaven shone,
Battled with comet and with meteor.
Behold within that crested House of War,
One central glory of a sapphire stone,
Whereon there breathed a sense, a mist, a sun!
I stood and laughed upon the Ancient One.

For He was silent as my body's kiss,
And sleeping as my many-coloured hair,
And living as my eyes and lips; and where
The vast creation round him cried “He Is!”,
No murmur reached Him; He was set alone,
Alone and central. Ah! my eyes were dim.
I worshipped even; for I envied Him.
So, moving upward to the azure throne,
I spread my arms unto that ambient mist;
Lifted my life and soul up to be kissed!

A million million voices roared aloud!
A million million sabres flashed between!
Flamed the vast falchion! Fiery Cherubin
Flung me astounded to the mist and cloud.
A stone, flung downward through eternal space,
I dropped. What bitter curses and despair
Rang through wide aether! How the trumpet blare
Cursed back at me! Thou canst not see His Face!
Equal and Spouse? Bring forth the Virgin Dower,
Eternal Wisdom and Eternal Power!

I woke! and in a well's untroubled pool
I saw my face — and I was ugly now!
Blood-spattered ebony eyelash and white brow!
Blood on my lips, and hair, and breast! “Thou fool!”
A horrid torture in my heart — and then
I licked my lips: the tigress tasted blood.
My changed features — wash them in the flood
Of murder! This is power over men
And angels. I will lift the twisted rod,
And make my power as the power of God! {28A}

I made my beauty as it was before.
I learned strange secrets; by my love and skill
I bent creation to my wanded will.
I tuned the stars, I bound the bitter shore
Beyond the Pleiads: until the Universe
Moved at my mantra10): Heaven and Hell obeyed;
Creation at my orders stayed or swayed.
“Take back,” I cried, “the mockery of a curse!”
“I wield Thy Power.” With my magic rod
Again I strode before the Throne of God.

“Forgone my Virgin Splendour! I aspire
No longer as a maiden to thy Love.
We twain are set in majesty above:
My cloud is mighty as thy mystic Fire.”
Vanished the mist, the light, the sense, the throne!
Vanished the written horror of the curse;
Vanished the stars, the sun, the Universe.
I was in Heaven, lost, alone. Alone!
A new curse gathered as a sombre breath:
“Power without Wisdom is the Name of Death!”

And therefore form my devastating hand
(for I was then unwilling to be dead)
I loosed the lightning, and in hate and dread
Despairing, did I break the royal wand.
Mortal, a plaything for a thousand fears,
I found the earth; I found a lonely place
To gaze for ever on the ocean's face,
Lamenting through the lamentable years;
Without a god, deprived of life and death,
Sensible only to that sombre breath.

Thus wait I on the spring-forgotten shore;
Looking with vain unweeping eyes, for aye
Into the wedding of the sea and sky,
(That do not wed, ay me!) for evermore
Hopeless, forgetting even to aspire
Unto that Wisdom; miserably dumb;
Waiting for the Impossible to come,
Whether in mercy or damnation dire — {18B}
I who have been all Beauty and all Power! —
This is thine hour, Apollyon, thine Hour!

I, who have twice beheld the awful throne;
And, as it were the vision of a glass,
Beheld the Mist be born thereon, and pass;
I, who have stood upon the four-square stone!
I, who have twice been One—! Woe, woe is me!
Lost, lost, upon the lifeless, deathless plane,
The desert desolate, the air inane;
Fallen, O fallen to eternity! I, who have looked upon the Lord of Light;
I, I am Nothing, and dissolved in Night!


Written in the temple of the L.I.L.,11) No. 9, Central America.

MISTRESS and maiden and mother, immutable mutable soul!
Love, shalt thou turn to another? Surely I give thee the whole!
Light, shall thou flicker or darken? Thou and thy lover are met.
Bend from thy heaven and hearken! Life, shalt thou fade or forget?

Surely my songs are gone down as leaves in the dark that are blown;
Surely the laurel and crown have faded and left me alone.
Vainly I cry in the sunlight; moon pities my passion in vain.
Dark to my eyes is the one light, aching in bosom and brain.

Surely, O mother, thou knowest! Have I not followed thy star?
I have gone whither thou goest, bitterly followed afar, {29A}
Buried my heart in thy sorrow, cast down my soul at thy knees.
Thou, thou hast left me no morrow. Days and desires, what are these?

Nay, I have torn from my breast passion and love and despair:
Sought in thy palaces rest, sleep that awaited me there;
Sleep that awaits me in vain: I have done with the hope of things;
Passion and pleasure and pain have stung me, and lost their stings.

Only abides there a hollow, void as the heart of the earth.
Echo may find it and follow, dead from the day of her birth.
Life, of itself not insatiate; death, not presuming to be;
Share me intense and emaciate, waste me, are nothing to me.

Still in the desolate place, still in the bosom that was
Even as a veil for thy face, thy face in a breathed-on glass,
Hangs there a vulture, and tears with a beak of iron and fire.
I know not his name, for he wears no feathers of my desire.

It is thou, it is thou, lone maiden! My heart is a bird that flies
Far into the azure laden with love-lorn songs and cries.
O Goddess of Nature and Love! Thyself is the lover I see.
But thou art in the above, and thy kiss is not for me.

Thou art all too far for my kiss; thou art hidden past my prayer.
Thy wing too wide, and the bliss too sweet for me to share.
Thou art Nature and God! I am broken in the wheelings of thy car;
Thy love-song unheard or unspoken, and I cannot see thy star. {29B}

Thou art not cold, but bitter is thy burning cry to me.
My tiny heart were fitter for a mortal than for thee.
But I cast away the mortal, and I choose the tortured way,
And I stand before thy portal, and my face is cold and grey.

Thou lovest me with a love more terrible than death;
But thou art in the above, and my wings feel no wind's breath.
Thou art all to fierce and calm, too bitter and sweet, alas!
Thou weavest a cruel charm on my soul that is as glass.

I know thee not, who art naked; I lie beneath thy feet
Who hast called till my spirit ached with a pang too deathly sweet.
Thou has given thee to me dying, and made thy bed to me.
I shiver, I shrink, and, sighing, lament it cannot be.

I have no limbs as a God's to close thee in and hold:
Too brief are my periods, and my hours are barren of gold.
I am not thewed as Jove to kill thee in one caress!
Not a golden shower is my love, but a child's tear of distress.

Give me the strength of a panther, the tiger's strenuous sides,
The lion's limbs that span there some thrice the turn of the tides,
The mutinous fame, the terror of the royal Minotaur,
That our loves may make a mirror of the dreadful soul of war!

For love is an equal soul, and shares an equal breath.
I am nought — and thou the whole? It were not love, but Death. {30A}
Give me thy life and strength, let us struggle for mastery,
As the long shore's rugged length that battles with the sea.

I am thine, I am thine indeed! My form is vaster grown,
And our limbs and lips shall bleed on the starry solar throne.
My life is made as thine; my blessing and thy curse
Beget, as foam on wine, a different universe.

I foam and live and leap: thou laughest, fightest, diest!
In agony swift as sleep thou hangest as the Christ.
My nails are in thy flesh; my sweat is on thy brow;
We are one, we are made afresh, we are Love and Nature now.

I am swifter than the wind: I am wider than the sea:
I am one with all mankind: and the earth is made as we.
The stars are spangles bright on the canopy of our bed,
And the sun is a veil of light for my lover's golden head.

O Goddess, maiden, and wife! Is the marriage bed in vain?
Shall my heart and soul and life shrink back to themselves again?
Be thou my one desire, my soul in day as in night!
My mind the home of the Higher! My heart the centre of Light!

The Table of Correspondences will elucidate any doubtful point in this poem.

BLACK thine abyss of noon
Flings forth the thunder-swoon.
Smite us, and slay, Amoun,
Amoun, Achiha! {30B}

Thoth, from the starry space
Flash out the splendid face!
Wisdom, immortal grace,
Thoth, turn to usward!

Deep, deep thy sombre Sea,
Spouse of eternity!
Mother, we cry to Thee:
Hear us, Maut, Mother!

Sound, sistron, sound afar!
Shine, shine, O dawning Star!
Flame, flame, O meteor Car!
Isis, Our Lady!

Strike, strike the louder chord!
Draw, draw the flaming sword,
Crowned child and conquering Lord:
Horus, avenger.

Dawn-star of flaming light,
Five rays in one unite,
Light, Life, Love, Mercy, Might,
Star of the Magi.

Lift, lift the Cross of Light,
Rose, golden, green, and white,
Rise, rise athwart the night!
Mighty Aeshuri!

Flame, flame, thou Blazoned Sun!
Seal-Star of Solomon!
Seven Mysteries in One!
Godhead and Mankind!

Beauty and life and love!
Let fly thy darling dove!
Bend to us from above,
Lady Ahathor! {31A}

Where light and darkness meet,
There shine thy flaming feet,
There is thy splendid seat;
Mighty Anubi!

Swift-winged Stability,
Lifting the earth and sky,
Hold me up utterly,
Keep me, O Shuwe!

Virginal Queen of Earth,
Late love, and last of birth,
Loose, loose the golden girth,
Nephthys, the crowned one!

Hail, crowned Harpocrates,
Show, show thy secrecies,
Lotus-throned silences,
Typhon's replacer!

Written near Manzanillo.

WHAT ails thee, earth? Is not the breath of Spring
Exultant on thy breast? What aileth thee,
O many-mooded melancholy sea?
Hear the swift rush of that triumphant wing!
Listen! the world's whole heart is listening!
In England now the leaf leaps, and the tree
Gleams dewy, and the bird woos noisily.
Here in the tropics now is no such thing.

Dull heavy heat burns through the clouded sky,
And yet no promise of the latter rains.
Earth bears her fruit, but unrefreshed of death.
In winter is no sorrow, in the dry
Harsh spring no joy, while pestilence and pains
Hover like wolves behind the summer's breath. {31B}

Written at the foot of Citlaltepetl.

I LAY within the forest's virgin womb
Tranced in the sweetness, nuptial, indolent,
Of the faint breeze and tropical perfume,
And all the music far lone waters lent
Unto the masses of magnolia bloom,
Tall scarlet lilies, and the golden scent
Shed by strange clusters of more pallid flowers,
And purple lustre strewn amid the twilight bowers.

Far, far the pastureless, the unquiet sea
Moaned; far the stately pyramid of cold
Shrouding the stars, arose: sweet witchery
That brought them in the drowsing eye, to fold
The picture in: with winged imagery
That Hermes gathers with that floral gold
Whose triple flower or flame or pinioned light
Lends life to death, and love and colour unto light.

How flames that scarlet stronger than Apollo,
Too swift and warm to know itself a bird!
How the light winds and waves of moonlight follow,
Shot from the West, cadence of Daylight's word!
How flock the tribes of wings within the hollow,
Even as darkness summons home the herd!
The still slow water slackens into sleep.
The rose-glow dies, leaves cold Citlaltepetl's12) steep.

The chattering voices of the day depart.
Earth folds her limbs and leans her loving breast
Even to all her children: the great heart
Beats solemnly the requiem of rest.
The sea keeps tune; the silent stars upstart
Seeming to sentinel that sombre crest
Where of old time burst out the vulture fire
Cyclopean, that is dead, now, as a man's desire. {32A}

The drowsy cries of night birds, then the song
Lovely and lovelorn in the listening vale,
So wild and tender, swooping down in long
Notes of despair, then lifting the low tale
In golden notes to skyward in one throng
Of clustered silver, so the nightingale
Tunes the wild flute, as dryads he would gather
To roof with music in the palace of the weather,

With love despairing, dying as music dies;
With lost souls' weeping, and the bitter muse
Of such as lift their hearts in sacrifice
On some strange cross, or shed Sicillian dews
Over a sadder lake than Sicily's —
Hark! they are leaping from the valley views
Into the light and laughter and deep grief
Of that immortal heart that sings beyond belief.

How pitiful, how beautiful, the faces!
The long hair shed on shoulders ivory white!
Each note shoots down the dim arboreal spaces
Like amber or like hyaline lit with light.
Each spirit glimmers in the shadowy places
Like hyacinths or emeralds: or the night
Shows them as shadows of some antique gem
Where moonlight fills its cup and flashes into them.

So, in the moony twilight and the splendour
Of music's light, the desolate nightingale
Fills all the interlunar air with tender
Kisses like song, or shrills upon the scale,
Till quivering moonrays shake again, to send her
Luminous tunes through every sleepy vale,
While the slow dancers rhythmically reap
The fairy amaranth, and silver wheat of sleep. {32B}

Now over all that scythe of sleep impending
Mows the pale flowers of vision following;
Dryad and bird and fount and valley blending
Into one dreamy consciousness of spring;
And all the night and all the world is ending,
And all the souls that weep and hearts that sing!
So, as the dew hides in the lotus blossom,
Sleep draws me with her kiss into her bridal bosom.

Written at Vera Cruz.

DIM goes the sun down there behind the tall
And mighty crest of Orizaba's snow:
Here, gathering at the nightfall, to and fro,
Fat vultures, foul and carrion, flap, and call
Their ghastly comrades to the domed wall
That crowns the grey cathedral. There they go —
The parasites of death, decay and woe,
Gorged with the day's indecent festival.

I think these birds were once the souls of priests.
They haunt by ancient habit the old home
Wherein they held high mass in days of old.
But now they soar above it — for behold!
God hath looked mercifully down on Rome,
Promoting thus her children to be beasts.

With a letter to Ceylon, sent from Mexico in duplicate for certainty by way both of England and Japan. The allusions are Hermetic or Alchemical.

THE Winged Bull that dwelled in the north
hath flown into the West, and uttered forth
His thunders in the Mountains. He shall come
Where blooms the sempiterne chrysanthemum.
The winged Lion, that wrought dire amaze
In the Dark Place, where Light was, did his ways {33A}
Take fiery to enkindle a new flame:
The Eagle of the High Lands yet that came
By the red sunset to an eastern sky
Shall plume himself and gather him and fly
Even as a Man that rideth on a Beast
Trained, to the Golden Dawn-sky of the East.
Therefore his word shall seek the Ivory Isle
By double winds and by the double Style,
Twin doorways of the Sunset and the Dawn.
And thou who tak'st it, shall be subtly drawn
Into strange vigils, and shalt surely see
The ancient form and memory of me,
Nor me distinct, but shining with that Light
Wherein the Sphinx and Pyramid unite.

Near Honolulu.

UPHEAVED from Chaos, through the dark sea hurled,
Through the cleft heart of the amazed sea,
Sprang, 'mid deep thunderous throats of majesty,
Titanic, in the waking of the world;
Sprang, one vast mass of spume and molten fire,
Lava, tremendous waves of earth; sprang higher
Than the sea's crest volcano-torn, to be
Written in Cyclopean charactery,
Hawaii. Here she stands
Queen of all laughter's lands
That dance for dawn, lie tranced in leisured noon,
Dreaming through day towards night,
Craving the perfumed light
Of the stars lustrous, and the gem-born moon.
Dewy with clustered diamond,
The long land swoons to sleep; the sea sleeps and yet wakes beyond. {33B}

Here, in the crescent beach and bay, the sea,
Curven and carven in warm shapes of dream,
Answers the love-song of the lilied stream,
And moves to bridal music. Stern and free,
The lion-shapen headland guards the shore;
The ocean, the bull-throated, evermore
Roars; the vast wheel of heaven turns above,
Its rim of pain, its jewelled heart of love;
Sun-waved, the eagle wing
Of the air of feathered spring
Royally sweeps and on the musical merge
Watches alone the man.
O silvern shape and span
Of moonlight, reaching over the grey, large
Breast of the surf-bound strand,
Life of the earth, God's child, Man's bride, the light of the sweet land!

Are emeralds ever a spark of this clear green,
Or sapphires hints of this diviner blue,
Or rubies shadows of this rosy hue,
Or light itself elsewhere so clear and clean?
For all the sparkling dews of heaven fallen far
Crystalline, fixed, forgotten (as a star
Forgets its nebulous virginity)
Are set in all the sky and earth and sea.
Shining with solar fire,
The single-eyed desire
Of scent and sound and sight and sense perfuses
The still and lambent light
Of the essential night;
And all the heart of me is fain, and muses,
As if for ever doomed to dream
Or pass in peace Lethean adown the grey Lethean stream.

So deep the sense of beauty, and so keen!
The calm abiding holiness of love
Reigns; and so fallen from the heights above {34A}
Immeasurable, the influence unseen
Of music and of spiritual fire,
That the soul sleeps, forgotten of desire,
Only remembering its God-like birth
Reflected in the deity of earth,
Becometh even as God.
The pensive period
Of night and day beats like a waving fan
No more, no more: the years,
Reft of their joys and fears,
Pass like pale faces, leave the life of man
Untroubled of their destines,
Leave him forgotten of life and time, immortal, calm and wise.

Only the ceaseless surf on coral towers,
The changless change of the unchanging ocean,
Laps the bright night, with unsubstantial motion
Winnowing the starlight, plumed with feathery flowers
Of foam and phosphor glory, the strange glow
Of the day's amber fallen to indigo,
Lit of its own depth in some subtle wise,
A pavement for the footsteps from the skies
Of angels walking thus
Not all unseen of us,
Nor all unknown, nor unintelligible,
When with souls lifted up
In the Cadmean cup,13)
As incense lifted in the thurible,
We know that God is even as we,
Light from the sky, and life on earth, and love beneath the sea.

Written off the Coast of Japan.

I LIE in liquid moonlight poured from the exalted orb.
Orion waves his jewelled sword; the tingling waves absorb {34B}
Into their lustre as they move the light of all the sky.
I am so faint for utter love I sigh and long to die.
Far on the misty ocean's verge flares out the southern Cross,
And the long billows on the marge of coral idly toss,
This night of nights! The stars disdain a lustre dusk or dim.
Twin love-birds on the land complain, a wistful happy hymn.
I turn my face toward the main: I laugh and dive and swim.

Now fronts me foaming all the light of surf-bound waters pent;
Now from the black breast of the night the Southern Cross is rent.
I top the might wall of fears; the dark wave rolls below.
A tall swift ship on wings appears, a cataract of snow
Plunging before the white east wind; she meets the eager sea
As forest green by thunder thinned meets fire's emblazonry.
Then I sink back upon the breast of mighty-flinging foam,
Ride like a ghost upon the crest, the silver-rolling comb;
Float like a warrior to his rest, majestically home.

But oh! my soul, what seest thou, whose eyes are open wide?
What thoughts inspire me idling now, lone on the lonely tide?
Here in the beauty of the place, hope laughs and says me nay;
In nature's bosom, in God's face, I read “Decay, Decay.”
Here in the splendour of the Law that built the eternal sphere,
Beauty and majesty and awe, I fail of any cheer.
Here, in caprice, in will divine, I see no perfect peace; {35A}
Here, in the Law's impassive shrine, no hope is of release.
All things escape me, all repine, all alter, ruin, cease.

But thou, O Lord, O Apollo,
Must thou utterly change and pass?
Thy light be lost in the hollow?
Thy face as a maid's in a glass
Go out and be lost and be broken
As the face of the maid is withdrawn,
And thy people with sorrow unspoken
Wait, wait for the dawn?

But thou, O Diana, our Lady,
Shall it be as if never had been?
The vales of the sea grown shady
And silver and amber and green
As thy light passed over and kissed them?
Shall thy people lament thee and swoon,
And we miss thee if thy love missed them,
Awaiting the moon?

But thou, who art Light, and above them,
Who art fire and above them as fire,
Shall thy sightless eyes not love them
Who are all of thine own desire?
Immaculate daughters of passion,
Shalt thou as they pass be past?
And thy people bewail thee, Thalassian,
Lost, lost at the last?

Nay, ere ye pass your people pass,
As snow on summer hills,
As dew upon the grass,
As one that love fulfils,
If he in folly wills
Love a lass.

Yet on this night of smiles and tears
A maiden is the theme.
The universe appears
An idle summer dream
Lost in the grey supreme
Mist of years. {35B}

For she is all the self I own,
And all I want of will.
She speaks not, and is known.
Her window shining chill
Whispers “He lingers still.
I am alone.”

But to-night the lamp must be wasted,
And the delicate hurt must ache,
And the sweet lips moan untasted,
My lady lie lonely awake.
The night is taken from love, and love's guerdon
Is like and its burden.

To-night if I turn to my lover
I must ask: If she be? who am I?
To-night if her heart I uncover
No heart in the night I espy.
I am grips with the question of eld, and the sphinx holds fast
My eyes to the past.

Who am I, when I say I languish?
Who is she, if I call her mine?
And the fool's and the wise man's anguish
Are burnt in the bitter shrine.
The god is far as the stars, and the wine and fire
Salt with desire.
“Desunt cetera.”

The MS. of this Hymn most mysteriously (for I am very careful) disappeared two days after being written. I can remember no more of it that the above; nor will inspiration return. — A.C.

Written at the House of Sri Parananda
Swami, Ceylon.

WITH feet set terribly dancing,
With eyelids filled of flame,
Wild lightnings from Him glancing,
Lord Shiva went and came.
The dancing of His feet was heard
And was the final word. {36A}

He danced the measure golden
On dead men …
His Saints and Rishis14) olden,
The yogins that …
He trampled them to dust and they
Were sparks and no more clay.

The dust thrown up around Him
In cycles whirled and twined,
Dim sparks that fled and found Him
Like mist beyond the mind.
The universe was peopled then
With little gods, and men.

In that ecstatic whirling
He saw not nor …

He knew not in his fervour
Creation's sated sigh;
The groan of the Preserver,
Life's miserable lie.
I broke that silence, and afraid
I knew not what I prayed
. . . . .
Let peace awaken for an hour
And manifest as power.
. . . . .
Cease not the dance unceasing,
The glance nor swerve nor cease,
Thy peace by power increasing
In me by power to peace.

“Desunt cetera.”

Written in the woods above Kandy. Inscribed to T. Davidson.

LURED by the loud big-breasted courtesan
That plies trained lechery of obedient eyes,
He sits, holds bed's last slattern-sweet surprise,
Late plucked from gutter to grace groves of Pan. {36A}

The third one, ruddy as they twain are wan,
Hungrily gazes, sees her tower of lies
Blasted that instant in some wizard wise —
The frozen look — the miserable man!

What sudden barb of what detested dart
Springs from Apollo's bowstring to his heart?
On sense-dulled ears what Voice rings the decree?
“For thee the women burn: the wine is cool:
For thee the fresco and the fruit — thou fool!
This night thy soul shall be required of thee!”


This, with slight variations, was one of the regular dreams of Allen Bennett Macgregor, just as the “flying” dream, the “naked in church” dream, the “taken in adultery” dream, the “lost tooth” dream, the “being shaved” dream, and many others of specific type recur from time to time in the life of most people. — A.C.

Written at Anurahapura.

I MUST be ready for my friend to-night.
So, such pale flowers as winter bears bedeck
The old oak walls: the wood-fire's cheerful light
Flashes upon the fire-dogs silver-bright.
Wood? why, the jetsam of yon broken wreck
Where the white sea runs o'er the sandy neck

That joins my island to the land when tides
Run low. What curious fancies through my brain
Run, all so wild and all so pleasant! Glides
No phantom creeping from the under sides
Of the grey globe: no avatar of pain
Gathering a body from the wind and rain. {37A}

So the night fell, and gently grew the shades
In firelight fancies taking idle form;
Often a flashing May-day ring of maids,
Or like an army through resounding glades
Glittering, with martial music, trumpet, shawm,
Drum — so I build the echoes of the storm

Into a pageant of triumphant shapes.
So, as the night grows deeper, and no moon
Stirs the black heaven, no star its cloud escapes,
I sit and watch the fire: my musing drapes
My soul in darker dreams; the storm's wild tune
Rolls ever deeper in my shuddering swoon:

Whereat I start, shudder, and pull together
My mind. Why, surely it must be the hour!
My friend is coming through the wet wild weather
Across the moor's inhospitable heather
To the old stately tower — my own dear tower.
He will not fail me for a sudden shower!

My friend! How often have I longed to see
Again his gallant figure and that face
Radiant — how long ago we parted! — we
The dearest friends that ever were! Ah me!
I curse even now that hateful parting-place.
But now — he comes! How glad I am! Apace

Fly the glad minutes — There he is at last!
I know the firm foot on the marble floor.
The hour-glass turns! What miseries to cast
For ever to the limbo of the past!
He knocks — my friend! O joy for ever-more!
He calls! “Open the door! Open the door!” {37B}

You guess how gladly to the door I rushed
And flung it wide. Why! no one's there! Arouse!
I am asleep. What horror came and crushed
My whole soul's life out as some shadow brushed
My body and passed it? All sense allows
At last the fearful truth — This is the house!

This is my old house on the marsh, and here,
Here is the terror of the distant sea
Moaning, and here the wind that wails, the drear
Groans like a ghost's, the desolate house of fear
Whence I fled once from my great enemy —
This is the house! O speechless misery!

Here the great silver candlesticks illume
The aged book, the blackness blazoned o'er
With golden characters and scarlet bloom
Twined in the blue-tinged sigils wrought for doom,
And dreadful names of necromancer's lore
Written therein; so stood my room before

When the hissed whisper came, “Beware! Beware!
They're coming!” and “They're coming!” when the wind
Bore the blank echoes of their stealthy care
To creep up silently and find me there,
Hid in the windowless old house, stark blind
For fear — and then — what horrors lurked behind

The door firm barred! — and thus they cried in vain:
“Open the door!” Then crouched I mad with fear
Till at the dawn their footsteps died again.
They can do nothing to me — that is plain —
While the door bars them! What is it runs clear
Truth in my mind? Once more they may be near? {38A}

And then came memory. Wide the portal stood
And — what had brushed me as it passed? What froze
My dream to this awakening — fearful flood
Of horror loosed, loosing a sweat of blood,
An agony of terror on these brows?
God! God! Indeed, indeed this is the house!

The candles sputtered and went out. I stood
Fettered by fear, and heard the lonely wind
Lament across the marsh. A frenzied flood
Of hate and loathing swept across my mood,
And with a shudder I flung the door to. Mind
And body sank a huddled wreck behind.

Nought stirred. Draws hither the grim doom of Fate?

A long, long, while.

Now — in the central core
Of my own room what accent of keen hate,
Triumphant malice, mockery satiate,
Rings in the voice above the storm's wild roar?
It cries “Open the door! Open the door!”

Written partly under the great rock Sigiri, in Ceylon, partly in Arabia, near Aden.

ZOHRA the king by feathered fans
Slept lightly through the mid-day heat.
Swart giants with drawn yataghans
Guard, standing at his head and feet,
Zohra, the mightiest of the khans!

Each slave Circassian like a moon
Sits smiling, burning with young bloom
Of dawn, and weaves an airy tune
Like a white bird's song bright and bold
That dips a fiery plume.
So the song lulled, lazily rolled
In tubes of silver, lutes of gold; {38B}
And all that palace drowsed away
The hours that fanned with silken fold
The progress of the Lord of Day.
Yet, as he slept, a grey
Shadow of dream drew near, and stooped
And glided through the ranks of slaves,
Leaving no shadow where they drooped,
No echo in the architraves
As silent as the grave's.
That shape vibrated to the tune
Of thought lulled low; the stirless swoon
Half felt its fellow gather close,
Yet stirred not: now the intruder moves,
Turns the tune slowlier to grave rows
Of palm trees, losing life in loves
Less turbid than the mildest dream
That ever stirred the stream
Whereon night floats, a shallop faint,
Ivory and silver bow and beam,
Dim-figured with the images
Divinely quaint
Of gold engraved, forth shadowing sorceries.
So the king dreamed of love: and passing on
The shape moved quicker, winnowing with faint fans
The soundless air of thought: the noonday sun
Seemed to the mightiest of a thousand khans
Like to a man's
Brief life — a thousand such dream spans! —
And so he dreamed of life: and failing plumes
Wrought through ancestral looms
In the man's brain: and so he dreamed of death.
And slower still the grey God wrought
Dividing consciousness from breath,
And life and death from thought.
So the king dreamed of Nought.

Yet subtly-shapen was this Nothingness,
Not mere negation, as before that dream
Drew back the veil of sleep;
But strange: the king turned idly, sought to press
The bosom where love lately burnt supreme,
And found no ivory deep.
He turned and sought out life; and nothing lived: {39A}

Death, and nought died. The king's brow fell. Sore grieved
He rose, not knowing: and before his will
Swan's throat, dove's eyes, moon's breast, and woman's mouth,
And form desirable
Of all the clustered love drew back: grew still
“O turn, my lover, turn thee to the South!”
The girl's warm song of the Siesta's hour.
Heedless of all that flower,
Eager to feel the strong brown fingers close
On the unshrinking rose
And pluck it to his breast to perish there;
With neither thought nor care
Nor knowledge he went forth: none stay, none dare
Proffer a pavid prayer.

There was a pavement bright with emerald
Glittering on malachite
Clear to the Sun: low battlements enwalled
With gold the ground enthralled,
Sheer to the sight
Of sun and city: thither in his trance
The king's slow steps advance.
There stood he, and with eyes unfolded far
(Clouds shadowing a star
Or moonlight seen through trees — so came the lashes
Over — and strong sight flashes!)
Travelled in thought to life, and in its gleam
Saw but a doubtful dream.

His was a city crescent-shaped whose wall
Was brass and iron: in the thrall
Of the superb concave
Lay orbed a waveless wave.
Four moons of liquid light revolved and threw
Their silvery fountains forth, whose fruitful dew
Turned all the plain to one enamelled vale
Green as the serpent's glory, and — how still!
— To where the distant hill
Shaped like an Oread's15) breast arose beyond,
Across the starless pond {39B}
Silent and sleeping — O the waters wan
That seem the soul of man! —
Suddenly darkness strikes the horizon round
With an abyss profound
That blots the half-moon ere the sun be set.
A mountain of pure jet
Rears its sheer bulk to heaven; and no snows
Tinge evening with rose.
No blaze of noon invades those rocks of night,
Nor moon's benignant might.
And looking downward he beheld his folk
Bound in no tyrant's yoke;
Knowing no God, nor fearing any man;
Life's enviable span
Free from disease and vice, sorrow and age.
Only death's joys assuage
A gathering gladness at the thought of sleep.
Never in all the archives, scroll on scroll,
Reaching from aeons wrote they “Women weep,
Men hate, the children suffer.” In the place
Where men most walked a table of fine brass
Was set on marble, with an iron style
That all might carve within that golden space
If one grief came — and still the people pass,
And since the city first began
None wrote one word thereon till one — a man
Witty in spite of happiness — wrote there:
“I grieve because the tablet is so fair
And still stands bare,
There being none to beautify the same
With the moon-curved Arabian character.”
Whereat the king, “Thy grief itself removes
In its own cry its cause.” And thence there came
Soft laughter that may hardly stir
The flowers that shake not in the City of Loves.
(For so men called the city's name
Because the people were more mild than doves,
More beautiful than Gods of wood or river;
And so the city should endure for ever.)

But the king's mood was otherwise this day.
Along time's river, fifty years away,
There was a young man once
Ruddier than autumn suns {40A}
With gold hair curling like the spring sun's gold,
And blue eyes where stars lurked for happiness,
And lithe with all a young fawn's loveliness.
Such are the dwellers of the fire that fold
Fine wings in wanton ecstasy, and sleep
Where the thin tongues of glory leap
Up from the brazen hold
And far majestic keep
Of Djinn, the Lord of elemental light.
But he beheld some sight
Beyond that city's joy: his gentle word
The old king gently heard.
(This king was Zohra's father) “Lord and king
Of love's own city, give me leave to wing
A fervid flight to yonder hills of night.
Not that my soul is weary of the light
And lordship of thy presence; but in tender dream
I saw myself on the still stream
Where the lakes goes toward the mountain wall.
These little lives and loves ephemeral
Seemed in that dream still sweet; yet even now
I turned the shallop's prow
With gathering joy toward the lampless mountains.
I heard the four bright fountains
Gathering joy of music — verily
I cannot understand
How this can be,
Yet — I would travel to that land.”
So all they kissed him — and the boy was gone.
But when the full moon shone
A child cried out that he had seen that face
Limned with incomparable grace
Even in the shape of splendour as she passed.
The king's thought turned at last
To that forgotten story: and desire
Filled all his heart with aureate fire
Whose texture was a woman's hair; so fine
Bloomed the fair flower of pleasure:
Not the wild solar treasure
Of gleaming light, but the moon's shadowy pearl,
The love of a young girl {40B}
Before she knows that love: so mused the king;
“I am not weary of the soul of spring,”
He said, “none happier in this causeless chain
Of life that bears no fruit of pain,
No seed of sorrow,” yet his heart was stirred,
And, wasting no weak word
On the invulnerable air, that had
No soul of memories sad,
He passed through all the palace: in his bowers
He stooped and kissed the flowers;
And in his hall of audience stayed awhile,
And with a glad strange smile
Bade a farewell to all those lords of his;
And greeted with a kiss
The virgins clustered in his halls of bliss.
Next, passing through the city, gave his hand
To many a joyous band
Flower-decked that wandered through the wanton ways
Through summer's idle days.
Last, passing through the city wall, he came
Out to the living flame
Of lambent water and the carven quay,
Stone, like embroidery!
All the dear beauty of art's soul sublime
He looked on the last time,
And trod the figured steps, and found the ledge
At the white water's edge
Where the king's pinnace lodged; but he put by
That shell of ivory,
And chose a pearl-inwoven canoe, whose prow
Bore the moon's own bright brow
In grace of silver sculputred; and therein
He stepped; and all the water thin
Laughed to receive him; now the city faded
Little by little into many-shaded
Clusters of colour. So his boat was drawn
Subtly toward the dawn
With little labour; and the lake dropped down
From the orb's utter crown
O'er the horizon; and the narrowing sides
Showed him the moving tides {41A}
And pearling waters of a tinier stream
Than in a maiden's dream
She laves her silken limbs in, and is glad.
Then did indeed the fountains change their tune,
Sliding from gold sun-clad
to silver filigree wherethrough the moon
Shines — for the subtle soul
Of music takes on shape, and we compare
The cedar's branching hair,
The comet's glory, and the woman's smile,
To strange devices otherwise not heard
Without the lute's own word.

So on the soul of Zohra grew
A fashioned orb of fiery dew;
Yet (as cool water on a leaf)
It touched his spirit not with grief,
Although its name was sorrow.
“O for a name to borrow”
(He mused) “some semblance for this subtle sense
Of new experience!
For on my heart, untouched, my mind not used
To any metre mused,
Save the one tranquil and continuous rhyme
Of joy exceeding time,
Here the joy changes, but abides for ever,
Here on the shining river
Where the dusk gathers, and tall trees begin
To wrap the shallop in,
Sweet shade not cast of sun or moon or star,
But of some light afar
Softer and sweeter than all these — what light
Burns past the wondrous night
Of yonder crags? — what riven chasm hides
In those mysterious sides?
Somewhere this stream must leap
Down vales divinely steep
Into some vain unprofitable deep!”

So mused the king. Mark you, the full moon shone!
Nay, but a little past the full, she rose
An hour past sunset: as some laughter gone,
After the bride's night, lost in subtler snows {41B}
Rosy with wifehood. Now the shallop glides
On gloomier shadier tides,
While the long hair of willows bent and kissed
The stream, and drew its mist
Up through their silent atmosphere.
Some sorrow drawing near
That slow, dark river would for sympathy
Have found its home and never wandered out
Into the sunlight any more. A sigh
Stirred the pale waters where the moonlight stood
Upon the sleepy flood
In certain bough-wrought shapes of mystic meaning,
As if the moon were weaning
The king her babe from milk of life and love
To milk new-dropped above
From her sweet breast in vaporous light
Into the willowy night
That lay upon the river. So the king
Heard a strange chant — the woods began to sing;
The river took the tune; the willows kept
Time; and the black skies wept
Those tears, those blossoms, those pearl drops of milk
That the moon shed: and looking up he saw
As if the willows were but robes of silk,
The moon's face stoop and draw
Close to his forehead; at the tears she shed
He knew that he was dead!
Thus he feared not, nor wondered, as the stream
Grew darker, as a dream
Fades to the utter deep
Of dreamless sleep.
The stream grew darker, and the willows cover
(As lover from a lover
Even for love's sake all the wealth of love)
The whole light of the skies: there came to him
Sense of some being dim
Bent over him, one colour and one form
With the dark leaves; but warm
And capable of some diviner air.
Her limbs were bare, her face supremely fair, {42A}
Her soul one shapely splendour,
Her voice indeed as tender
As very silence: so he would not speak,
But let his being fade: that all the past
Grew shadowy and weak,
And lost its life at last,
Being mere dream to this that was indeed
Life: and some utter need
Of this one's love grew up in him: he knew
The spirit of that dew
In his own soul; and this indeed was love.
The faint girl bent above
With fixed eyes close upon him; oh! her face
Burned in the rapturous grace
Feeding on his; and subtly, without touch,
Grew as a flower that opens at the dawn
Their kiss: for touch of lips is death to love.
Even as the gentle plant one finger presses,
However soft the tress is
Of even the air's profane caresses,
It closes, all its joy of light withdrawn;
The sun feels sadness in his skies above,
Because one flower is folded. Thus they floated
Most deathlessly devoted
Beyond the trees, and where the hills divide
To take the nighted tide
Into a darker, deeper, greener breast,
Maybe to find — what rest?
Now to those girdling mountains moon-exalted
Came through the hills deep-vaulted
That pearly shallop: there the rocks were rent,
And the pale element
Flowed idly in their gorges: there the night
Admits no beam of light;
Nor can the poet's eye
One ray espy.
Therefore I saw not how the voyage ended,
Only wherethrough those cliffs were rended
I saw them pass: and ever closer bent
The lady and the lover; ever slower
Moved the light craft, and lower
Murmured the waters and the wind complained;
And ever the moon waned;
Not wheeling round the world,
But subtly curved an curled {42B}
In shapes not seen of men, abiding ever
Above the lonely river
Aloft: no more I saw than this,
The shadowy bending to the first sweet kiss
That surely could not end, though earth should end.
Therefore my shut eyes blend
With sleep's own secret eyes and eyelashes,
Long and deep ecstasies,
Knowing as now I know — at last — how this
Foreshadows my own bliss
Of falling into death when life is tired.
For all things desired
Not one as death is so desirable,
Seeing all sorrows pass, all joys endure,
All lessons last. Not heaven and not hell
(My spirit is grown sure)
Await the lover
But death's veil draws, life's mother to discover,
Nature; no longer mother, but a bride!
Ay! there is none beside.

O brothers mightier than my mightiest word
In the least sob that stirred
Your lyres, bring me, me also to the end!
Be near to me, befriend
Me in the moonlit, moonless deeps of death,
And with exalted breath
Breathe some few flames into the embers dull
Of these poor rhymes and leave them beautiful.

(“Everything is Sorrow.”)


Written in Lamma Sayadaw Kyoung, Akyab.

LAUGHTER in the faces of the people
Running round the theatre of music
When the cunning actors play the Bacchae,
Greets the gay attire and gait of Pentheus,
Pentheus by his blasphemy deluded,
Pentheus caught already in the meshes
Of the fate that means to catch and crush him, {43A}
Pentheus going forth with dance and revel,
Soon by Bassarids (wild joys of Nature)
To be hunted. Ai! the body mangled
By the fatal fury of the Maenads
Let by Agave his maddened mother
(Nature's self). But this the people guess not,
Only see the youth in woman's raiment,
Feigned tresses drooping from his forehead,
Awkward with unwonted dress, rude waving
Aye the light spear tipped with mystic pine-cone;
Hear his boast who lifts the slender thyrsus:
“I could bear the mass of swart Cithaeron,
And themselves the Maenads on my shoulders.”
So the self-willed's folly lights the laugher
Rippling round the theatre. But horror
Seizes on the heart of the judicious.
They see only madness and destruction
In the mockery's self innate, implicit.
Horror, deeper grief, most dreadful musings
Theirs who penetrate the poet's purpose!
So in all the passing joys of nature,
Joys of birth, and joys of life, in pleasures
Beautiful or innocent or stately,
May the wise discern the fact of being —
Change and death, the tragedy deep-lurking
Hidden in the laughter of the people,
So that laughter's self grows gross and hateful.
Then the noble Truth of Sorrow quickens
Every heart, and, seeking out its causes,
Still the one task of the wise, their wisdom
Finds desire, and, seeking out its medicine,
Finds cessation of desire, and, seeking
How so fierce a feat may be accomplished,
Finds at first in Truth a right foundation,
Builds the walls of Rightful Life upon it,
Four-square, Word and Act and Aspiration
Folded mystically across each other,
Crowns that palace of enduring marble
With sky-piercing pinnacles of Will-power
Rightly carven, rightly pointed; strengthens
[Mind sole centred on the single object]
All against the lightning, earthquake, thunder,
Meteor, cyclone with strong Meditation.
There, the scared spot from wind well-guarded,
May the lamp, the golden lamp, be lighted {43B}
To illume the whole with final Rapture
And destroy the House of pain for ever,
Leave its laughter and its tears, and shatter
all the cause of its mockery, master
All the workings of its will, and vanish
Into peace and light and bliss, whose nature
Baffles so the little tongues of mortals
That we name it not, but from its threshold,
From the golden word upon its gateway,
Style “Cessation”; that whose self we guess not.
Thus the wise most mystically interpret
Into wisdom the worst folly spoken
By the mortal of a god deluded.
So, the last wise word rejected, Pentheus
Cries, “αγ ωσ ταχιστα, του χρονου δε
σοι φθονω”16) — “Why waste we time in talking?
Let us now away unto the mountains!”
So the wise, enlightened by compassion,
Seeks that bliss for all the world of sorrow,
Swears the bitter oath of Vajrapani:
“Ere the cycle rush to utter darkness
Work I so that every living being
Pass beyond this constant chain of causes.
If I fail, may all my being shatter
Into millions of far-whirling pieces!”
Swears that oath, and works, and studies silence,
Takes his refuge in the triple jewel,
Strangles all desires in their beginning,
Leaves no egg of thought to hatch its serpent
Thrice detested for unnatural breeding —
Basilisk, to slay the maddened gazer.
Thus the wise man, for no glory-guerdon,
Hope of life or joy in earth or heaven,
Works, rejecting all the flowers of promise
Dew-lit that surround his path; but keepeth
Steady all his will to one endeavour,
Till the light, the might, the joy, the sorrow,
Life and death and love and hate are broken:
Work effaces work, avails the worker.
Strength, speed, ardour, courage and endurance
(Needed never more) depart for ever.
All dissolves, an unsubstantial phantom,
Ghost of morning seen before the sunrise,
Ghost of daylight seen beyond the sunset. {44A}
All hath past beyond the soul's delusion.
All hath changed to the ever changeless.
Name and form in nameless and in formless
Vanish, vanish and are lost for ever.

An attempt to translate this noblest of the Buddhist books into the original metres. The task soon tired. — A.C.



ALL that we are from mind results, on mind is founded, built of mind.
Who acts or speaks with evil thought, him doth pain follow sure and blind:17)
So the ox plants his foot and so the car-wheel follows hard behind.

All that we are from mind results, on mind is founded, built of mind.
Who acts or speaks with righteous thought, him happiness doth surely find.
So failing not, the shadow falls for ever in its place assigned.

“Me he abused and me he beat, he robbed me, he defeated me.”
In whom such thought find harbourage hatred will never cease to be.

“Me he abused and me he beat, he robbed me, he defeated me.”
In whom such thoughts no harbourage may find, will hatred cease to be.

“The state of hate doth not abate by hate in any clime or time,
But hate will cease if love increase,”18) so soothly runs the ancient rhyme. {44B}

The truth that “here we all must die” those others do not comprehend;
But some perceiving it, for them all discords fund an utter end.

Sodden19) with passion, unrestrained his senses (such an one we see),
Immoderate in the food of sense, idle and void of energy:
Him surely Mara20) overcomes, as wind throws down the feeble tree.

Careless of passion, well restrained his senses, such an one we find
Moderate in pleasure, faithful, great in mighty energy of mind:
Him Mara shakes not; are the hills thrown down by fury of the wind?

He, void of temperance, and truth, from guilt, impurity, and sin
Not free, the poor and golden robe he hath no worth to clothe therein.21)

Regarding temperance and truth, from guilt, impurity, and sin
Freed, he the poor and golden robe indeed hath worth to clothe therein.

They who see falsehood in the Truth, imagine Truth to lurk in lies,
Never arrive to know the Truth, but follow eager vanities.

To whom in Truth the Truth is known, Falsehood in Falsehood doth appear,
To them the Path of Truth is shown; right aspirations are their sphere! {45A}

An ill-thatched house is open to the mercy of the rain and wind.
So passion hath the power to break into an unreflecting mind.

A well-thatched house is proof against the fury of the rain and wind.
So passion hath no power to break into a rightly-ordered mind.

Here and hereafter doth he mourn, him suffering doth doubly irk,
Who doeth evil, seeing now at last how evil was his work.

The virtuous many rejoices here, hereafter doth he take delight,
Both ways rejoices, both delights, as seeing that his work was right.

Here and hereafter suffers he: the pains of shame his bosom fill
Who thinks “I did the wrong,” laments his going on the Path of Ill.

Here and hereafter hath he joy: in both the joy of rectitude
Who thinks “I did the right” and goes rejoicing on the Path of Good.

A-many verses though he can recite of Law, the idle man who doth it not
Is like an herd who numbereth cows of others, Priesthood him allows nor part nor lot.

Who little of the Law can cite, yet knows and walks therein aright, and shuns the snare
Of passion, folly, hate entwined: Right Effort liberates his mind, he doth not care
For this course done or that to run: surely in Priesthood such an one hath earned a share. {45B}



Amata's22) path is Earnestness, Dispersion Death's disciples tread:
The earnest never die, the vain are even as already dead.

Who understand, have travelled far on concentration's path, delight
In concentration, have their joy, knowing the Noble Ones aright.

In meditation firmly fixed, by constant strenuous effort high,
They to Nibbana23) come at last, the incomparable security.

Whose mind is strenuous and reflects; whose deeds are circumspect and pure,
His thoughts aye fixed on Law, the fame of that concentred shall endure.

By Earnestness, by centred thought, by self-restraint, by suffering long,
Let the wise man an island build against the fatal current strong.

Fools follow after vanity, those men of evil wisdom's sect;
But the wise man doth earnestness, a precious talisman, protect.

Follow not vanity, nor seek the transient pleasures of the sense:
The earnest one who meditates derives the highest rapture thence.

When the wise man by Earnestness hath Vanity to chaos hurled
He mounts to wisdom's palace, looks serene upon the sorrowing world. {46A}

Mighty is wisdom: as a man climbs high upon the hills ice-crowned,
Surveys, aloof, the toiling folk far distant on the dusty ground.

Among the sleepers vigilant, among the thoughtless eager-eyed
The wise speeds on; the racer so passes the hack with vigorous stride.

By earnestness did Maghava24) attain of Gods to be the Lord.
Praise is one-pointed thought's reward; Dispersion is a thing abhorred.

The Bhikkhu who in Earnestness delights, who fears dispersions dire,
His fetters all, both great and small, burning he moves about the fire.

The Bhikkhu who in Earnestness delights, Dispersion sees with fear,
He goes not to Destruction; he unto Nibbana draweth near.



Just as the fletcher shapes his shaft straightly, so shapes his thought the saint,
For that is trembling, weak, impatient of direction or restraint.

Mara's dominion to escape if thought impetuously tries
Like to a fish from water snatched thrown on the ground it trembling lies.

Where'er it listeth runneth thought, the tameless trembling consciousness.
Well is it to restrain: — a mind so stilled and tamed brings happiness.

Hard to perceive, all-wandering, subtle and eager do they press,
Thoughts; let the wise man guard his thoughts; well guarded thoughts bring happiness. {46B}

Moving alone, far-travelling, bodiless, hidden i'th' heart, who trains
His thought and binds it by his will shall be released from Mara's chains.

Who stills not thought, nor knows true laws; in whom distraction is not dumb,
Troubling his peace of mind; he shall to perfect knowledge never come.

His thoughts concentred, unperplexed his mind renouncing good and ill.
Alike, for him there is no fear if only he be watchful still.

Knowing this body to be frail, making this thought a fortalice, do thou aright
Mara with wisdom's shaft assail! Watch him when conquered. Never cease thou from the fight.

Alas! ere long a useless log, this body on the earth will lie.
Contemned of all, and void of sense and understanding's unity.

What foe may wreak on fie, or hate work on the hated from the hater,
Surely an ill directed mind on us will do a mischief greater.

Father and mother, kith and kin, of these can none do service kind
So great to us, as to ourselves the good direction of the mind.



O who shall overcome this earth, the world of God's and Yama's25) power!
Who find the well taught Path as skill of herbist finds the proper flower? {47A}

The seeker shall subdue this earth, the world of God's and Yama's power;
The seeker find that Path as skill of herbist finds the proper flower.

Like unto foam this body whoso sees, its mirage-nature comprehends aright,
Breaking dread Mara's flower-pointed shaft he goes, Death's monarch shall not meet his sight.

Like one who strayeth gathering flowers, is he who Pleasure lusteth on;
As the flood whelms the sleeping village, so Death snaps him — he is gone.

Like one who strayeth gathering flowers is he whose thoughts to Pleasure cling;
While yet unsatisfied with lusts, there conquereth him the Iron King.

As the bee gathers nectar, hurts not the flower's colour, its sweet smell
In no wise injureth, so let the Sage within his hamlet dwell.

To others' failures, others' sins done or good deeds undone let swerve
Never the thought; thine own misdeeds, omissions, — these alone observe.

Like to a lovely flower of hue bright, that hath yet no odour sweet
So are his words who speaketh well, fruitless, by action incomplete.

Like to a lovely flower of hue delightful and of odour sweet
So are his words who speaketh well, fruitful, by action made complete.

As from a heap of flowers can men make many garlands, so, once born,
A man a-many noble deeds by doing may his life adorn. {47B}

Travels the scent of flowers against the wind? Not Sandal, Taggara, nor Jasmine scent!
But the odour of the good doth so, the good pervadeth unto every element.

When Sandal, Lotus, Taggara and Vassiki their odour rare
Shed forth, their fragrant excellence is verily beyond compare.

Yet little is this fragrance found of Taggara and Sandal wood:
Mounts to the Gods, the highest, the scent of those whose deeds are right and good.

Perfect in virtue, living lives of Earnestness, Right Knowledge hath
Brought into liberty their minds, that Mara findeth not their path.

As on a heap of rubbish thrown by the wayside the Lotus flower
Will bloom sweet scented, delicate and excellent to think upon;
So 'mid the slothful worthless ones, the Walkers in Delusion's power,
In glory of Wisdom, light of Buddh forth hath the True Disciple shone.

Desunt cetera.26)

Written at Delhi.

O GOOD St. Patrick, turn again
Thy mild eyes to the Western main!
Shalt thou be silent? thou forget?
Are there no snakes in Ireland yet?

“Death to the Saxon! Slay nor spare!”
“O God of Justice, hear us swear!” {48A}

The iron Saxon's bloody hand
Metes out his murder on the land.
The light of Erin is forlorn.
The country fades: the people mourn.

Of land bereft, of right beguiled,
Starved, tortured, murdered, or exiled;
Of freedom robbed, of faith cajoled,
In secret councils bought and sold!

Their weapons are the cell, the law,
The gallows, and the scourge, to awe
Brave Irish hearts: their hates deny
The right to live — the right to die.

Our weapons — be they fire and cord,
The shell, the rifle, and the sword!
Without a helper or a friend
All means be righteous to the End!

Look not for help to wordy strife!
This battle is for death or life.
Melt mountains with a word — and then
The colder hearts of Englishmen!

Look not to Europe in your need!
Columbia's but a broken reed!
Your own good hearts, your own strong hand
Win back at last the Irish land.

Won by the strength of cold despair
Our chance is near us — slay nor spare!
Open to fate the Saxons lie: —
Up! Ireland! ere the good hour fly!

Stand all our fortunes on one cast!
Arise! the hour is come at last.
One torch may fire the ungodly shrine —
O God! and may that torch be mine!

But, even when victory is assured,
Forget not all ye have endured!
Of native mercy dam the dyke,
And leave the snake no fang to strike!

They slew our women: let us then
At least annihilate their men!
Lest the ill race from faithless graves
Arise again to make us slaves. {48B}

Arise, O God, and stand, and smite
For Ireland's wrong, for Ireland's right!
Our Lady, stay the pitying tear!
There is no room for pity here!

What pity knew the Saxon e'er?
Arise, O God, and slay nor spare,
Until full vengeance rightly wrought
Bring all their house of wrong to nought!

Scorn, the catastrophe of crime,
these be their monuments through time!
And Ireland, green once more and fresh,
Draw life from their dissolving flesh!

By Saxon carcases renewed,
Spring up, O shamrock virgin-hued!
And in the glory of thy leaf
Let all forget the ancient grief!

Now is the hour! The drink is poured!
Wake! fatal and avenging sword!
Brave men of Erin, hand in hand,
Arise and free the lovely land!

“Death to the Saxon! Slay nor spare!”
“O God of Justice, hear us swear!” {48A}

Written at Camp Despair, 20,000 ft., Chogo Ri Lungma, Baltistan.

SO now the Earl was well a-weary of
The grievous folly of this wandering.
Had he been able to have counted Love

Or Power, or Knowledge as the sole strong thing
Fit to suffice his quest, his eyes had gleamed
With the success already grasped. The sting

Of all he suffered, was that he esteemed
His quest partook of all and yet of none.
So as he rode the woodlands out there beamed {49A}

The dull large spectre of a grim flat sun,
Red and obscure upon the leaden haze
That lapped and wrapped and rode the horizon.

The Earl rode steadily on. A crest caught rays
Of that abominable sunset, sharp
With needles of young pines, their tips ablaze.

Their feet dead black; the wind's dark fingers warp
To its own time their strings, a sombre mode
Found by a ghost on a forgotten harp

Or (Still more terrible!) the lost dread ode
That used to all the dead knights to their chief
To the lone waters from the shadowy road.

So deemed the weary Earl of the wind's grief,
And seemed to see about him form by form
Like mighty wrecks, wave-shattered on a reef,

Moulded and mastered by the shapeless storm
A thousand figures of himself the mist
Enlarged, distorted: yet without a qualm

(So sad was he) he mounted the last twist
Of the path's hate, and faced the wind, and saw
The lead gleam to a surly amethyst

As the sun dipped, and Night put forth a paw
Like a black panther's, and efface the East.
Then, with a sudden inward catch of awe

As if behind him sprang some silent beast,
So shuddered he, and spurred his horse, and found
A black path towards the water; he released

The bridle; so the way went steep, ill bound
On an accursed task, so dark it loomed
Amid its yews and cypresses, each mound {49B}

About each root, a grave, where Hell entombed
A vampire till the night broke sepulchre
And all its phantoms desperate and doomed

Began to gather flesh, to breathe, to stir.
Such was the path, yet hard should find the work
Glamour, to weave her web of gossamer

Over such eyesight as the Earl's for murk.
He had watched for larvae by the midnight roads,
The stake-transpierced corpse, the caves where lurk

The demon spiders, and the shapeless toads
Fed by their lovers duly on the draught
That bloats and blisters, blackens and corrodes.

These had he seed of old; so now he laughed,
Not without bitterness deep-lying, that erst
He had esteemed such foolish devil's craft

Part of his quest, his qest when fair and first
He flung the last, the strongest horsemen back
With such a buffet that no skill amerced

Its debt but headlong in his charger's track
He must be hurled, rib-shatteredby the shock;
And the loud populace exclaimed “Alack!”,

Their favourite foiled. But oh! the royal stock
Of holy kings from Christ to Charlemagne
Hailed him, anointed him, fair lock by lock,

With oil that drew incalculable gain
From those six olives in the midst whereof
Christ prayed the last time, ere the fatal Wain27)

Stood in the sky reversed, and utmost Love
Entered the sadness of Gethsemane.
So did the king; so did the priest above {50A}

Place his old hands upon the Earl's, decree
The splendid and the solemn accolade
That he should go forth to the world and be

Knight-errant; so did then the fairest maid
Of all that noble company keep hid
The love that melted her; she took the blade

Blessed by a mage, who slew the harmless kid
With solemn rite and water poured athwart
In stars and sigils, — fire leapt out amid,

And blazed upon the blade; and stark cold swart
Demons came hurtling to enforce the spell,
Until the exorcism duly wrought

Fixed in the living steel so terrible
A force nor man nor devil might assail,
Nay — might approach the wary warrior well,

So long as he was clothed in silver mail
Of purity, and iron-helmeted
With ignorance of fear: so through the hail

Of flowers, of cries, of looks, of white and red,
Fear, hatred, envy, love — nay, self-conceit
Of girls that preened itself and masqued instead

Of love — he rode with head deep bowed — too sweet,
Too solemn at that moment to respond,
Or even to lift his evening eyes to greet

The one he knew was nearest — too, too fond!
He dared not — not for his sake but for hers.
So he bent down, and passed away beyond

In space, in time. [The myriad ministers
Of God, seeing her soul, prayed God to send
One spirit yet to turn him — subtly stirs

The eternal gory of god's mouth; “The end
Is not, nor the beginning.” Such the speech
Our language fashions down — to comprehend.] {50B}

The wood broke suddenly upon the beach,
Curved, flat; the water oozing on the sand
Stretched waveless out beyond where eye might reach,

A grey and shapeless place, a hopeless land!
Yet in that vast, that weary sad expanse
The Earl saw three strange objects on the strand

His keen eye noted at the firstborn glance,
And recognised as pointers for his soul;
So that his soul was fervid in the dance,

Knowing itself one step more near the goal,
Should he but make the perfect choice of these.
Farthest, loose tethered, at a stake's control,

A shallop rocked before the sullen breeze.
Midway, a hermit's hut stood solitary,
A dim light set therein. Near and at ease

A jolly well-lit inn — no phantom airy!
Solid and warm, short snatches of light song
Issuing cheery now and then. “Be wary!”

Quoth the wise Earl, “I wander very long
Far from my quest, assuredly to fall
Sideways each step towards the House of Wrong,

“Were but one choice demented. Choice is small
Here though. (A flash of insight in his mind)
Which of these three gets answer to its call?

“Yon shallop? — leave to Galahad! Resigned
Yon hermit to be welcome Lancelot!
For me — the inn — what fate am I to find?

“Who cares? Shall I seek ever — do ye wot? —
But in the outre, the obscure, the occult?
My Master is of might to lift me what {51A}

“Hangs, veil of glamour, on my 'Quisque vult,'
The morion's motto: to exhaust the cross,
Bidding it glow with roses — the result

“What way he will: may be adventure's loss
is gain to common sense; whereby I guess
Wise men have hidden Mount Biagenos28)

“And all its height from fools who looked no less
For snows to lurk beneath the roots of yew,
Or in the caverns grim with gloominess

“Hid deep i' the forests they would wander through,
Instead of travelling the straightforward road.
I call them fools — well, I have been one too.

“Now then at least for the secure abode
And way of luck — knight-errantry once doffed,
The ox set kicking at his self-set goad,

“Here's for the hostel and the light aloft!
Roderic, my lad! there's pelf to pay the score
For ale and cakes and venison and a soft

“Bed we have missed this three months — now no more
Of folly! Avaunt, old Merlin's nonsense lore!
Ho there! Travellers! Mine host! Open the door!”

Desunt cetera.

In the second part — joyous inn fireside — the Earl refuses power, knowledge, and love (offered him by a guest) by the symbolic drink of ale and the cherry cheeks of the maid.

In part three she, coming secretly to him, warns him he must destroy the three vices, faith, hope, and charity. This he does easily, save the love of the figure of the Crucified; but at last conquering this, he attains. [These were never written.] {51B}

Written in the Mosque of Omar.

HERS was the first sufficient sacrifice
That won us freedom, hers the generous gift
That turned herself upon the curse adrift
Sailless and rudderless, to pay the price
Of permanence with pain, of love with vice,
Like a tall ship swan-lovely, swallow-swift,
That makes upon the breakers. So the rift
Sprang and the flame roared. Farewell, Paradise!

How shall a man that is a man reward
Her priceless sacrifice, rebuke the Lord?
Why, there's Convention's corral; ring her round!
Here's shame's barbed wire; push out the unclean thing!
Here's freedom's falconry; quick, clip her wing!
There, labour's danger — thrust her underground!

CROUCHED o'er the tripod the pale priestess moans
Ambiguous destiny, divided fate.
Sibylline oracles of woe create
Roars as of beasts, majestic monotones
Of wind, strong cries of elemental thrones,
All sounds of mystery of the Pythian state!
O woman without change or joy or date
I await thy oracle as the Delphian stone's!

Desunt cetera.

Written in the Quartier Latin, Paris.

A FADED skirt, a silken petticoat,
A little jacket, a small shapely shoe,
A toque. A symphony in gray and blue,
The child ripples, the conquering masternote {52A}

Sublety. Faint, stray showers of twilight float
In shadows round the well-poised head; dark, true,
Joyous the eyes laugh — and are weeping too,
For all the victory of her royal throat.

She showed her purse with tantalising grace:
Some sous, a franc, a key, some stuff, soft grey.
The mocking laughter trills upon her tongue:
“There's all my fortune.” “And your pretty face!
What do you do?” Wearily, “I am gay.”
“What do you hope for?” Simply, “To die young.”


A parody on his own appreciations of Rodin's sculpture.

αθανατ' 'Αφροδιτα.”

”—We have seen
Gold tarnished, and the gray above—“

AS some lone mountebank of the stage may tweak
The noses of his fellows, so Gavin29)
Tweaks with her brush-work the absurd obscene
Academicians. How her pictures speak!
Chiaroscuro Rembrandtesque, form Greek!
What values! What a composition clean!
Breadth shaming broadness! Manner epicine!
Texture superb! Magnificent technique!

Raphael, Velasquez, Michael Angelo,
Stare, gape, and splutter when they see thy colour,
Reds killing roses, greens blaspheming grass.
O thou art simply perfect, don't you know?
Than thee all masters of old time are duller,
O artiste of the Quartier Montparnasse! {52B}


Written in the Akasa.30)

THE story of a fool. From love and death
Emancipate, he stand above. The goal
Is in the shrines of misty air: there roll
The voices and the songs of One who saith:
“There is no peace for him who lingereth.”
Love is a cinder now that was a coal:
Either were vain. The great magician's soul
Is far too weak to risk Elizabeth.

All this is past and under me. Above,
Around, the magian tree of knowledge waves
its rosy flowers and golden fruit. I know
Indeed that he is caught therein who craves;
But I, desiring not, accept the glow
And blossom of that Knowledge that is Love.

Written in the Casino, Monte Carlo.

THERE is no hell but earth: O coil of fate
Binding us surely in the Halls of Birth,
The unsubstantial, the dissolving state!
There is no hell but earth.

Vain are the falsehoods that subserve to mirth.
Dust is to dust, create or uncreate.
The wheel is bounded by the world's great girth.

By prayer and penance unregenerate,
Redeemed by no man's sacrifice or worth,
We swing: no mortal knows his ultimate.
There is no hell but earth.

In all the skies the planets and the stars
Receive us, where our fate in order plies.
Somewhere we live between the savage bars
In all the skies. {53A}\

Let God's highest heaven receive the man who dies —
All hath an end: he falls: the stains and scars
Are his throughout unwatched eternities.

The roses and the scented nenuphars
Give hope — oh! monolith! oh house of lies!
We change and change and fade, strange avatars
In all the skies.

One way sets free. That way is not to tread
Through fire or earth or spirit, air or sea.
That secret is not gathered of the dead.
On way sets free.

“Not to desire” shall lead to “not to be.”
There is no hope within, none overhead,
None by the chance of fate's august decree.

It is a path where tears are ever shed.
There is no joy — is that a path for me?
Yea! though I track the ways of utmost dread,
One way sets free.

If this poem be repeatedly read through, it falls into a subtly rhymed and metrical form.

I SAW in a trance or a vision the web of the ages unfurled, flung wide with a scream of derision, a mockery mute of the world. As it spread over sky I mapped it fair on a sheet of blue air with a hurricane pen. I copy it here for men. First on the ghostly adytum of pale mist that was the abyss of time and space (the stars all blotted out, poor faded nenuphars on the storm-sea of the infinite:) I wist a shapeless figure arise and cover all, its cloak an ancient pall, vaster and older than the skies of night, and blacker than all broken years — aye! but it grew and held me in its grasp so that {53B} I felt its flesh, not clean sweet flesh of man but leprous white, and crawling with innumerable tears like worms, and pains like a sword-severed asp, twitching, and loathlier than all mesh of hates and lusts, defiling; nor any voice it had, nor any motion, it was infinite in its own world of horror, irredeemably bad as everywhere sunlit, being this world, forget not! being this world, this universe, the sum of all existence; so that opposing fierce resistance to the all-law, stood loves and joys, delicate girls, and beautiful strong boys, and bearded men like gods, and golden things, and bright desires with wings, all beauties, and all truths of life poets have ever prized. So showed the microscope, this aged strife between all forms; but seen afar, seen well drawn in a focus, synthesised, the whole was sorrow and despair; agony biting through the fair; meanness, contemptibility, enthroned; all proposeless, all unatoned; all putrid of an hope, all vacant of a soul. I called upon its master, as who should call on God. Instead, arose a shining form, sweet as a whisper of soft air kissing the brows of a great storm; his face with light was molten, musical with waves of his delight moving across: his countenance utterly fair! then was my philosophic vision shamed: conjecture at a loss; and my whole mind revolted; then I blamed the vision as a lie; yet bid that vision speak how he was named, being so wonderfully desirable. Whereat he smiled upon me merrily, answering that whoso named him well, being a poet, called him Love; or else being a lover of wisdom, called him Force; or being a cynic, called him Lust; or being a pietist, called him God. The last — thou seest! — (he said), a lie of Hell's, and all a partial course of the great circle of whirling dust (stirred by the iron rod of thought) that men call wisdom. So I looked deep in his beauty, and beheld its truth. The life of that fair youth was a a whiz of violent little whirls, helical coils of emptiness, grey curls of misty and impalpable stuff, torn, crooked, all ways {54A} and none at once, but ever pressed in idiot circles; and one thing he lacked, now I looked from afar again, was rest. Thence I withdrew my sight, the eyeballs cracked with stain of my endeavour, and my will struck up with subtler skill than any man's that in fair Crete tracked through the labyrinth of Minos, and awoke the cry to call his master; grew a monster whirlwind of revolving smoke and then, mere nothing. But in me arose a peace profounder than Himalayan snows cooped in their crystalline ravines. I saw the ultimation of the one wise law. I stood in the King's Chamber, by the tomb of slain Osiris, in the Pyramid and looked down the Great Gallery, deep, deep into the hollow of earth; grand gloom burned royally therein; I was well hid in the shadow; here I realised myself to be in that sepulchral sleep wherein were mirrored all these things of mystery. So the long passage steeply sliding ever up to my feet where I stood in the emptiness; at last a sure abiding only in absolute ceasing of all sense, and all perceived or understood or knowable; thus, purple and intense, I beheld the past that leads to peace, from royal heights of mastery to sleep, from self-control imperial to an end, therefore I shaped the seven tiers of the ascending corridor into seven strokes of wisdom, seven harvests fair to reap from seven bitter sowings.«Compare the Noble Eightfold Path, as described in “Science and Buddhism.” “infra.”» Here ascend the armies of life's universal war chasing the pious pilgrim. First, his sight grew adamant, sun-bright, so that he saw aright. Second, his heart was noble, that he would live ever unto good. Third, in his speech stood tokens of this will, so pitiful and pure he spake, nor ever from him brake woe-winged words, nor slaver of the snake. Fourth, in each noble act of life he taught crystalline vigour of thought, so in each deed he was aright; well-wrought all the man's work; and fifth, this hero strife grew one with his whole life, so harmonised to the one after-end his every {54B} conscious and unconscious strain, his peace and pleasure and pain, his reflex life, his deepest-seated deed of mere brute muscle and nerve! Thence, by great Will new-freed, the ardent life leaps, sixth, to Effort's tower, invoking the occult, the secret power, found in the void when all but Will is lost; so, seventh, he bends it from its bodily station into the great abyss of Meditation, whence the firm level is at last his own and Rapture's royal throne is more than throne, sarcophagus! an end! an end! Resounds the echo in the stone, incalculable myriads of tons poised in gigantic balance overhead, about, beneath. O blend your voices, angels of the awful earth! dogs! demons leaping into hideous birth from the imprisoned deserts of the Nile! And thou, O habitant most dread, disastrous crocodile, hear thou the Law, and live, and win to peace!


WHENCE the black lands shudder and darken,
Whence the sea birds have empire to range,
Whence the moon and the meteor hearken
The perpetual rhythm of change,
On earth and in heaven deluded
With time, that the soul of us kills,
I have passed. I have brooded, fled far to the wooded
And desolate hills.

Not there is the changing of voices
That lament or regret or are sad,
But the sun in his strength rejoices,
The moon in her beauty is glad.
As timeless and deathless time passes,
And death is a hermit that dwells
By the imminent masses of ice, where the grasses
Abandon the fells. {55A}

There silence, arrayed as a spectre,
Is visible, tangible, near,
To the cup of the man pours nectar,
To the heart of the coward is fear:
Though the desolate waste be enchaunted
By a spell that bewilders and chills,
To me it is granted to worship the haunted
Delight of the hills.

To me all the blossoms are seedless,
Yet big with all manner of fruit:
And a voice in the waste is needless
Since my soul in its splendour is mute.
Though the height of the hill be deserted,
The soul of a man has its mate;
With the wide sky skirted his heart is reverted
To commune with Fate.

Far flings out the spur to the sunset;
Its help to the hope of the sun
That all be unfolded if one set,
That none be apart from the One;
And the sweep of the wings of the weather,
Marked bright with the silvery ghylls
For flickering feather, brings all things together
To nest in the hills.

Like a great bird poised in the aether,
The mountain keeps watch over earth,
On the child that lies sleeping beneath her
Wild-eyed from a terrible birth.
But by noise of the world unshaken,
By dance of the world not bedinned,
The hill bides forsaken, yet only to waken
Her lover, the wind.

Like a lion asleep in his fastness,
Or a warrior leant on his spear,
The hill stands up in the vastness,
And the stars grow strangely near;
For the secret of life and its gladness
Are hidden in strength that distils
A potion of madness from berries of sadness
Grown wild in the hills. {55B}

Though the earth be disparted and rended,
Thus only the great peaks change
That their image is moulded and blended
Into all that a fancy may range;
And the silence my song could refigure
To the note of a bird did I will,
Of glory or rigour, of passion or vigour —
The change were to ill!

For silence is better than singing
Though a Shelley wove songs in the sky,
And hovering is is sweeter than winging;
To live is less good than to die.
The secret of secrets is hidden
Not in the lives nor in loves, but in wills
That are free and unchildden, that wander unbidden
To home in the hills.

A strength that is more than the summer
Is firm in that silence and rest,
Though stiller the rocks be and dumber
That the soul of its slumber oppressed.
For stronger control is than urging,
And mightier the heart of the sea
Than her waves deep-merging and striving and surging
That deem they are free.

In spirit I stand on the mountain,
My soul into God's withdrawn
And look to the East like a fountain
That shoots up the spray of the dawn.
And the life of the mountain swims through me
(So the song of a thrush in me thrills)
And the dawn speaks to me, of old for it knew me
The soul of the hills.

I stand on the mountain in wonder
As the splendour springs up in the East,
As the cloud banks are rended asunder,
And the wings of the Night are released.
As in travail a maiden demented,
Afraid of the deed she hath done,
By no man lamented, springs up the sweet-scented
Pale flower of the sun. {56A}

So change not the heights and the hollows;
The hollows are one with the heights
In that pallid grave dawn of Apollo's
Confusion of shadows and lights.
Unreal save to sense that can sense her
That maiden of sunrise refills
The air's grey censer with perfumes intenser
The higher the hills.

So, vague as a ghost swift faded,
Steals dawn, and so sunset may see
How her long long locks deep-braided
Fall down to her breast and her knee.
So night and so sunrise discover
No light and no darkness to heed.
Night is above her, and brings her no lover;
And day, but no deed.

Such a sense is up and within me,
A tongue as of mystical fire!
Love, beauty, and holiness win me
To the end of the great desire,
Where I cease from the thirst and the labour,
As the land that no ploughman tills
Lest the robber his neighbour unloosen the sabre
From holds in the hills.

From love of my life and its burden
Set free in the silence remote,
Grows a sorrow divine for my guerdon,
A peace in my struggling note.
Compassion for earth far extended
Beneath me, the swords and the rods,
My spirit hath bended, bowed me and blended
My self into God's.

But God — what divinity rises
To me in the mountainous place?
What sun beyond suns, and surprises
Mine eyes at the dawn of His face?
No God in this silence existing,
No heaven and no earth of Him skills,
Save the blizzards unresting, whirling and twisting
Adrift on the hills. {56B}

So witless and aimless and formless
I count the Creator to be;
Not strong as who rides on the stormless
And tames the untamable sea.
But motion and action distorted
Are marks of the paths He hath trod.
Hated or courted, aided or thwarted: —
Lo, He is your God!

But mine in the silence abideth;
Her strength is the strength of rest;
Not on thunders or clouds She rideth
But draweth me down to Her breast:
No maker of men, but dissolving
Their life from its burden of ills,
Ever resolving the circle revolving
To peace of the hills.

And dark is Her breast and unlighted;
But a warm sweet scent is expressed,
And a rose as of sunset excited
In the strength of Her sunless breast.
Her love is like pain, but enchanted:
Her kiss is an opiate breath
Amorously panted: her fervours last granted
Are sorrow, and death. {57A}

Nor death as ye name in derision
The change to a cycle of pain,
To a cycle of joy as a vision
Ye chase, and may capture in vain.
Endeth you peace, and your change is
Like the change in a measure that shrills
And slackens and ranges; your passion estranges
The love of the hills!

Nay! death is a portal of passing
To miseries other but sure.
Yet the snow on the hills amassing
The wind of an hour may endure;
But as day after day grows the summer
The crystals melt one after one.
The hill — shall they numb her? Their frost overcome her?
Demand of the sun!

That uttermost death of my lady
Revealed in the heart of the range
Is as light in the groves long shady
As peace in the halls of change.
The web of the world is rended;
Stayed are the causal mills;
Time is ended; space unextended.
And end of the hills!


{full page follows}

Mr. Gladstone was attacked by a cow in Hawarden Park in 1891.
These and other mentioned are or were great names among the contending “Brethren.”
John Ford, author of ”'Tis Pity she's a Whore,” a drama of fraternal incest, and other well-known plays.
This conjuration is in the “angelic” language of Dr. Dee. See the edition of Goetia published by the S.P.R.T.
Strewn with sandalwood(?
Via Lactea, the “Milky Way.”
The universe.
It is not known to whom Crowley refers.
The Hindu equivalent for “spell.”
A secret Order, probably established by Crowley himself.
Called by the Spaniards Orizaba.
See Euripides, “Bacchae.”
The seven Rishis are the great Sages of India. They received from the Gods the sacred Books.
Mountain nymph.
ag oos tachista, tou chronou de soi pthonoo
Blind, i.e., operated by law, not by caprice of a deity.
Crowley has imitated the punning of the Pali by the repeated rhymes, which further gives the flavour of the Old English proverbial saw.
Sodden — the habitual — who “lives” unrestrained, etc.
The Indian power of evil.
Alternative reading! — Who is not free from dirty taint, and temperate and truthful ain't, He should not wear the garment quaint that marks the Arahat or Saint. — A.C.
Sanskrit, Amrita, the “Elixir of Life” and food of the gods.
Sanskrit, Nirvana. See Childers' Pali Dictionary for etymological discussion. The signification is too difficult a question to settle offhand in a note.
Indra, the Indian Zeus.
Hades plus Minos; he both rules and judges the dead, according to Hindu mythology.
The reader will kindly note such important changes of metre as occur in the two last verses of “The Twins” and elsewhere. The careless might suppose that these do not scan; they do, following directly or by analogy a similar change in the Pali.
Charles' Wain — Ursa Maor. There is a silly legend to this effect.
The mystic mountain of the Rosicrucians.
An art student in Paris at this time.
Space or Ether. The Hindus say that all actions, especially important (“i.e.” spiritual) ones, are written therein. It is an Automatic Recording Angel.


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