Hear me, Lord of the Stars!
For thee I have worshipped ever
With stains and sorrows and scars,
With joyful, joyful endeavour.
Hear me, O lily-white goat!
O crisp as a thicket of thorns,
With a collar of gold for Thy throat,
A scarlet bow for Thy horns!
Here, in the dusty air,
I build Thee a shrine of yew.
All green is the garland I wear,
But I feed it with blood for dew!
After the orange bars
That ribbed the green west dying
Are dead, O Lord of the Stars,
I come to Thee, come to Thee crying.
The ambrosial moon that arose
With breasts slow heaving in splendour
Drops wine from her infinite snows.
Ineffably, utterly, tender.
O moon! ambrosial moon!
Arise on my desert of sorrow
That the Magical eyes of me swoon
With lust of rain to-morrow!
Ages and ages ago
I stood on the bank of a river
Holy and Holy and holy, I know,
For ever and ever and ever!
A priest in the mystical shrine
I muttered a redeless rune,
Till the waters were redder than wine
In the blush of the harlot moon.
I and my brother priests
Worshipped a wonderful woman
With a body lithe as a beast's
Subtly, horribly human.
Deep in the pit of her eyes
I saw the image of death,
And I drew the water of sighs
From the well of her lullaby breath.
She sitteth veiled for ever
Brooding over the waste.
She hath stirred or spoken never.
She is fiercely, manly chaste!
What madness made me awake
From the silence of utmost eld
The grey cold slime of the snake
That her poisonous body held?
By night I ravished a maid
From her father's camp to the cave.
I bared the beautiful blade;
I dipped her thrice i' the wave;
I slit her throat as a lamb's,
That the fount of blood leapt high
With my clamorous dithyrambs
Like a stain on the shield of the sky.
With blood and censer and song
I rent the mysterious veil:
My eyes gaze long and long
On the deep of that blissful bale.
My cold grey kisses awake
From the silence of utmost eld
The grey cold slime of the snake
That her beautiful body held.
But --- God! I was not content
With the blasphemous secret of years;
The veil is hardly rent
While the eyes rain stones for tears.
So I clung to the lips and laughed
As the storms of death abated,
The storms of the grevious graft
By the swing of her soul unsated.
Wherefore reborn as I am
By a stream profane and foul
In the reign of a Tortured Lamb,
In the realm of a sexless Owl,
I am set apart from the rest
By meed of the mystic rune
That reads in peril and pest
The ambrosial moon --- the moon!
For under the tawny star
That shines in the Bull above
I can rein the riotous car
Of galloping, galloping Love;
And straight to the steady ray
Of the Lion-heart Lord I career,
Pointing my flaming way
With the spasm of night for a spear!
O moon! O secret sweet!
Chalcedony clouds of caresses
About the flame of our feet,
The night of our terrible tresses!
Is it a wonder, then,
If the people are mad with blindness,
And nothing is stranger to men
Than silence, and wisdom, and kindness?
Nay! let him fashion an arrow
Whose heart is sober and stout!
Let him pierce his God to the marrow!
Let the soul of his God flow out!
Whether a snake or a sun
In his horoscope Heaven hath cast,
It is nothing; every one
Shall win to the moon at last.
The mage hath wrought by his art
A billion shapes in the sun.
Look through to the heart of his heart,
And the many are shapes of one!
An end to the art of the mage,
And the cold grey blank of the prison!
An end to the adamant age!
The ambrosial moon is arisen.
I have bought a lily-white goat
For the price of a crown of thorns,
A collar of gold for its throat,
A scarlet bow for its horns.
I have bought a lark in the lift
For the price of a butt of sherry:
With these, and God for a gift,
It needs no wine to be merry!
I have bought for a wafer of bread
A garden of poppies and clover;
For a water bitter and dead
A foam of fire flowing over.
From the Lamb and his prison fare
And the owl's blind stupor, arise
Be ye wise, and strong, and fair,
And the nectar afloat in your eyes!
Arise, O ambrosial moon
By the strong immemorial spell,
By the subtle veridical rune
That is mighty in heaven and hell!
Drip thy mystical dews
On the tongues of the tender fauns
In the shade of initiate yews
Remote from the desert dawns!
Satyrs and Fauns, I call.
Bring your beauty to man!
I am the mate for ye all'
I am the passionate Pan.
Come, O come to the dance
Leaping with wonderful whips,
Life on the stroke of a glance,
Death in the stroke of the lips!
I am hidden beyond,
Shed in a secret sinew
Smitten through by the fond
Folly of wisdom in you!
Come, while the moon (the moon!)
Sheds her ambrosial splendour,
Reels in the redeless rune
Ineffably, utterly, tender!
Hark! the appealing cry
Of deadly hurt in the hollow: ---
Hyacinth! Hyacinth! Ay!
Smitten to death by Apollo.
Swift, O maiden moon,
Send thy ray-dews after;
Turn the dolorous tune
To soft ambiguous laughter!
Mourn, O Maenads, mourn!
Surely your comfort is over:
All we laugh at you lorn.
Ours are the poppies and clover!
O that mouth and eyes,
Mischevious, male, alluring!
O that twitch of the thighs
Dorian past enduring!
Where is wisdom now?
Where the sage and his doubt?
Surely the sweat of the brow
Hath driven the demon out.
Surely the scented sleep
That crowns the equal war
Is wiser than only to weep ---
To weep for evermore!
Now, at the crown of the year,
The decadent days of October,
I come to thee, God, without fear;
Pious, chaste, and sober.
I solemnly sacrifice
This first-fruit flower of wine
For a vehicle of thy vice
As I am Thine to be mine.
For five in the year gone by
I pray Thee give to me one;
A love stronger than I,
A moon to swallow the sun!
May he be like a lily-white goat
Crisp as a thicket of thorns,
With a collar of gold for his throat,
A scarlet bow for his horns!
"Aug." 10, 1911.
Full moon to-night; and six and twenty years
Since my full moon first broke from angel spheres!
A year of infinite love unwearying ---
No circling seasons, but perennial spring!
A year of triumph trampling through defeat,
The first made holy and the last made sweet
By this same love; a year of wealth and woe,
Joy, poverty, health, sickness --- all one glow
In the pure light that filled our firmament
Of supreme silence and unbarred extent,
Wherein one sacrament was ours, one Lord,
One resurrection, one recurrent chord,
One incarnation, one descending dove,
All these being one, and that one being Love!
You sent your spirit into tunes; my soul
Yearned in a thousand melodies to enscroll
Its happiness: I left no flower unplucked
That might have graced your garland. I induct
Tragedy, comedy, farce, fable, song,
Each longing a little, each a little long,
But each aspiring only to express
Your excellence and my unworthiness ---
Nay! but my worthiness, since I was sense
And spirit too of that same excellence.
So thus we solved the earth's revolving riddle:
I could write verse, and you could play the fiddle,
While, as for love, the sun went through the signs,
And not a star but told him how love twines
A wreath for every decanate, degree,
Minute and second, linked eternally
In chains of flowers that never fading are,
Each one as sempiternal as a star.
Let me go back to your last birthday. Then
I was already your one man of men
Appointed to complete you, and fulfil
From everlasting the eternal will.
We lay within the flood of crimson light
In my own balcony that August night,
And conjuring the aright and the averse
Created yet another universe.
We worked together; dance and rite and spell
Arousing heaven and constraining hell.
We lived together; every hour of rest
Was honied from your tiger-lily breast.
We --- oh what lingering doubt or fear betrayed
My life to fate! --- we parted. Was I afraid?
I was afraid, afraid to live my love,
Afraid you played the serpent, I the dove,
Afraid of what I know not. I am glad
Of all the shame and wretchedness I had,
Since those six weeks have taught me not to doubt you,
And also that I cannot live without you.
Then I came back to you; black treasons rear
Their heads, blind hates, deaf agonies of fear,
Cruelty, cowardice, falsehood, broken pledges,
The temple soiled with senseless sacrileges,
Sickness and poverty, a thousand evils,
Concerted malice of a million devils; ---
You never swerved; your high-pooped galleon
Went marvellously, majestically on
Full-sailed, while every other braver bark
Drove on the rocks, or foundered in the dark.
Then Easter, and the days of all delight!
God's sun lit noontide and his moon midnight,
While above all, true centre of our world,
True source of light, our great love passion-pearled
Gave all its life and splendour to the sea
Above whose tides stood our stability.
Then sudden and fierce, no monitory moan,
Smote the mad mischief of the great cyclone.
How far below us all its fury rolled!
How vainly sulphur tries to tarnish gold!
We lived together: all its malice meant
Nothing but freedom of a continent!
It was the forest and the river that knew
The fact that one and one do not make two.
We worked, we walked, we slept, we were at ease,
We cried, we quarrelled; all the rocks and trees
For twenty miles could tell how lovers played,
And we could count a kiss for every glade.
Worry, starvation, illness and distress?
Each moment was a mine of happiness.
Then we grew tired of being country mice,
Came up to Paris, lived our sacrifice
There, giving holy berries to the moon,
July's thanksgiving for the joys of June.
And you are gone away --- and how shall I
Make August sing the raptures of July?
And you are gone away --- what evil star
Makes you so competent and popular?
How have I raised this harpy-hag of Hell's
Malice --- that you are wanted somewhere else?
I wish you were like me a man forbid,
Banned, outcast, nice society well rid
Of the pair of us --- then who would interfere
With us? --- my darling, you would now be here!
But no! we must fight on, win through, succeed,
Earn the grudged praise that never comes to meed,
Lash dogs to kennel, trample snakes, put bit
In the mule-mouths that have such need of it,
Until the world there's so much to forgive in
Becomes a little possible to live in.
God alone knows if battle or surrender
Be the true courage; either has its splendour.
But since we chose the first, God aid the right,
And damn me if I fail you in the fight!
God join again the ways that lie apart,
And bless the love of loyal heart to heart!
God keep us every hour in every thought,
And bring the vessel of our love to port!
These are my birthday wishes. Dawn's at hand,
And you're an exile in a lonely land.
But what were magic if it could not give
My thought enough vitality to live?
Do not then dream this night has been a loss!
All night I have hung, a god, upon the cross;
All night I have offered incense at the shrine;
All night you have been unutterably mine,
Miner in the memory of the first wild hour
When my rough grasp tore the unwilling flower
From your closed garden, mine in every mood,
In every tense, in every attitude,
In every possibility, still mine
While the sun's pomp and pageant, sign to sign,
Stately proceeded, mine not only so
In the glamour of memory and austral glow
Of ardour, but by image of my brow
Stronger than sense, you are even here and now
Miner, utterly mine, my sister and my wife,
Mother of my children, mistress of my life!
O wild swan winging through the morning mist!
The thousand thousand kisses that we kissed,
The infinite device our love devised
If by some chance its truth might be surprised,
Are these all past? Are these to come? Believe me,
There is no parting; they can never leave me.
I have built you up into my heart and brain
So fast that we can never part again.
Why should I sing you these fantastic psalms
When all the time I have you in my arms?
Why? 'tis the murmur of our love that swells
Earth's dithyrambs and ocean's oracles.
But this is dawn; my soul shall make its nest
Where your sighs swing from rapture into rest
Love's thurible, your tiger-lily breast.
I praise Thee, God, whose rays upstart beneath the Bright
and Morning Star:
Nowit asali fardh salat assobhi allahu akbar.
I praise Thee, God, the fierce and swart; at noon Thou ridest
forth to war!
Nowit asali fardh salat assohri allahu akabr.
I praise Thee, God, whose arrows dart their royal radiance
o'er the scar:
Nowit asali fardh salat asasri allahu akabr.
I praise Thee, God, whose fires depart, who drivest down the
sky thy car:
Nowit asali fardh salat al maghrab allahu akabr.
I praise Thee, God, whose purple heart is hidden in the abyss
Nowit asali fardh salat al asha allahu akabr.
Forth flashed the serpent streak of steel,
Consummate crown of man's device;
Down crashed upon an immobile
And brainless barrier of ice.
The grey gods shoot a laughing lip: -
Let not faith founder with the ship!
We reel before the blows of fate;
Our stout souls stagger at the shock.
Oh! there is Something ultimate
Fixed faster than the living rock.
Catastrophe beyond belief
Harden our hearts to fear and grief!
The gods upon the Titans shower
Their high intolerable scorn;
But no god knoweth in what hour
A new Prometheus may be born.
Man to his doom goes driving down;
A crown of thorns is still a crown!
No power of nature shall withstand
At last the spirit of mankind:
It is not built upon the sand;
It is not wastrel to the wind.
Disaster and destruction tend
To taller triumph in the end.
How should I seek to make a song for thee
When all my music is to moan thy name?
That long sad monotone - the same - the same -
Matching the mute insatiable sea
That throbs with life's bewitching agony,
Too long to measure and too fierce to tame!
An hurtful joy, a fascinating shame
Is this great ache that grips the heart of me.
Even as a cancer, so this passion gnaws
Away my soul, and will not ease its jaws
Till I am dead. Then let me die! Who knows
But that this corpse committed to the earth
May be the occasion of some happier birth?
Spring's earliest snowdrop? Summer's latest rose?
Thou knowest what asp hath fixed its lethal tooth
In the white breast that trembled like a flower
At thy name whispered. thou hast marked how hour
By hour its poison hath dissolved my youth,
Half skilled to agonise, half skilled to soothe
This passion ineluctable, this power
Slave to its single end, to storm the tower
That holdeth thee, who art Authentic Truth.
O golden hawk! O lidless eye! Behold
How the grey creeps upon the shuddering gold!
Still I will strive! That thou mayst sweep
Swift on the dead from thine all-seeing steep -
And the unutterable word by spoken.
Nor thou, Habib, nor I are glad,
when rosy limbs and sweat entwine;
But rapture drowns the sense and self,
the wine the drawer of the wine,
And Him that planted first the grape-
o podex, in thy vault there dwells
A charm to make the member mad,
And shake the marrow of the spine.
O member, in thy stubborn strength
a power avails on podex-sense
To boil the blood in breast and brain;
shudder the nreves incarnadine!
From me thou drawest pearly drink -
and in its pourings both are drunk.
The Iman drives forth the drunken man
from out the marble prayer-shrine.
Blue Mushtari strove with red Mirrikh
which should be master of the night-
But where is Mushtari, where Mirrikh
when in the sky the sun doth shine?
Now El Qahar to Hazif gives
the worship unto poets due : -
But songs are nought and Music all;
what poet music may define?
Allah's the atheist! he owns
no Allah. Sneer, thou dullard churl!
The Sufi worships not, but drinks,
being himself the all-divine.
Come, my Habib, the roses blush,
the waters gleam, the bulbul sings -
To pierce thy podex El Quahar's
urgent and and imminent design!
So it is eighteen years,
Helena, since we met!
A season so endears,
Nor you nor I forget
The fresh young faces that once clove
In that most fiery dawn of love.
We wandered to and fro,
Who knew not how to woo,
Those eighteen years ago,
Sweetheart, when I and you
Exchanged high vows in heaven's sight
That scarce survived a summer's night.
What scourge smote from the stars
What madness from the moon?
That night we broke the bars
Was quintessential June,
When you and I beneath the trees
Bartered our bold virginities.
Eighteen -years, months, or hours?
Time is a tyrant's toy!
Eternal are the flowers!
We are but girl and boy
Yet -since love leapt as swift to-night
As it had never left the light!
For fiercer from the South
Still flames your cruel hair,
And Trojan Helen's mouth
Still not so ripe and rare
As Helena's -nor love nor youth
So leaps with lust or thrills with truth.
Helena, still we hold
Flesh firmer, still we mix
Black hair with hair as gold.
Life has but served to fix
Our hearts; love lingers on the tongue,
And who loves once is always young.
The stars are still the same;
The changeful moon endures;
Come without fear or shame,
And draw my mouth to yours!
Youth fails, however flesh be fain;
Manhood and womanhood attain.
Life is a string of pearls,
And you the first I strung.
You left -first flower of girls! -
Life lyric on my tongue,
An indefatigable dance,
An inexhaustible romance!
Blush of love's dawn, bright bud
That bloomed for my delight,
First blossom of my blood,
Burn in that blood to-night!
Helena, Helena, fiercely fresh,
Your flesh flies fervent to my flesh.
What sage can dare impugn
Our godhead swims, immune
From death and destiny.
Ignored the bubble in the flow
Of love eighteen short years ago!
Time -I embrace all time
As my arm rings your waist.
Space -you surpass, sublime,
As, taking me, we taste
Omnipotence, sense slaying sense,
Soul slaying soul, omniscience.
Of Bacchus and Mars
In the sounding rebounding
Abyss of the stars!
O virgin in armour,
Thine arrows unsling
In the brilliant resilient
First rays of the spring!
By the force of the fashion
Of love, when I broke
Through the shroud, through the cloud,
Through the storm, through the smoke,
To the mountain of passion
Volcanic that woke ---
By the rage of the mage
I invoke, I invoke!
By the midnight of madness: -
The lone-lying sea,
The swoon of the moon,
Your swoon into me,
The sentinel sadness
Of cliff-clinging pine,
That night of delight
You were mine, you were mine!
You were mine, O my saint,
My maiden, my mate,
By the might of the right
Of the night of our fate.
Though I fall, though I faint,
Though I char, though I choke,
By the hour of our power
I invoke, I invoke!
By the mystical union
Of fairy and faun,
Unspoken, unbroken -
The dust to the dawn! -
A secret communion
The listless, resistless,
Tumultuous tongue! -
O virgin in armour,
Thine arrows unsling,
In the brilliant resilient
First rays of the spring!
No Godhead could charm her,
But manhood awoke -
O fiery Valkyrie,
I invoke, I invoke!
Jupiter Mars P Moon
VENEZIA, "May" 19"th", 1910.
Jupiter's foursquare blaze of gold and blue
Rides on the moon, a lilac conch of pearl,
As if the dread god, charioted anew
Came conquering, his amazing disk awhirl
To war down all the stars. I see him through
The hair of this mine own Italian girl,
That bends her face on mine in the gondola!
There is scarce a breath of wind on the lagoon.
Life is absorbed in its beatitude,
A meditative mage beneath the moon
Ah! should we come, a delicate interlude,
To Campo Santo that, this night of June,
Heals for awhile the immitigable feud?
Your breath ruffles my soul in the gondola!
Through maze on maze of silent waterways,
Guarded by lightless sentinel palaces,
We glide; the soft plash of the oar, that sways
Our life, like love does, laps --- no softer seas
Swoon in the bosom of Pacific bays!
We are in tune with the infinite ecstasies,
Sway with me, sway with me in the gondola!
They hold us in, these tangled sepulchres
That guard such ghostly life. They tower above
Our passage like the cliffs of death. There stirs
No angel from the pinnacles thereof.
All broods, all breeds. But immanent as Hers
That reigns is this most silent crown of love
That broods on me, and is I, in the gondola.
They twist, they twine, these white and black canals,
Now stark with lamplight, now a reach of Styx.
Even as out love - raging wild animals
Suddenly hoisted on the crucifix
To radiate seraphic coronals,
Flowers, flowers - O let our light and darkness mix,
Goddess and beast with me in the gondola!
Come! though your hair be a cascade of fire,
Your lips twin snakes, your tongue the lightning flash,
Your teeth God's grip on life, your face His lyre,
Your eyes His stars - come, let our Venus lash
Our bodies with the whips of Her desire.
Your bed's the world, your body the world-ash,
Shall I give the word to the man of the gondola?
Your hair was full of roses in the dewfall as we danced,
The sorceress enchanting and the paladin entranced,
In the starlight as we wove us in a web of silk and steel
Immemorial as the marble in the halls of Boabdil,
In the pleasuance of the roses with the fountains and the yews
Where the snowy Sierra soothed us with the breezes and the dews!
In the starlight as we trembled from a laugh to a caress,
And the God came warm upon us in our pagan allegresse.
Was the Baile de la Bona too seductive? Did you feel
Through the silence and the softness all the tension of the steel?
For your hair was full of roses, and my flesh was full of thorns,
And the midnight came upon us worth a million crazy morns.
Ah! my Gipsy, my Gitana, my Saliya! were you fain
For the dance to turn to earnest? - O the sunny land of Spain!
My Gitana, my Saliya! more delicious than a dove!
With your hair aflame with roses and your lips alight with love!
Shall I see you, shall I kiss you once again? I wander far
From the sunny land of summer to the icy Polar Star.
I shall find you, I shall have you! I am coming back again
From the filth and fog to seek you in the sunny land of Spain.
I shall find you, my Gitana, my Saliya! as of old
With your hair aflame with roses and your body gay with gold.
I shall find you, I shall have you, in the summer and the south
With our passion in your body and our love upon your mouth -
With our wonder and our worship be the world aflame anew!
My Gitana, my Saliya! I am coming back to you!
I bring ye wine from above,
From the vats of the storied sun;
For every one of yer love,
And life for every one.
Ye shall dance on hill and level;
Ye shall sing in hollow and height
In the festal mystical revel,
The rapurous Bacchanal rite!
The rocks and trees are yours,
And the waters under the hill,
By the might of that which endures,
The holy heaven of will!
I kindle a flame like a torrent
To rush from star to star;
Your hair as a comet’s horrent,
Ye shall see things as they are!
I lift the mask of matter;
I open the heart of man;
For I am of force to shatter
The cast that hideth -Pan!
Your loves shall lap up slaughter,
And dabbled with roses of blood
Each desperate darling daughter
Shall swim in the fervid flood.
I bring ye laughter and tears,
The kisses that foam and bleed,
The joys of a million years,
The flowers that bear no seed.
My life is bitter and sterile,
Its flame is a wandering star.
Ye shall pass in pleasure and peril
Across the mystic bar
That is set for wrath and weeping
Against the children of earth;
But ye in singing and sleeping
Shall pass in measure and mirth!
I lift my wand and wave you
Through hill to hill of delight :
My rosy rivers lave you
In innermost lustral light..
I lead you, lord of the maze,
In the darkness free of the sun;
In spite of the spite that is day’s
We are wed, we are wild, we are one.
Gabriel whispered in mine ear
His archangelic poesie.
How can I write? I only hear
The sobbing murmur of the sea.
Raphael breathed and bade me pass
His rapt evangel to mankind;
I cannot even match, alas!
The ululation of the wind.
The gross grey gods like gargoyles spit
On every poet's
No mustard-seed of truth or wit
In those curst furrows, quick or dead!
A tithe of what I know would cleanse
The leprosy of earth; and I -
My limits are like other men's.
I must live dumb, and dumb must die!
When the chill of earth black-breasted is uplifted at the
Of the red sun million-crested, and the forest blossoms
With the light that stirs and lustres of the dawn, and with
Of the wind’s cheek as it clusters from the hidden valley’s
Then I walk in woodland spaces, musing on the solemn
Of the immemorial places shut behind the starry rays
Of the East and all its splendour, of the West and all its peace;
And the stubborn lights grow tender, and the hard sounds
hush and cease.
In the wheel of heaven revolving, mysteries of death and
In the wonb of time dissolving, shape anew a heaven and
Ever changing, ever growing, ever dwindling, ever dear,
Ever worth the passion glowing to distil a doubtful tear.
These are with me, these are of me, these approve me,
Choose me, move me, fear me, love me, master of the
night and day.
These are real, these illusion : I am of them, false or frail,
True or lasting, all is fusion in the spirit’s shadow-veil,
Till the knowledge -Lotus flowering hides the world
beneath its stem;
Neither I, nor nor God life-showering, find a counterpart in
As a spirit in a vision shows a countenance in fear,
Laughs the looker to derision, only comes to disappear,
Gods and mortals, mind and matter, in the glowing bud
Vein from vein they rend and shatter, and are nothingness
In the blessed, the enlightened, perfect eyes these visions
Pass and cease, poor shadows frightened,
leave no stain
upon the glass.
One last stroke, O heart- free master, one last certain
calm of will,
And the maker of Disaster shall be strcken and grow
Burn thou to the core of matter, to the spirit’s utmost
Consciousness and sense to shatter, ruin sight and form
Shatter, lake-reflected spectre; lake, rise up in mist to
Sun, dissolve in showers of nectar, and the Master’s
work is done.
Nectar perfume gently stealing, masterful and sweet and
Cleanse the world with light of healing in the ancient
House of Wrong !
Free a million mortals on the wheel of
Open wide the mystic portals, and be altogether lost!
"To Lionel Engers-Kennedy: to the memory of Hargrave Jennings: and
to A. C. W. G. and H. E. H."
Beneath the vine tree and the fig
Where mortal cares may not intrude,
On melon and on sucking pig
Although their brains are bright and big
Banquet the Great White Brotherhood.
Among the fountains and the trees
That fringed his garden's glowing border,
At sunset walked, and, in the breeze
With his disciples, took his ease
An Adept of the Holy Order.
"My children," Said the holy man,
"Once more I'm willing to unmask me.
This is my birthday; and my plan
Is to bestow on you (I can)
Whatever favour you may ask me."
Nor curiosity nor greed
Brought these disciples to disaster;
For, being very wise indeed,
The adolescents all agreed
To ask His Secret of the Master.
With the "aplomb" and "savoir faire"
Peculiar to Eastern races,
He took the secret then and there
(What, is not lawful to declare),
And thrust it rudely in their faces.
"A filthy insult!" screamed the first;
The second smiled, "Ingenious blind!"
The youngest neither blessed nor cursed,
Contented to believe the worst -
That He had spoken all his mind!
The second earned the name of prig,
The first the epithet of prude;
The third, as merry as a grig,
On melon and on sucking pig
Feasts with the Great White Brotherhood.
Thrill with lissome lust of the light,
O man ! My man !
Come careering out of the night
Of Pan ! Io Pan .
Io Pan ! Io Pan ! Come over the sea
From Sicily and from Arcady !
Roaming as Bacchus, with fauns and pards
And nymphs and styrs for thy guards,
On a milk-white ass, come over the sea
To me, to me,
Coem with Apollo in bridal dress
(Spheperdess and pythoness)
Come with Artemis, silken shod,
And wash thy white thigh, beautiful God,
In the moon, of the woods, on the marble mount,
The dimpled dawn of of the amber fount !
Dip the purple of passionate prayer
In the crimson shrine, the scarlet snare,
The soul that startles in eyes of blue
To watch thy wantoness weeping through
The tangled grove, the gnarled bole
Of the living tree that is spirit and soul
And body and brain -come over the sea,
(Io Pan ! Io Pan !)
Devil or god, to me, to me,
My man ! my man !
Come with trumpets sounding shrill
Over the hill !
Come with drums low muttering
From the spring !
Come with flute and come with pipe !
Am I not ripe ?
I, who wait and writhe and wrestle
With air that hath no boughs to nestle
My body, weary of empty clasp,
Strong as a lion, and sharp as an asp-
Come, O come !
I am numb
With the lonely lust of devildom.
Thrust the sword through the galling fetter,
All devourer, all begetter;
Give me the sign of the Open Eye
And the token erect of thorny thigh
And the word of madness and mystery,
O pan ! Io Pan !
Io Pan ! Io Pan ! Pan Pan ! Pan,
I am a man:
Do as thou wilt, as a great god can,
O Pan ! Io Pan !
Io pan ! Io Pan Pan ! Iam awake
In the grip of the snake.
The eagle slashes with beak and claw;
The gods withdraw:
The great beasts come, Io Pan ! I am borne
To death on the horn
Of the Unicorn.
I am Pan ! Io Pan ! Io Pan Pan ! Pan !
I am thy mate, I am thy man,
Goat of thy flock, I am gold , I am god,
Flesh to thy bone, flower to thy rod.
With hoofs of steel I race on the rocks
Through solstice stubborn to equinox.
And I rave; and I rape and I rip and I rend
Everlasting, world without end.
Mannikin, maiden, maenad, man,
In the might of Pan.
Io Pan ! Io Pan Pan ! Pan ! Io Pan !
Snow that fallest from heaven, bear me aloft on thy wings
To the domes of the star-girdled Seven, the abode of
Quintessence of joy and of strength, that, abolishing
future and past,
Mak'st the Present an infinite length, my soul all-One
with the Vast,
The Lone, the Unnameable God, that is ice of His
Without being or form or abode, without motion or
matter, the fold
Where the shepherded Universe sleeps, with nor sense
nor delusion nor dream,
No spirit that wantons or weeps, no thought in its silence
I sit, and am utterly still; in mine eyes is my fathomless
Ablaze to annihilate Will, to crumble my being to dust,
To calcine the dust to an ash, to burn up the ash to an air,
To abolish the air with a flash of the final, the fulminant
All this I have done, and dissolved the primordial germ
of my thought;
I have rolled myself up, and revolved the wheel of my
being to Naught.
Is there even the memory left? That I was, that I am?
It is lost.
As I utter the Word, I am cleft by the last swift spear of
Snow! I am nothing at last; I sit, and am utterly still;
They are perished, the phantoms, and past; they were
born of my weariness-will
When I craved, craved being and form, when the con-
sciousness-cloud was a mist
Precurser of stupor and storm, when I and my shadow
And brought into life all the shapes that confused the
clear space with their marks,
Vain spectres whose vapour escapes, a whirlwind of
No substance have any of these; I have dreamed them in
sickness of lust,
Delirium born of disease-ah, whence was the master,
Imposed on the All? is it true, then, that
something in me
Is subject to fate? Are there two, after all,
that can be?
I have brought all that is to an end; for myself am suffic-
ient and sole.
Do I trick myself now? Shall I rend once again this
I have stripped every garment from space; I have
strangled the secre of Time,
All being is fled from my face, with Motion's inhibited
Stiller and stiller I sit, till even Infinity fades;
'Tis an idol-'tis weakness of wit that breeds, in inanity,
Yet the fullness of Naught I become, the deepest and
Contains in its nature the sum of the functions of being
Still as I sit, and destroy all possible trace of the past,
All germ of the future, nor joy nor knowledge alive at the
It is vain, for the Silence is dowered with a nature, the
seed of a name:
Necessity, fearfully flowered with the blossom of possible
I am Necessity? Scry Necessity mother of Fate!
And Fate determines me "I"; and I have the Will to create.
Vast is the sphere, but it turns on itself like the pettiest
And I am the looby that learns that all things equally are.
Inscrutable Nothing, the Gods, the cosmos of Fire and
Suns,atoms, the clouds and the clouds ineluctably dare
I have made the Voyage of Thought, the Voyage of Vision,
To the heart of the Ocean of Naught from the source of
the Spring of I am:
I know myself wholly the brother alike of the All and the
I know that all things are each other, that their sum and
their substance is None;
But the knowledge itself can excel, its fulness hath broken
All's Truth, and all's falsehood as well, and-what of the
So, still though I sit, as for ever, I stab to the heart of my
I destroy the last seed of endeavour to seal up my soul
in the shrine
Of Silence, Eternity, Peace; I abandon the Here and the
I cease from the effort to cease; I absolve the dead I from
I am wholly content to be dust, whether that be a mote
or a star,
To live and to love and to lust, acknowledge what seem
for what are,
Not to care what I am, if I be, whence I came, whither go,
how I thrive,
If my spirit be bound or be free, save as Nature contrive.
What I am, that I am, 'tis enough. I am part of a glorious
Am I cast for madness or love? I am cast to esteem them
Am I only a dream in the sleep of some butterfly?
Phantom of fright
Conceived, who knows how, or how deep, in the measure-
less womb of the night?
I imagine impossible thought, metaphysical voids that
Ideas intagible wrought to things less conceivable yet.
It may be. Little I reck -but, assume the existence of
Am I born to be hanged by the neck, a curse from the
hour of my birth?
Am I born to abolish man's guilt? His horrible heritage,
Or a seed in his wantoness spilt by a jester? I care not
For I understand Do what thou wilt; and that is the whole
of the Law.
Only the stars endome the lonely camp,
Only the desert leagues encompass it;
Waterless wastes, a wilderness of wit,
Embattled Cold, Imagination's Cramp.
Now were the Desolation fain to stamp
The congealed Spirit of man into the pit,
Save that, unquenchable because unlit,
The Love of God burns steady, like a Lamp.
It burns ! beyond the sands, beyond the stars.
It burns ! beyond the bands, beyond the bars.
And so the Expanse of Mystery, veil by veil,
Burns inward, plume on plume still folding over
The dissolved heart of the amazéd lover-
The angel wings upon the Holy Grail!
[Dedicated to Austin Osman Spare]
Have pity ! show no pity !
Those eyes that send such shivers
Into my brain and spine : oh let them
Flame like the ancient city
Swallowed up by the sulphurous rivers
When men let angels fret them !
Yea ! let the south wind blow,
And the Turkish banner advance,
And the word go out : No quarter !
But I shall hod thee -so !
While the boys and maidens dance
About the shambles of slaughter !
I know thee who thou art,
The inmost fiend that curlest
Thy vampire tounge about
Earth's corybantic heart,
Hell's warrior that whirlest
The darts of horror and doubt !
Thou knowest me who I am
The inmost soul and saviour
Of man ; what hieroglyph
Of the dragon and the lamb
Shall thou and I engrave here
On Time's inscandescable cliff ?
Look ! in the plished granite,
Black as thy cartouche is with sins,
I read the searing sentence
That blasts the eyes that scan it :
"HOOR and SET be TWINS."
A fico for repentance !
Ay ! O Son of my mother
That snarled and clawed in her womb
As now we rave in our rapture,
I know thee, I love thee, brother !
Incestuous males that consumes
The light and the life that we capture.
Starve thou the soul of the world,
Brother, as I the body !
Shall we not glut our lust
On these wretches whom Fate hath hurled
To a hell of jesus and shoddy,
Dung and ethics and dust ?
Thou as I art Fate.
Coe then, conquer and kiss me !
Come ! what hinders? Believe me :
This is the thought we await.
The mark is fair ; can you miss me ?
See, how subtly I writhe !
Strange runes and unknown sigils
I trace in the trance that thrills us.
Death ! how lithe, how blithe
Are these male incestuous vigils !
Ah ! this is the spasm that kills us !
Wherefore I solemnly affirm
This twofold Oneness at the term.
Asar on Asi did beget
Horus twin brother unto Set.
Now Set and Horus kiss, to call
The Soul of the Unnatural
Forth from the dusk ; then nature slain
Lets the Beyond be born again.
This weird is of the tongue of Khem,
The Conjuration used of them.
Whoso shall speak it, let him die,
His bowels rotting inwardly,
Save he uncover and caress
The God that lighteth his liesse.
(An Oath wrtitten during the Dawn Meditation)
Aiwaz! Confirm my troth with thee ! my will inspire
With secret sperm of subtle, free, creating Fire!
Mould thou my very flesh as Thine, renew my birth
In childhood merry as divine, enchenated earth!
Dissolve my rapture in Thine own, a sacred slaugther
Whereby to capture and atone the soul of water!
Fill thou my mind with gleaming Thought intense and rare
To One refined, outflung to naught, the Word of Air!
Most, bridal bound, my quintessentil Form thus freeing
From self, be found one Selfhood blent in Spirit Being.