“WHEN I think of the hundreds of women I have loved from time to time,
White throats and living bosoms where a kiss might creep or climb,
Smooth eyes and trembling fingers, faint lips or murderous hair,
All tunes of love’s own music, most various and rare;
When I look back on life, as a mariner on the deep
Sees, tranced, the white wake foaming, fancies the nereids weep;
As, on a mountain summit in the thunders and the snow,
I look to the shimmering valley and weep: I loved you so!” [via]
“The petty bubble of Love’s pipe is burst!
Yea! through the portals of the dusky dawn
I see the nameless Rose of Heaven unfold!
Yea! through rent passion and desire withdrawn
Burns in the East the far ephemeral gold.
O Wisdom! Mother of my sorrow! Rise!
And lift my love to thine immortal eyes!” [via]
“And the full moon shone,
A glory for God’s eyes to dwell upon,
A path of silver furrowed in the air,
A gateway where an angel might have gone.
And forward gleamed a narrow way of earth
Crusted with salt: I watch the fairy birth
Of countless flashes on the crystal flakes,
Forgetting it is only death that makes
Its home the centre of that starry girth.
Yet, what is life?” [via]
“Mine eyes had fixed them on the sphinx, the sky.
‘Is then this quest of immortality?’
And echo answered from some unseen caves:
Mortality! I shrink, and wonder why.
Strange I am nothing tainted with this fear
Now, that had touched me first. For I am here
Half-way I reckon to the field of salt,
The pillar, and the bones—it was a fault
I am cured of! praise to God!” [via]
“Then, my spirit knew her
For One beyond all song8–my poor heart turned:
Then, ’tis no wonder. And my passion burned
Mightier yet than ever. To renew her
Venom from those pure eyes? And yet I yearned.
Still, I stepped onward. Credit me so far!
The harlot had my soul: my will, the star!” [via]
Note by Aleister Crowley to this text: 8. The “Higher Self.”
“I lifted up my eyes. What soul stood there,
Fronting my path? Tall, stately, delicate,
A woman fairer than a pomegranate.
A silver spear her hands of lotus bear,
One shaft of moonlight quivering and straight.
She pointed to the East with flashing eyes:
‘Thou canst not see her—but my Queen shall rise.’
Bowed head and beating heart, with feet unsure
I passed her, trembling, for she was too pure.
I could have loved her. No: she was too wise.
Her presence was to gracious to endure.
‘She did not bid me go and chain me to her,’
I cried, comparing.” [via]
“Let the ripe kisses of your thirsty throats
And beating blossoms of your breath, and flowers
Of swart illimitable hair that floats
Vague and caressing, and the amorous powers
Of your unceasing hours,
The rich hot fragrance of your dewy skins,
The eyes that yearn, the breasts that bleed, the thighs
That cling and cluster to these infinite sins,
Forget the earthlier pleasures of the prize,
And raise diviner sighs;
Cling to the white and bloody feet that hang,
And drink the purple of a God’s pure side;
With your wild hair assuage His deadliest pang,
And on His broken bosom still abide
His virginal white bride.” [via]
“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, blood and body furious with breath
That pants through foaming kisses, let us stay
Gripped hard together to keep 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,
A well of wine and fire, each unto each,
Whose lips are fain convulsively to reach
A higher heaven, a deeper hell.” [via]
“Brighter than snow on glittering Alps, the soul
Of my lost love was, bluer than the haze
Of those same hills, more violent and deep
Her eyes’ clear gaze,
Dreaming of hidden wonders; and the goal
Of life grew luminous o’er Time’s empurpled steep.” [via]