2. Even as on the resounding wind-swept heights of Mitylene some god-like woman casts aside the lyre, and with her locks aflame as an aureole, plunges into the wet heart of the creation, so I, O Lord my God!
3. There is a beauty unspeakable in this heart of corruption, where the flowers are aflame.
4. Ah me! but the thirst of Thy joy parches up this throat, so that I cannot sing.
5. I will make me a little boat of my tongue, and explore the unknown rivers. It may be that the everlasting salt may turn to sweetness, and that my life may be no longer athirst.
6. O ye that drink of the brine of your desire, ye are nigh to madness! Your torture increaseth as ye drink, yet still ye drink. Come up through the creeks to the fresh water; I shall be waiting for you with my kisses.
7. As the bezoar-stone that is found in the belly of the cow, so is my lover among lovers.
8. O honey boy! Bring me Thy cool limbs hither! Let us sit awhile in the orchard, until the sun go down! Let us feast on the cool grass! Bring wine, ye slaves, that the cheeks of my boy may flush red.
9. In the garden of immortal kisses, O thou brilliant One, shine forth! Make Thy mouth an opium-poppy, that one kiss is the key to the infinite sleep and lucid, the sleep of Shi-loh-am.
10. In my sleep I beheld the Universe like a clear crystal without one speck.
11. There are purse-proud penniless ones that stand at the door of the tavern and prate of their feats of wine-bibbing.
12. There are purse-proud penniless ones that stand at the door of the tavern and revile the guests.
13. The guests dally upon couches of mother-of-pearl in the garden; the noise of the foolish men is hidden from them.
14. Only the inn-keeper feareth lest the favour of the king be withdrawn from him.
15. Thus spake the Magister V.V.V.V.V. unto Adonai his God, as they played together in the starlight over against the deep black pool that is in the Holy Place of the Holy House beneath the Altar of the Holiest One.
16. But Adonai laughed, and played more languidly.
17. Then the scribe took note, and was glad. But Adonai had no fear of the Magician and his play.
For it was Adonai who had taught all his tricks to the Magician.
18. And the Magister entered into the play of the Magician. When the Magician laughed he laughed; all as a man should do.
19. And Adonai said: Thou art enmeshed in the web of the Magician. This He said subtly, to try him.
20. But the Magister gave the sign of the Magistry, and laughed back on Him: O Lord, O beloved, did these fingers relax on Thy curls, or these eyes turn away from Thine eye?
21. And Adonai delighted in him exceedingly.
22. Yea, O my master, thou art the beloved of the Beloved One; the Bennu Bird is set up in Philæ not in vain.
23. I who was the priestess of Ahathoor rejoice in your love. Arise, O Nile-God, and devour the holy place of the Cow of Heaven! Let the milk of the stars be drunk up by Sebek the dweller of Nile!
24. Arise, O serpent Apep, Thou art Adonai the beloved one! Thou art my darling and my lord, and Thy poison is sweeter than the kisses of Isis the mother of the Gods!
25. For Thou art He! Yea, Thou shalt swallow up Asi and Asar, and the children of Ptah. Thou shalt pour forth a flood of poison to destroy the works of the Magician. Only the Destroyer shall devour Thee; Thou shalt blacken his throat, wherein his spirit abideth. Ah, serpent Apep, but I love Thee!
26. My God! Let Thy secret fang pierce to the marrow of the little secret bone that I have kept against the Day of Vengeance of Hoor-Ra. Let Kheph-Ra sound his sharded drone! let the jackals of Day and Night howl in the wilderness of Time! let the Towers of the Universe totter, and the guardians hasten away! For my Lord hath revealed Himself as a mighty serpent, and my heart is the blood of His body.
27. I am like a love-sick courtesan of Corinth. I have toyed with kings and captains, and made them my slaves. To-day I am the slave of the little asp of death; and who shall loosen our love?
28. Weary, weary! saith the scribe, who shall lead me to the sight of the Rapture of my master?
29. The body is weary and the soul is sore weary and sleep weighs down their eyelids; yet ever abides the sure consciousness of ecstasy, unknown, yet known in that its being is certain. O Lord, be my helper, and bring me to the bliss of the Beloved!
30. I came to the house of the Beloved, and the wine was like fire that flieth with green wings through the world of waters.
31. I felt the red lips of nature and the black lips of perfection. Like sisters they fondled me their little brother; they decked me out as a bride; they mounted me for Thy bridal chamber.
32. They fled away at Thy coming; I was alone before Thee.
33. I trembled at Thy coming, O my God, for Thy messenger was more terrible than the Death-star.
34. On the threshold stood the fulminant figure of Evil, the Horror of emptiness, with his ghastly eyes like poisonous wells. He stood, and the chamber was corrupt; the air stank. He was an old and gnarled fish more hideous than the shells of Abaddon.
35. He enveloped me with his demon tentacles; yea, the eight fears took hold upon me.
36. But I was anointed with the right sweet oil of the Magister; I slipped from the embrace as a stone from the sling of a boy of the woodlands.
37. I was smooth and hard as ivory; the horror gat no hold. Then at the noise of the wind of Thy coming he was dissolved away, and the abyss of the great void was unfolded before me.
38. Across the waveless sea of eternity Thou didst ride with Thy captains and Thy hosts; with Thy chariots and horsemen and spearmen didst Thou travel through the blue.
39. Before I saw Thee Thou wast already with me; I was smitten through by Thy marvellous spear.
40. I was stricken as a bird by the bolt of the thunderer; I was pierced as the thief by the Lord of the Garden.
41. O my Lord, let us sail upon the sea of blood!
42. There is a deep taint beneath the ineffable bliss; it is the taint of generation.
43. Yea, though the flower wave bright in the sunshine, the root is deep in the darkness of earth.
44. Praise to thee, O beautiful dark earth, thou art the mother of a million myriads of myriads of flowers.
45. Also I beheld my God, and the countenance of Him was a thousandfold brighter than the lightning. Yet in his heart I beheld the slow and dark One, the ancient one, the devourer of His children.
46. In the height and the abyss, O my beautiful, there is no thing, verily, there is no thing at all, that is not altogether and perfectly fashioned for Thy delight.
47. Light cleaveth unto Light, and filth to filth; with pride one contemneth another. But not Thou, who art all, and beyond it; who art absolved from the Division of the Shadows.
48. O day of Eternity, let Thy wave break in foamless glory of sapphire upon the laborious coral of our making!
49. We have made us a ring of glistening white sand, strewn wisely in the midst of the Delightful Ocean.
50. Let the palms of brilliance flower upon our island; we shall eat of their fruit, and be glad.
51. But for me the lustral water, the great ablution, the dissolving of the soul in that resounding abyss.
52. I have a little son like a wanton goat; my daughter is like an unfledged eaglet; they shall get them fins, that they may swim.
53. That they may swim, O my beloved, swim far in the warm honey of Thy being, O blessed one, O boy of beatitude!
54. This heart of mine is girt about with the serpent that devoureth his own coils.
55. When shall there be an end, O my darling, O when shall the Universe and the Lord thereof be utterly swallowed up?
56. Nay! who shall devour the Infinite? who shall undo the Wrong of the Beginning?
57. Thou criest like a white cat upon the roof of the Universe; there is none to answer Thee.
58. Thou art like a lonely pillar in the midst of the sea; there is none to behold Thee, O Thou who beholdest all!
59. Thou dost faint, thou dost fail, thou scribe; cried the desolate Voice; but I have filled thee with a wine whose savour thou knowest not.
60. It shall avail to make drunken the people of the old gray sphere that rolls in the infinite Far-off; they shall lap the wine as dogs that lap the blood of a beautiful courtesan pierced through by the Spear of a swift rider through the city.
61. I too am the Soul of the desert; thou shalt seek me yet again in the wilderness of sand.
62. At thy right hand a great lord and a comely; at thy left hand a woman clad in gossamer and gold and having the stars in her hair. Ye shall journey far into a land of pestilence and evil; ye shall encamp in the river of a foolish city forgotten; there shall ye meet with Me.
63. There will I make Mine habitation; as for bridal will I come bedecked and anointed; there shall the Consummation be accomplished.
64. O my darling, I also wait for the brilliance of the hour ineffable, when the universe shall be like a girdle for the midst of the ray of our love, extending beyond the permitted end of the endless One.
65. Then, O thou heart, will I the serpent eat thee wholly up; yea, I will eat thee wholly up.