- O crystal heart! I the Serpent clasp Thee; I drive home mine head into the central core of Thee, O God my beloved.
- 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!
- There is a beauty unspeakable in this heart of corruption, where the flowers are aflame.
- Ah me! but the thirst of Thy joy parches up this throat, so that I cannot sing.
- 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.
- 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.
- As the bezoar-stone that is found in the belly of the cow, so is my lover among lovers.
- 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.
- 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.
- In my sleep I beheld the Universe like a clear crystal without one speck.
- There are purse-proud penniless ones that stand at the door of the tavern and prate of their feats of wine-bibbing.
- There are purse-proud penniless ones that stand at the door of the tavern and revile the guests.
- The guests dally upon couches of mother-of-pearl in the garden; the noise of the foolish men is hidden from them.
- Only the inn-keeper feareth lest the favour of the king be withdrawn from him.
- 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.
- But Adonai laughed, and played more languidly.
- 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.
- And the Magister entered into the play of the Magician. When the Magician laughed he laughed; all as a man should do.
- And Adonai said: Thou art enmeshed in the web of the Magician. This He said subtly, to try him.
- 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?
- And Adonai delighted in him exceedingly.
- Yea, O my master, thou art the beloved of the Beloved One; the Bennu Bird is set up in Philæ not in vain.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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?
- Weary, weary! saith the scribe, who shall lead me to the sight of the Rapture of my master?
- The body is weary and the soul is sore weary and sleep weighs down their eyelids; yet ever abides the sure consciousness of ecstacy, unknown, yet known in that its being is certain. O Lord, be my helper, and bring me to the bliss of the Beloved!
- I came to the house of the Beloved, and the wine was like fire that flieth with green wings through the world of waters.
- 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.
- They fled away at Thy coming; I was alone before Thee.
- I trembled at Thy coming, O my God, for Thy messenger was more terrible than the Death-star.
- 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.
- He enveloped me with his demon tentacles; yea, the eight fears took hold upon me.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Before I saw Thee Thou wast already with me; I was smitten through by Thy marvellous spear.
- I was stricken as a bird by the bolt of the thunderer; I was pierced as the thief by the Lord of the Garden.
- O my Lord, let us sail upon the sea of blood!
- There is a deep taint beneath the ineffable bliss; it is the taint of generation.
- Yea, though the flower wave bright in the sunshine, the root is deep in the darkness of earth.
- Praise to thee, O beautiful dark earth, thou art the mother of a million myriads of myriads of flowers.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- O day of Eternity, let Thy wave break in foamless glory of sapphire upon the laborious coral of our making!
- We have made us a ring of glistening white sand, strewn wisely in the midst of the Delightful Ocean.
- Let the palms of brilliance flower upon our island; we shall eat of their fruit, and be glad.
- But for me the lustral water, the great ablution, the dissolving of the soul in that resounding abyss.
- 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.
- That they may swim, O my beloved, swim far in the warm honey of Thy being, O blessed one, O boy of beatitude!
- This heart of mine is girt about with the serpent that devoureth his own coils.
- When shall there be an end, O my darling, O when shall the Universe and the Lord thereof be utterly swallowed up?
- Nay! who shall devour the Infinite? who shall undo the Wrong of the Beginning?
- Thou criest like a white cat upon the roof of the Universe; there is none to answer Thee.
- Thou art like a lonely pillar in the midst of the sea; there is none to behold Thee, O Thou who beholdest all!
- 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.
- It shall avail to make drunken the peoÿle 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.
- I too am the Soul of the desert; thou shalt seek me yet again in the wilderness of sand.
- 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.
- There will I make Mine habitation; as for bridal will I come bedecked and anointed; there shall the Consummation be accomplished.
- O my darling, I also wait for the brilliance of the hoineffable, 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.
- Then, O thou heart, will I the serpent eat thee wholly up; yea, I will eat thee wholly up.
Liber VII, Cap. 2 (attributed to Saturn):
- O my God! use Thou me again, alway. For ever! For ever!
- That which came fire from Thee cometh water from me; let therefore Thy Spirit lay hold on me, so that my right hand loose the lightning.
- Travelling through space, I saw the onrush of two galaxies, butting each other and goring like bulls upon earth. I was afraid.
- Thus they ceased fight, and turned upon me, and I was sorely crushed and torn.
- I had rather have been trampled by the World-Elephant.
- O my God! Thou art my little pet tortoise!
- Yet Thou sustainest the World-Elephant.
- I creep under Thy carapace, like a lover into the bed of his beautiful; I creep in, and sit in Thine heart, as cubby and cosy as may be.
- Thou shelterest me, that I hear not the trumpeting of that World-Elephant.
- Thou art not worth an obol in the agora; yet Thou art not to be bought at the ransom of the whole Universe.
- Thou art like a beautiful Nubian slave leaning her naked purple against the green pillars of marble that are above the bath.
- Wine jets from her black nipples.
- I drank wine awhile agone in the house of Pertinax. The cup-boy favoured me, and gave me of the right sweet Chian.
- There was a Doric boy, skilled in feats of strength, an athlete. The full moon fled away angrily down the wrack.
Ah! but we laughed.
- I was pernicious drunk, O my God! Yet Pertinax brought me to the bridal.
- I had a crown of thorns for all my dower.
- Thou art like a goat’s horn from Astor, O Thou God of mine, gnarl’d and crook’d and devilish strong.
- Colder than all the ice of all the glaciers of the Naked Mountain was the wine it poured for me.
- A wild country and a waning moon.
Clouds scudding over the sky.
A circuit of pines, and of tall yews beyond. Thou in the midst!
- O all ye toads and cats, rejoice! Ye slimy things, come hither!
- Dance, dance to the Lord our God!
- He is he! He is he! He is he!
- Why should I go on?
- Why? Why? comes the sudden cackle of a million imps of hell.
- And the laughter runs.
- But sickens not the Universe; but shakes not the stars.
- God! how I love Thee!
- I am walking in an asylum; all the men and women about me are insane.
- Oh madness! madness! madness! desirable art thou!
- But I love Thee, O God!
- These men and women rave and howl; they froth out folly.
- I begin to be afraid. I have no check; I am alone. Alone. Alone.
- Think, O God, how I am happy in Thy love.
- O marble Pan! O false leering face! I love Thy dark kisses, bloody and stinking! O marble Pan! Thy kisses are like sunlight on the blue Ægean; their blood is the blood of the sunset over Athens; their stink is like a garden of Roses of Macedonia.
- I dreamt of sunset and roses and vines; Thou wast there, O my God, Thou didst habit Thyself as an Athenian courtesan, and I loved Thee.
- Thou art no dream, O Thou too beautiful alike for sleep and waking!
- I disperse the insane folk of the earth; I walk alone with my little puppets in the garden.
- I am Gargantuan great; yon galaxy is but the smoke-ring of mine incense.
- Burn Thou strange herbs, O God!
- Brew me a magic liquor, boys, with your glances!
- The very soul is drunken.
- Thou art drunken, O my God, upon my kisses.
- The Universe reels; Thou hast looked upon it.
- Twice, and all is done.
- Come, O my God, and let us embrace!
- Lazily, hungrily, ardently, patiently; so will I work.
- There shall be an End.
- O God! O God!
- I am a fool to love Thee; Thou art cruel, Thou withholdest Thyself.
- Come to me now! I love Thee! I love Thee!
- O my darling, my darling — Kiss me! Kiss me! Ah! but again.
- Sleep, take me! Death, take me! This life is too full; it pains, it slays, it suffices.
- Let me go back into the world; yea, back into the world.
Liber LXV, Cap. 1 (attributed to Earth):
- I am the Heart; and the Snake is entwined
About the invisible core of the mind.
Rise, O my snake! It is now is the hour
Of the hooded and holy ineffable flower.
Rise, O my snake, into brilliance of bloom
On the corpse of Osiris afloat in the tomb!
O heart of my mother, my sister, mine own,
Thou art given to Nile, to the terror Typhon!
Ah me! but the glory of ravening storm
Enswathes thee and wraps thee in frenzy of form.
Be still, O my soul! that the spell may dissolve
As the wands are upraised, and the aeons revolve.
Behold! in my beauty how joyous Thou art,
O Snake that caresses the crown of mine heart!
Behold! we are one, and the tempest of years
Goes down to the dusk, and the Beetle appears.
O Beetle! the drone of Thy dolorous note
Be ever the trance of this tremulous throat!
I await the awaking! The summons on high
From the Lord Adonai, from the Lord Adonai!
- Adonai spake unto V.V.V.V.V., saying: There must ever be division in the word.
- For the colours are many, but the light is one.
- Therefore thou writest that which is of mother of emerald, and of lapis-lazuli, and of turquoise, and of alexandrite.
- Another writeth the words of toÿaz, and of deep amethyst, and of gray sapphire, and of deep sapphire with a tinge as of blood.
- Therefore do ye fret yourselves because of this.
- Be not contented with the image.
- I who am the Image of an Image say this.
- Debate not of the image, saying Beyond! Beyond!
One mounteth unto the Crown by the moon and by the Sun, and by the arrow, and by the Foundation, and by the dark home of the stars from the black earth.
- Not otherwise may ye reach unto the Smooth Point.
- Nor is it fitting for the cobbler to prate of the Royal matter. O cobbler! mend me this shoe, that I may walk. O king! if I be thy son, let us speak of the Embassy to the King thy Brother.
- Then was there silence. Speech had done with us awhile.
There is a light so strenuous that it is not perceived as light.
- Wolf’s bane is not so sharp as steel; yet it pierceth the body more subtly.
- Even as evil kisses corrupt the blood, so do my words devour the spirit of man.
- I breathe, and there is infinite dis-ease in the spirit.
- As an acid eats into steel, as a cancer that utterly corrupts the body; so am I unto the spirit of man.
- I shall not rest until I have dissolved it all.
- So also the light that is absorbed. One absorbs little and is called white and glistening; one absorbs all and is called black.
- Therefore, O my darling, art thou black.
- O my beautiful, I have likened thee to a jet Nubian slave, a boy of melancholy eyes.
- O the filthy one! the dog! they cry against thee.
Because thou art my beloved.
- Happy are they that praise thee; for they see thee with Mine eyes.
- Not aloud shall they praise thee; but in the night watch one shall steal close, and grip thee with the secret grip; another shall privily cast a crown of violets over thee; a third shall greatly dare, and press mad lips to thine.
- Yea! the night shall cover all, the night shall cover all.
- Thou wast long seeking Me; thou didst run forward so fast that I was unable to come up with thee.
O thou darling fool! what bitterness thou didst crown thy days withal.
- Now I am with thee; I will never leave thy being.
- For I am the soft sinuous one entwined about thee, heart of gold!
- My head is jewelled with twelve stars; My body is white as milk of the stars; it is bright with the blue of the abyss of stars invisible.
- I have found that which could not be found; I have found a vessel of quicksilver.
- Thou shalt instruct thy servant in his ways, thou shalt speak often with him.
- (The scribe looketh upwards and crieth) Amen! Thou hast spoken it, Lord God!
- Further Adonai spake unto V.V.V.V.V. and said:
- Let us take our delight in the multitude of men!
Let us shape unto ourselves a boat of mother-of-pearl from them, that we may ride upon the river of Amrit!
- Thou seest yon petal of amaranth, blown by the wind from the low sweet brows of Hathor?
- (The Magister saw it and rejoiced in the beauty of it.) Listen!
- (From a certain world came an infinite wail.)
That falling petal seemed to the little ones a wave to engulph their continent.
- So they will reproach thy servant, saying: Who hath set thee to save us?
- He will be sore distressed.
- All they understand not that thou and I are fashioning a boat of mother-of-pearl. We will sail down the river of Amrit even to the yew-groves of Yama, where we may rejoice exceedingly.
- The joy of men shall be our silver gleam, their woe our blue gleam — all in the mother-of-pearl.
- (The scribe was wroth thereat. He spake:
O Adonai and my master, I have borne the inkhorn and the pen without pay, in order that I might search this river of Amrit, and sail thereon as one of ye. This I demand for my fee, that I partake of the echo of your kisses.)
- (And immediately it was granted unto him.)
- (Nay; but not therewith was he content. By an infinite abasement unto shame did he strive. Then a voice:)
- Thou strivest ever; even in thy yielding thou strivest to yield — and lo! thou yieldest not.
- Go thou unto the outermost places and subdue all things.
- Subdue thy fear and thy disgust. Then — yield!
- There was a maiden that strayed among the corn, and sighed; then grew a new birth, a narcissus, and therein she forgot her sighing and her loneliness.
- Even instantly rode Hades heavily upon her, and ravished her away.
- (Then the scribe knew the narcissus in his heart; but because it came not to his lips, therefore was he shamed and spake no more.)
- Adonai spake yet again with V.V.V.V.V. and said:
The earth is ripe for vintage; let us eat of her grapes, and be drunken thereon.
- And V.V.V.V.V. answered and said: O my lord, my dove, my excellent one, how shall this word seem unto the children of men?
- And He answered him: Not as thou canst see.
It is certain that every letter of this cipher hath some value; but who shall determine the value? For it varieth ever, according to the subtlety of Him that made it.
- And He answered Him: Have I not the key thereof
? I am clothed with the body of flesh; I am one with the Eternal and Omnipotent God.
- Then said Adonai: Thou hast the Head of the Hawk, and thy Phallus is the Phallus of Asar. Thou knowest the white, and thou knowest the black, and thou knowest that these are one. But why seekest thou the knowledge of their equivalence?
- And he said: That my Work may be right.
- And Adonai said: The strong brown reaper swept his swathe and rejoiced. The wise man counted his muscles, and pondered, and understood not, and was sad.
Reap thou, and rejoice!
- Then was the Adept glad, and lifted his arm.
Lo! an earthquake, and plague, and terror on the earth!
A casting down of them that sate in high places; a famine upon the multitude!
- And the grape fell ripe and rich into his mouth.
- Stained is the purple of thy mouth, O brilliant one, with the white glory of the lips of Adonai.
- The foam of the grape is like the storm upon the sea; the ships tremble and shudder; the shipmaster is afraid.
- That is thy drunkenness, O holy one, and the winds whirl away the soul of the scribe into the happy haven.
- O Lord God! let the haven be cast down by the fury of the storm! Let the foam of the grape tincture my soul with Thy light!
- Bacchus grew old, and was Silenus; Pan was ever Pan for ever and ever more throughout the æons.
- Intoxicate the inmost, O my lover, not the outermost!
- So was it — ever the same! I have aimed at the peeled wand of my God, and I have hit; yea, I have hit.