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Best Famous Aleister Crowley Poems

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by Aleister Crowley | |

The Tent

 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! W'aint t' Aissha.


by Aleister Crowley | |

The Hermit

 NOW the quietude of earth
Nestles deep my heart within;
Friendships new and strange have birth
Since I left the city’s din.
Here the tempest stays its guile, Like a big kind brother plays, Romps and pauses here awhile From its immemorial ways.
Now the silver light of dawn, Slipping through the leaves that fleck My one window, hurries on, Throws its arms around my neck.
Darkness to my doorway hies, Lays her chin upon the roof, And her burning seraph eyes Now no longer keep aloof.
And the ancient mystery Holds its hands out day by day, Takes a chair and croons with me By my cabin built of clay.
When the dusky shadow flits, By the chimney nook I see Where the old enchanter sits, Smiles and waves and beckons me.


by Aleister Crowley | |

Hymn to Pan

 SING his praises that doth keep
 Our flocks from harm.
Pan, the father of our sheep; And arm in arm Tread we softly in a round, Whilst the hollow neighbouring ground Fills the music with her sound.
Pan, O great god Pan, to thee Thus do we sing! Thou who keep'st us chaste and free As the young spring: Ever be thy honour spoke From that place the morn is broke To that place day doth unyoke!


More great poems below...

by Aleister Crowley | |

The Quest

 High, hollowed in green
above the rocks of reason
lies the crater lake
whose ice the dreamer breaks
to find a summer season.
'He will plunge like a plummet down far into hungry tides' they cry, but as the sea climbs to a lunar magnet so the dreamer pursues the lake where love resides.


by Aleister Crowley | |

Thanatos Basileos

 The serpent dips his head beneath the sea
His mother, source of all his energy
Eternal, thence to draw the strength he needs
On earth to do indomitable dees
Once more; and they, who saw but understood
Naught of his nature of beatitude
Were awed: they murmured with abated breath;
Alas the Master; so he sinks in death.
But whoso knows the mystery of man Sees life and death as curves of one same plan.


by Aleister Crowley | |

Logos

 Out of the night forth flamed a star -mine own!
Now seventy light-years nearer as I urge
Constant my heart through the abyss unknown,
Its glory my sole guide while space surge
About me.
Seventy light-yaers! As I near That gate of light that men call death, its cold Pale gleam begins to pulse, a throbbing sphere, Systole and diastole of eager gold, New life immortal, wartmth of passion bleed Till night's black velvet burn to crimson.
Hark! It is thy voice, Thy word, the secret seed Of rapture that admonishes the dark.
Swift! By necessity most righteous drawn, Hermes, authentic augur of the dawn!


by Aleister Crowley | |

The Five Adorations

 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 afar: Nowit asali fardh salat al asha allahu akabr.
DOST ACHIHA KHAN.


by Aleister Crowley | |

Adela

 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, Adela 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? Adela! 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, Adela! 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 Adela 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, Adela, 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, Adela! Shall I give the word to the man of the gondola?


by Aleister Crowley | |

An Oath

 (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.


by Aleister Crowley | |

At Bordj-an-Nus

 El Arabi! El Arabi! Burn in thy brilliance, mine own!
O Beautiful! O Barbarous! Seductive as a serpent is
That poises head and hood, and makes his body tremble to the drone
Of tom-tom and of cymbal wooed by love's assassin sorceries!
El Arabi! El Arabi!
The moon is down; we are alone;
May not our mouths meet, madden, mix, melt in the starlight of a kiss?
El Arabi!

There by the palms, the desert's edge, I drew thee to my heart and held
Thy shy slim beauty for a splendid second; and fell moaning back,
Smitten by Love's forked flashing rod -as if the uprooted mandrake yelled!
As if I had seen God, and died! I thirst! I writhe upon the rack!
El Arabi! El Arabi!
It is not love! I am compelled
By some fierce fate, a vulture poised, heaven's single ominous speck of black.
El Arabi! There in the lonely bordj across the dreadful lines of sleeping men, Swart sons of the Sahara, thou didst writhe slim, sinuous and swift, Warning me with a viper's hiss -and was not death upon us then, No bastard of thy maiden kiss? God's grace, the all-surpassing gift! El Arabi! El Arabi! Yea, death is man's Elixir when Life's pale wine foams and splashes over his imagination's rim! El Arabi! El Arabi! El Arabi! witch-amber and obsidian Thine eyes are, to ensorcell me, and leonine thy male caress.
Will not God grant us Paradise to end the music Earth began? We play with loaded dice! He cannot choose but raise right hand to bless.
El Arabi! El Arabi! Great is the love of God and man While I am trembling in thine arms, wild wanderer of the wilderness! El Arabi!


by Aleister Crowley | |

At Sea

 As night hath stars, more rare than ships
In ocean, faint from pole to pole,
So all the wonder of her lips
Hints her innavigable soul.
Such lights she gives as guide my bark; But I am swallowed in the swell Of her heart's ocean, sagely dark, That holds my heaven and holds my hell.
In her I live, a mote minute Dancing a moment in the sun: In her I die, a sterile shoot Of nightshade in oblivion.
In her my elf dissolves, a grain Of salt cast careless in the sea; My passion purifies my pain To peace past personality.
Love of my life, God grant the years Confirm the chrism - rose to rood! Anointing loves, asperging tears In sanctifying solitude! Man is so infinitely small In all these stars, determinate.
Maker and moulder of them all, Man is so infinitely great!


by Aleister Crowley | |

Athor and Asar

 [Dedicated to Frank Harris, editor of Vanity Fair]

On the black night, beneath the winter moon,
I clothed me in the limbs of Codia,
Swooning my soul out into her red throat,
So that the glimmer of our skins, the tune
Og our ripe rythm, seemed the hideous play
Of death-worms crawling on a corpse,afloat
With life that takes its thirst
Only from things accurst.
Closer than Clodia's clasp, Death had me down To his black heart, and fed upon my breath, So that we seemed a stilness -whiter than The stars, more silent than the stars, a crown Of Stars ! For in the icy kiss of death I found that God that is denied to man So long as love and thought And life avail him aught.


by Aleister Crowley | |

Au Bal

 [Dedicated to Horace Sheridan-Bickers]

A vision of flushed faces, shining limbs,
The madness of the music that entrances
All life in its delirium of dances!
The white world glitters in the void, and swims
Through the infinite seas of transcendental trances.
Yea! all the hoarded seed of all my fancies Bursts in a shower of suns! The wine-cup brims And bubbles over; I drink deep hymns Of sorceries, of spells, of necromancies; And all my spirit shudders; dew bedims My sight -these girls and their alluring glances! Their eyes that burn like dawn's lascivious lances Walking all earth to love -to love! Life skims The cream of joy.
If God could see what man sees, (Intoxicating Nellies, Mauds and Nances!) I see Him leave the sapphrine expanses, The choir serene and the celestial air To swoon into their sacramental hair!


by Aleister Crowley | |

Ave Adonai

 [Dedicated to G.
M.
Marston] Pale as the night that pales In the dawn's pearl-pure pavillion, I wait for thee, with my dove's breast Shuddering, a god its bitter guest- Have I not gilded my nails And painted my lips with vermillion ? Am I not wholly stript Of the deeds and thoughts that obscure thee? I wait for thee, my soul distraught With aching for some nameless naught In its most arcane crypt- Am I not fit to endure thee? Girded about the paps With a golden girdle of glory, Dost thou wait me, thy slave who am, As a wolf lurks for a strayed white lamb? The chain of the stars snaps, And the deep of night is hoary! Thou whose mouth is a flame With its seven-edged sword proceeding, Come ! I am writhing with despair Like a snake taken in a snare, Moaning thy mystical name Till my tongue is torn and bleeding! Have I not gilded my nails And painted my lips with vermillion? Yea ! thou art I; the deed awakes, Thy lightening strikes; thy thunder breaks Wild as the bride that wails In the bridegroom's plumed pavillion!


by Aleister Crowley | |

Boo to Buddha

 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 Man's immortality? 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.


by Aleister Crowley | |

Colophon

 TO LAYLAH EIGHT-AND-TWENTY

Lamp of living loveliness,
Maid miraculously male,
Rapture of thine own excess
Blushing through the velvet veil
Where the olive cheeks aglow
Shadow-soften into snow,
Breasts like Bacchanals afloat
Under the proudly phallic throat!
Be thou to my pilgrimage
Light, and laughter sweet and sage,
Till the darkling day expire
Of my life in thy caress,
Thou my frenzy and my fire,
Lamp of living loveliness!

Thou the ruler of the rod
That beneath thy clasp extends
To the galaxies of God
From the gulph where ocean ends,
Cave of dragon, ruby rose,
Heart of hell, garden-close, 
Hyacinth petal sweet to smell,
Split-hoof of the glad gazelle,
Be thou mine as I am thine,
As the vine's ensigns entwine
At the sacring of the sun,
Thou the even and I the odd
Being and becoming one
On the abacus of God!

Thou the sacred snake that rears
Death, a jewelled crest across
The enchantment of the years,
All my love that is my loss.
Life and death, two and one, Hate and love, moon and sun, Light and darkness, never swerve From the norm, note the nerve, Name the name, exceed the excess Of thy lamp of loveliness, Living snake of lazy love, Ithyphallic that uprears Its Palladium above The enchantment of the years!


by Aleister Crowley | |

Dionysus

 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.


by Aleister Crowley | |

Dumb

 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 holy head; 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!


by Aleister Crowley | |

Hymn to Lucifer

 Ware, nor of good nor ill, what aim hath act?
Without its climax, death, what savour hath
Life? an impeccable machine, exact
He paces an inane and pointless path
To glut brute appetites, his sole content
How tedious were he fit to comprehend
Himself! More, this our noble element
Of fire in nature, love in spirit, unkenned
Life hath no spring, no axle, and no end.
His body a bloody-ruby radiant With noble passion, sun-souled Lucifer Swept through the dawn colossal, swift aslant On Eden's imbecile perimeter.
He blessed nonentity with every curse And spiced with sorrow the dull soul of sense, Breathed life into the sterile universe, With Love and Knowledge drove out innocence The Key of Joy is disobedience.


by Aleister Crowley | |

Long Odds

 How many million galaxies there are
Who knows? and each has countless stars in it,
And each rolls through eternities afar
Beneath the threshold of the Infinite.
How is it that will all that space to roam I should have found this mote that spins and leaps In what unutterable sunlight, foam Of what unfathomable starry deeps Who knows!? And how this thousand million souls And half a thousand million souls of earth That swarm, all bound for unimagined goals, All pioneers of death enrolled at birth, How were they swept away before my sight, That I might stand upon the single prick Of infinite space and time as infinite, Who knows? Yet here I stand, climacteric, Having found you.
Was it by fall of chance? Then what a stake against what odds I have won! Was it determined in God's ordinance? Then wondrous love and pity for His son! Or was it part of an eternal law? Then how ineffably beneficent! Each thought excites an ecstasy of awe, A rapture rending the mind's firmament.
Infinity -yet you and I have met.
Eternity -yet hand in hand we run.
All odds that I should lose you or forget, But, soul and spirit and body, we are one.
Is this the child of Chance, or Law, or Will? Is None or All or One to thank for this? It will not matter if thanksgiving fill The endless empyrean with a kiss.


by Aleister Crowley | |

Independence

 Come to my arms --- is it eve? is it morn? 
Is Apollo awake? Is Diana reborn? 
Are the streams in full song? Do the woods whisper hush 
Is it the nightingale? Is it the thrush? 
Is it the smile of the autumn, the blush 
Of the spring? Is the world full of peace or alarms? 
Come to my arms, Laylah, come to my arms! 

Come to my arms, though the hurricane blow.
Thunder and summer, or winter and snow, It is one to us, one, while our spirits are curled In the crimson caress: we are fond, we are furled Like lilies away from the war of the world.
Are there spells beyond ours? Are there alien charms? Come to my arms, Laylah, come to my arms! Come to my arms! is it life? is it death? Is not all immortality born of your breath? Are not heaven and hell but as handmaids of yours Who are all that enflames, who are all that allures, Who are all that destroys, who are all that endures? I am yours, do I care if it heals me or harms? Come to my arms, Laylah, come to my arms!


by Aleister Crowley | |

La Gitana

 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!


by Aleister Crowley | |

Linoz Isidoz

 Lo! I lament.
Fallen is the sixfold Star: Slain is Asar.
O twinned with me in the womb of Night! O son of my bowels to the Lord of Light! O man of mine that hast covered me From the shame of my virginity! Where art thou? Is it not Apep thy brother, The snake in my womb that am thy mother, That hath slain thee by violence girt with guile, And scattered thy limbs on the Nile? Lo! I lament.
I have forged a whirling Star: I seek Asar.
O Nepti, sister! Arise in the dusk From thy chamber of mystery and musk! Come with me, though weary the way, To bring back his life to the rended clay! See! are not these the hands that wove Delight, and these the arms that strove With me? And these the feet, the thighs That were lovely in mine eyes? Lo! IO lament.
I gather in my car Thine head, Asar.
And this -is this not the trunk he rended? But -oh! oh! oh! -the task transcended, Where is the holy idol that stood For the god of thy queen's beatitude? Here is the tent -but where is the pole? Here is the body -but where is the soul? Nepti, sister, the work is undone For lack of the needed One! Lo! I lament.
There is no god so far As mine Asar! There is no hope, none, in the corpse, in the tomb.
But these -what are these that war in my womb? There is vengeance and triumph at last of Maat In Ra-Hoor-Khut and in Hoor-pa-Kraat! Twins they shall rise; being twins they are one, The Lord of the Sword and the Son of the Sun! Silence, coeval colleague of the Voice, The plumes of Amoun -rejoice! Lo! I rejoice.
I heal the sanguine scar Of slain Asar.
I was the Past, Nature the Mother.
He was the Present, Man my brother.
Look to the Future, the Child -oh paean The Child that is crowned in the Lion-Aeon! The sea-dawns surge an billow and break Beneath the scourge of the Star and the Snake.
To my lord I have borne in my womb deep-vaulted This babe for ever exalted.


by Aleister Crowley | |

Lyric of Love to Leah

 Come, my darling, let us dance
To the moon that beckons us
To dissolve our love in trance
Heedless of the hideous
Heat & hate of Sirius-
Shun his baneful brilliance!

Let us dance beneath the palm
Moving in the moonlight, frond
Wooing frond above the calm
Of the ocean diamond
Sparkling to the sky beyond
The enchantment of our psalm.
Let us dance, my mirror of Perfect passion won to peace, Let us dance, my treasure trove, On the marble terraces Carven in pallid embroeideries For the vestal veil of Love.
Heaven awakes to encompass us, Hell awakes its jubilance In our hearts mysterious Marriage of the azure expanse, With the scarlet brilliance Of the Moon with Sirius.
Velvet swatches our lissome limbs Languid lapped by sky & sea Soul through sense & spirit swims Through the pregnant porphyry Dome of lapiz-lazuli:- Heart of silence, hush our hymns.
Come my darling; let us dance Through the golden galaxies Rythmic swell of circumstance Beaming passion’s argosies: Ecstacy entwined with ease, Terrene joy transcending trance! Thou my scarlet concubine Draining heart’s blood to the lees To empurple those divine Lips with living luxuries Life importunate to appease Drought insatiable of wine! Tunis in the tremendous trance Rests from day’s incestuous Traffic with the radiance Of her sire-& over us Gleams the intoxicating glance Of the Moon & Sirius.
Take the ardour of my impearled Essence that my shoulders seek To intensify the curled Candour of the eyes oblique, Eyes that see the seraphic sleek Lust bewitch the wanton world.
Come, my love, my dove, & pour From thy cup the serpent wine Brimmed & breathless -secret store Of my crimson concubine Surfeit spirit in the shrine- Devil -Godess -Virgin -Whore.
Afric sands ensorcel us, Afric seas & skies entrance Velvet, lewd & luminous Night surveys our soul askance! Come my love, & let us dance To the Moon and Sirius!


by Aleister Crowley | |

Optimist

 Kill off mankind,
And give the Earth a chance!
Nature might find
In her inheritance
The seedlings of a race
Less infinitely base.