THE BLIND PROPHET
A BALLET
BY
ALEISTER CROWLEY






                              THE BLIND PROPHET

                                   A BALLET

"
"The scene is an ancient Egyptian temple, supported by two mighty pillars.  Two"
     "rows of marble seats form a semi-circle, cut by a gap covered by a veil"
     "in the East.  On the upper seats are the musicians, flutes and violins;"
     "on the lower are singers and dancers.  There are doors also at the North"
     "and South."

"       "The Prophet."  Lead me to the holy place!
             Trace the circle widdershins!
           Light the incense!  Set the pace
             To the flutes and violins!

"       "The Musicians."  Kill! kill!  Life is shrill!
           Still!  Still! word and will!
       Flame! flame! speak the name!
       Trill! trill!  Thrill! thrill!
       I acclaim the shame!
       I have heard the word!
       Fulfil the will!

"       "The Prophet."  Bid the virgins veil the bride!
             Lead her forth, a shower of spray, {17}
           A flower of foam upon the tide,
             A fleece of cloud upon the day!

           So my sightless eyes may see
             In the transcendental trance
           The virgin of eternity
             Lead the demi-gods to dance.

           Has the Tree of Life its root
             In the soul or in the skin?
           Is it God, or is it brute,
             That comes mystically in
           For the doves within the flute,
             The eagles on the violin?

           Ah!  The perfume's coiling tresses
             Curl like veils upon the limbs
           Of the dancer that caresses
             With her flying feet the hymns
           That flow and ripple in the air,
             Bathing all the doves of prayer!

"       "The Musicians."  Lingering, low, fingering slow,
           The tingling bows of the violins go.
           Trembling, twittering, dissembling,
           The lips of the flute-players wander
           Over the stops, fiercer and fonder
           Than scorpions that writhe and curl
           In the fiery breast of an Arab girl!
                      ["The dancers issue from beyond the veil."  {18}

"       "The Prophet."  Sway like the lilies, gentle girls!
             Like lilies glimmer!
           Furl yourselves as he lily furls
             Its radiance dimmer!
           Curl as the lily-petal curls,
             Subtler and slimmer!

           Unfold your ranks and waft yourselves apart,
           That I may guess what pearl is at the heart,
           What dew-drop glistens on the crown gold-wrought
           Within the chalice of your coiled cohort!

"       "The Musicians."  the flutes coo.
           It is the voice
           Of love in spring,
           At dawn, in dew;
           And piercing through
           Those low loves that rejoice,
           Wails in the violin that supreme string
           Of passion, that is more akin
           To death than love, that shrieking sin
           Whose teeth tear passion's tortured skin
           And drink love's blood, and rage within
           Black bowels of lust to win, to win
           Some crown of thorns incarnadine,
           Some cross whereof to fashion
           Some newer, truer passion
           Than even the agony of the violin!

"       "The Prophet."  Yes! like a careless breeze, the close caress
           Expands with a sob; the virgins wheel; there glows {19}
           In the midst a mystical rose!

                      ["The dancers unfold, and their Queen appears."

           O musical ministress
           Of the dancing violin!
           In an emerald spangled skin,
           Hooded with harvest hair
           Close-coiled, her serpent eyes
           Hold ineffable sorceries!
           Slender, and full, and straight is she
          As an almond tree
           Blest by an hermit!  Her serpent eyes
           Hold ineffable sorceries!
           Slow she sways; her white arms ripple
           From rosy finger to rosy nipple,
           Ripple and flow like the melody
           Of the flutes and the violins.
           And!  I see!  I see --- she smiles on me
           The heart of a million sins,
           Each keener than death!  Her serpent eyes
           Hold ineffable sorceries.

"       "The Musicians."  Hush!  Hush! the young feet flush,
           The marble's ablush.
           The music moves trilling,
           Like wolves at the killing,
           Moaning and shrilling,
           And clear as the throb in the throat of a thrush!
           Rustling they sway
           Like a forest of rush
           In the storm, and away!  {20}
           Away!  Blow the blossoms
           Of virgin bosoms
           On the sob of the wind
           Of the violins,
           That bind and unbind
           Their scarlet sins
           On the brows of the world.
           Hush! they are curled
           In the rapture of reaping
           The flowers that unfurled
           When the gardeners were sleeping
           In the breeze-swayed bowers
           Of the Lord of the flowers!
           Hush!  Hush! the young feet flush
           The marble!  The temple's ablaze and ablush.
           Hush!  Hush! softer crush
           The grape on the palate, the flower on the blossom,
           The dream on the sleeper, the bride on the bosom!

"       "The Prophet."  Will she not deign, being drawn
           Into the blush of dawn,
           To yield the promise, to unveil
           The Lady of bliss and bale?

           I am old and blind; my vision
           Hath the seer in derision.
           I would set my lips between
             Those rose-tipped moons, just there
           Where the deciduous green
             Leaves the pearly rapture bare, {21}
           With its blue veins like rivulets
           Jewelled with gentians and violets,
           Wandering through fields of corn,
           Under the first kiss of the morn
             In still and shimmering air!

"       "The Queen of the Dancers."  No!  No! the weird is woe.
           The law is this, most surely this!
           That who hath seen may never kiss.
           The soul is at war with the flesh and the mind.
           Life is dumb, and love is blind.

"       "The Prophet."  I am the Prophet of the Gods.
           I have put these eyes out to attain
           To the crown of the pallid periods
           That pulse in the Almighty brain!
           I have striven all my life for this;
           That I might see, and still might kiss!

"       "The Musicians."  Vain!  Vain!  Time is sane.
           Fain!  Fain!  Space is plain.
           Time passes once, and is not found.
           Space divides once, not heals the wound.
           Knell!  Knell! the shattered shell
           That could not break the word of Hell.
           Whirl!  Whirl! the wanton girl
           (Curve, and coil, and close, and curl!)
           Slips the grip as the swallow avoids
           The leaps of the dog; or the moon, that sails
           Abeam to God's invisible gales,
           The clumsy caress of the asteroids!
           Love her in memory, love her in dream,  {22}
           Love her in hope, or love her in faith;
           But all these loves are loves that seem;
           The worst is a ghoul, the best is a wraith;
           For to birth
           On the earth
           There is no power under, within, or above,
           That can give thee love in truth and love.

"       "The Prophet."  Yet will I strive!
             There is nothing but this
           While I am alive
             But the cancer's kiss.
           If I fail in that
             Let the temple be broken,
           The pillars fall flat,
             The word by unspoken,
           The lights be extinct,
             The music be dumb,
           The circle unlinked,
             The acolytes numb,
           The altar defiled,
             The sacrament trod
           Under foot by the wild
             Despisers of god!

"       "The Musicians."  No!  No!  Life is woe.
           Thou dost not know
           How ineffably great
           Is the weight of Fate.
           Uncreate!
           Ultimate!     {23}
           Born of Hate!
           Brother of Woe!
           Despair its mate!
           Thou dost not know
           How giant great
           Is the grasp of Fate.

"       "The Dancers,"  Vainly Pursuing
           Impossible things,
           The swamp-adder wooing
           The lark with her wings!

"       "The Queen of the Dancers."  See how I glide ---
           Canst thou not hold me?
           In thine arms, at thy side ---
           Why not enfold me?

           Wisdom, awaken!
           Never, oh never,
           By wile or endeavour
           Am I to be taken.

           Will a wish or a word
           Charm the hawk from the air?
           And am I a bird
           To be caught in a snare?

           Will a word or a wish
           Bring the trout from the brook?
           And am I a fish
           To snap at an hook?

"       "The Prophet."  Ye let me to the holy place.
           All ye have mocked me to my face. {24}
           Now ends the age of living breath;
           I am sworn henchman unto death.
           Lead me to the obelisks
           That support the holy Disks!
           I am here; my grasp is firm,
           We are come unto the term.
           Temple, dancers, girls, musicians,
           Augurs, acolytes, magicians ---
           Ruin, ruin whelm us all!
           Fall!
                       ["He pulls down the pillars; but the temple"
       "                    was not supported on them as in his"
       "                    blindness he supposed; and he is himself"
       "                    his only victim."

"       "The Dancers,"  Twine! twine! rose and vine.
           Whirl! whirl! boy and girl.
           Mine! mine! maid divine.
           Curl! curl! peach and pearl.
           Twist! twist! the towering trances
           Are not sun-kissed
           Like our delicate dances.
           Expanses
           Of fancies,
           The turn of the ankle! the wave of the wrist
           Enhances
           Romances!
           Twine! twine! tread me a measure!
           The dotard is dead that disturbed our pleasure
           With his doubt
           About  {25}
           Souls and skins,
           And the quickened shoots
           Of pain that he tore
           From the heart's core
           Of the dreadful flutes
           And the terrible violins.
           Joy! joy! girl and boy!
           He is dead! let us laugh! let us dance! let us love!
           Leave the corpse there as it lies! we shall measure
           A new true dance around and above,
           And taste of the treasure,
           The torrent of pleasure!
           Curl! curl! peach and pearl!
           Mine! mine! maid divine!
           Whirl! whirl! boy and girl!
           Twine! twine! rose and vine.

"       "The Musicians."  Hush! hush! the young feet flush,
           The marble's ablush,
           The music moves trilling ---
           Like wolves at the killing,
           Moaning and shrilling,
           And clear as the throb in the throat of a thrush!
           Rustling they sway
           Like a forest of rush
           In the storm, and away!
           Away! blow the blossoms
           Of virgin bosoms
           On the sob of the wind
           Of the violins {26}
           That bind and unbind
           Their scarlet sins
           On the brows of the world.
           Hush! they are curled
           In the rapture of reaping
           The flowers that unfurled
           When the gardeners were sleeping
           In the breeze-swayed bowers
           Of the Lord of the Flowers!
           Hush!  Hush! the young feet flush
           The marble.  The temple's ablaze and ablush.
           Hush! hush! softer crush
           The grape on the palate, the bloom on the blossom,
           The dream on the sleeper, the bride on the blosom!

           "The Queen of the Dancers, in her prime pose."
       "        (Spoken without inflection or emphasis.)"
           Now do you understand the tragedy of life?





{27}

 

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The Equinox, Vol I No v