Hermetic.com | Crowley | Equinox | Vol I No ii

THE LOST SHEPHERD


            SHE walks among the starry ways,\\
                A crimson full-blown rose;\\
            Her heart bears all the yesterdays\\
                That love from love-dawn knows;\\
                   Her sunny feet are shod in gold,\\
                   She swings a censer rare and old —\\
            Her heart the censer that she sways,\\
                Our Lady of the Snows.

 

            I passed the morning she was born\\
                Within the heart of day;\\
            A shepherd with a twisted horn\\
               I met upon the way.\\
                  The straying sheep that autumn-tide\\
                  Had wandered by the river-side;\\
            And so I spent that gladsome morn,\\
               And so I said my say.                    {131}

 

            She passes by, she passes still\\
               The secret ways of earth;\\
            She kissed Will Blake beneath the hill,\\
               Robbed Shelley's heart of mirth.\\
                  But I have stopped with love her lips,\\
                  And as into my arms she slips,\\
            I clip her close, and take my fill\\
               Of joy to make new birth.


 

            Oh, holloa! holloa! the hills among,\\
               And holloa! down the dale:\\
            I bear a golden lyre full-strung\\
               With heart-strings bright and pale.\\
                  I've lilies from the fountain-head,\\
                  And purple flags and roses red,\\
            And all the songs of Pan have flung\\
               Their fragrance in my tale.


            And but as yesterday it seems\\
               She tripped me as I ran,\\
            And scattering all my half-fledged dreams,\\
               Hailed me a foolish man.\\
                  Perchance my dreams shall wing their way\\
                  To some such other fool, perfay —\\
            God stop his mouth to still his screams,\\
               And help him if He can!                      {132}


            Under the willows the stream runs strong\\
               When the wind is shrill and high;\\
            I wandered on, and I wandered long,\\
               Under the fleecy sky.\\
                  A voice came out of a cloud to me,\\
                  Saying, “Hast thou brought thy heart with thee?”\\
            And much I marvelled, and won a song,\\
               And so the day passed by.


            I was a shepherd in other days,\\
               Ere ever the earth was old;\\
            I wandered far into the Northern ways\\
               To bring back my sheep to the fold.\\
                  Heyday! but the time was drear and long,\\
                  For I lost my pipe and my mountain-song,\\
            And all the others of my sweet lays\\
               Lost all their wonted gold.


            Greece and Rome and the Pagan lands\\
               I knew ere the Christ was born;\\
            I whistled songs between my hands,\\
               And blew through an old ram's horn.\\
                  I was wise indeed!  For I lost my way\\
                  Over the hills one summer's day,\\
            And near where Venus' stature stands\\
               I lingered all forlorn.                       {133}\\

 

            Laughing eyes and clear brown skin,\\
               And dark locks ripping wide,\\
            Where the sunbeams play and the eddies spin\\
               I saw my face in the tide.\\
                  But I knew the trick Narcissus had done,\\
                  So I shook back my hair to stare at the sun;\\
            My slim brown body I'd keep within\\
               The shade of the green hillside.


            I found the groves of Pan; I came\\
               At length to a daisied field,\\
            And the sun shone out with his yellow flame\\
               That makes the harvest yield.\\
                  Yellow and purple are corn and grape,\\
                  But scarlet the god when he takes his shape\\
            At the sound of the awful hidden name\\
               In earth's eclipse revealed.\\

 

            And as he clasped me, slim and slight,\\
               I roared with the pain he gave,\\
            And he cried, “I will hold thee here all night,\\
               My beautiful, dark-haired slave;\\
                  Kiss my lips and laugh in my eyes,\\
                  And I'll bring magic out of the skies,\\
            And thy flame shall yield to my eyes' fierce light\\
               Ere thine ashes are laid in the grave!”            {134}


            Then did I learn the lore of Earth,\\
               For mine was the light of Pan;\\
            The barren riddle unsolved by birth\\
               Was solved as the hot fire ran.\\
                  The god's tongue flashed, and he roared with glee\\
                  At each spasm he drew from the breast of me,\\
            And the mystery of Panic mirth\\
               Lay bare in the sight of a man.


            And many a love long since I've known,\\
               And many a city rare;\\
            I have sung and harped, I have fought and flown,\\
               I have wandered everywhere.\\
                  But the thought of that day by the water-side,\\
                  The god's hot breath and the hidden bride,\\
            Makes me more shy as I wander alone,\\
               Unknowing whither I fare.


            And in the morning Pan rose and fled,\\
               And left me alone to sleep;\\
            And long I lay in a slumber dead.\\
               Then on hands and knees did I creep\\
                  Back to the shade of the sheltering trees;\\
                  And I found my sheep on the shady leas;\\
            And my body was flushed, and my cheeks were red,\\
               And my eyes too bright to weep.                 {135}\\

 

            After long dreamless sleep I knew\\
               The tale that had fled my tongue,\\
            I found in far in the water blue,\\
               In the song by the skylark sung,\\
                  In the melody slow of the waving corn,\\
                  In the rushing of wind through the vines re-born,\\
            And wherever the water-lilies grew,\\
               And the green, green willows swung.\\

 

            And still the lady of my dream\\
               As a light before me goes;\\
            I see her in the sun's last gleam,\\
               In the moonlight on the snows.\\
                  Ah! chiefly then her song is sung,\\
                  When the moon o'er the dark green woods is hung;\\
            She is born at midnight on the stream,\\
               A starry, full-blown rose.

 

 

VICTOR B. NEUBURG.    

{136}

 

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The text of this Aleister Crowley material is made available here only for personal and non-commercial use. This material is provided here in a convenient searchable form as a study resource for those seekers looking for it in their research. For any commercial use, please contact Ordo Templi Orientis.