Bagh I Muattar

Bagh I Muattar
The Scented Garden of Abdullah the Satirist of Shiraz
Aleister Crowley



Those Persons
Whose Unbending Uprightness,
Penetration, Retentiveness, Capacity
For Hard Work, Overflowing Ability,
And Inside Knowledge Have So Much Enlarged
The Fundamental Basis Of
My Philosophy
Dedicate This Book in Memory
Of the Many Happy Hours That We
Have Spent Together in The
Scented Garden
To The
Memory of My Colleague
ALAIN Lutiy True Friend
Published Scholar, Good Sportsman,
Gallant Soldier, and Civil Gallant,
I Who Have Done So Little to Complete
His Labours Dedicate My Share Therein
On This Occasion of Offering Their Results to the World

As everybody nowadays is perfectly aware, a knowledge of the Persian language is practically a necessity for all sojourners in Mohammedan India. In the North-West, even more than Urdu, it is the lingua franca of the upper classes: it is the tongue spoken in the courts of the Believing Princes: it is the dialect alike of love and of literature: and its possession is a very talisman from Kabul to Yarkand.

As a subaltern stationed at R…P…, though in a British Regiment, I found it my first duty to acquire a thorough grounding in the tongue of Hafiz, for these as well as professional reasons. Thus I made the acquaintance of Munshi Mahbub Tantra, a Kashmiri from Bandipur, but one familiar with the ways, as well as the speech, of the 'Arami from a residence of nearly 30 years in Shiraz and Bushir. My knowledge of the writings of Richard Burton came in very handy, as also the vague studies of Oriental Mysticism with which I had amused my leisure hours: so that a genuine friendship soon sprang up between pupil and teacher.

After some months, indeed – and this is how I find myself transformed into that glorious being, an Editor – the munshi, with the childlike frankness of the Kashmiri, blurted out: The Sahib is not like other sahibs; they begin by casting dirt at my people for their bad life, and end by spitting upon my beard, bidding me to procure for them a fat and fair boy: but the Asylum of the World, who lives like a great Prince and a fakir (meaning: “You have illimitable resources but are abstemious”) really understands the 'hikmat-i-Illahi' and will not jest if I myself bring to him the treasure of Iran.

What, I exclaimed, you mean to bring me a boy without asking? and dissolved in laughter.

He stammered, with the shamed smile of the Oriental, that he had a sacred and secret book treating of the 'hikmat' but that it was never shown to any but a Sufi of great and exceptional sanctity – such as “the Protector of the Poor, my father and mother, who glances at the earth in the hot season, and the fields are immediately tall and green”.


The MS., produced, bore on its front the legend Bagh-i-muattar, in all the glory of the finest Talik calligraphy. Why! I exclaimed, this is the Scented Garden! the famous Arab treatise of the Sheik al Nefzawi, which Burton rendered into English and his silly wife destroyed.1)

This is the Ars Amoris of the Bedawin! Mahbub, (who had never heard of all this) observed that Allah knew everything, and the Sahib *nearly* everything. The upshot of it all was that I started to read the work as part of my daily task. But it was not until a second perusal that I grasped what had happened. Some pedantic idiot had arranged the Ghazals in alphabetical order, according to the rhymes! A common practise in the diwan of the common poet! here a lamentable and fatal error. For there is a psychological order in the Odes: arrange them properly, and a complete story – nay! a complete system of philosophy issued therefrom, as the living water from a rock at the touch of Moses' wand. When, after long labour, I had made a provisional arrangement, and shewed my great discovery to Mahbub with open triumph, he calmly observed that oh yes! the Ruler of the World was wiser than Solomon, and the proper order could be checked by noticing that the first letter of the first Ode was Aleph, the second of the second Ba, the third of the third Jim. and so on! I take great credit to myself for the fact that with only six transpositions my provisional order became that of the poet.

Abdullah el Haji flourished in circa 1600 A.D., well after the classic era of Persian poetry. But his style is highly praised by competent judges, though the older school regret the way in which he has broken away from tradition in:

      a) the introduction of coarse expressions.

      b) the undue exercise of poetic license: such as

            1) his extension of the usual license re the Genitive kasra to all kasra sounds.

            2) his occasional breach of the rule which forbids two inert consonants to occur together, though a friendly commentator ingeniously asserts that he does this only to add to the grimness describing anger, punishment, terror, death, or some unpleasant idea:

            3) his treatment of the Tarijiband; and

            4) his trick of inventing words to carry out some extravagant metaphor or paranomasia:

      c) his novel symbolism, which they deplore as likely to confuse even the most pious:

      d) per contra, his novel symbolism as likely to be understood of even the least instructed; and

      e) his constant jibes at Sadi. (I must admit that I was quite unable to see the point of any single one of these, though Mahbub took a deal of pains to show me. They appear to depend on the subtle points of grammar and phraseology.)

It would be impertinent and useless for me to enumerate the various metres in which these Ghazals are written; but concerning the Ghazal itself, the remarks of Dr. Forbes (Persian Grammar, p. 144, par. 148.) are so luminous and concise that I cannot refrain from giving my readers the pleasure of their perusal.

“This kind of composition corresponds, upon the whole, with the Ode of the Greeks and Romans, or the Sonetta of the Italians. The most common subjects of which it treats are, the beauty of a mistress, and the sufferings of the despairing lover from her absence or indifference. Frequently it treats of other matters, such as the delights of the season of Spring, the beauties of the flowers of the garden, and the tuneful notes of the nightingales as they warble their melodies among the rose bushes; the joys resulting from wine and hilarity are most particularly noticed at the same time; the whole interspersed with an occasional pithy allusion to the brevity of human life, and the vanity of sublunary matters in general. The more orthodox among the Musulman are rather scandalised at the eulogies bestowed upon the “juice of the grape” by their best poets, such as Hafiz for example; and they endeavour to make out that the text is to be taken in a mystic or spiritual sense, such as we apply to the “song of Solomon”. It appears to me however, that Hafiz writes upon this favourite theme just as naturally, and with as much gusto, as either Anacreon or Horace, who in this respect may be safely acquitted of the sins of mysticism. The first couplet of the Ghazal is called the Matla' or “the place of rising” (of a heavenly body), which we may translate the “Opening”. It is a standard rule that both hemistichs of this couplet should have the same metre and rhyme. The remaining couplets must have the same metre, and the second hemistich of each (but not necessarily the first) must rhyme with the Matla'. The concluding couplet is called the Matka', or “place of cutting short” – which we may translate the “Close”; hence the phrase, Az Matla' ta makta', “from beginning to end”. In the Makta', or close, the poet manages to introduce his own name, or rather his assumed or poetic name, called the Takhallus, though few of the older poets paid strict attention to this rule previous to the time of Hakim Sanayi, between A.D. 1150 and 1180. Anwari occasionally introduces his own name in his Ghazals, but it is the exception and not the rule in his case. As a general law, the Ghazal must consist of at least five couplets, and not more than fifteen; but on this subject authors by no means agree, either with one another or with real facts. Hafiz, for example, has several Ghazals consisting of sixteen and even seventeen, couplets; and Hakim Sanayi has many that exceed the latter number”.

Being myself admitted formally (in the course of my first few readings) to the joyous company of the Sufis, (I cannot here discuss the curiously patriarchal systems of mystic fraternity in vogue among Muslim, if only because I am a Freemason) I was enabled to use several fine MSS. for the translation, a privelege of which I availed myself without scruple, as knowing I was well entitled to them; and without diffidence, because of the invariable courtesy which adepts in these mysteries exhibit to their fellow workers in the divine Arcanum.

I was also permitted to order a copy to be made, which the calligraphist has still in hand. It is the sort of order that acquits a man of the charge of doing nothing for posterity, for assuredly nobody who knows India will try to raise false hopes in me that I may live long enough to see it.

I would warn scholars that, unless they are in some way definitely mystics and truly acknowledged as such, they will do better to hunt for the lost books of Livy than for the Bagh-i-muattar. There is no copy in any public library here or in the East: not surprising, when one hears Platt in 1874 complain that of so famous a classic as the Gulistan there is no genuine Persian MS., but only the garbled Indian copies, in either the India Office Library or the British Museum.

If you question a Persian on the subject he will “begin to curse and to swear, saying: I know not the” book.

Of late I have amused myself by asking stray Persians “Have you ever heard of Abdullah el Haji?” and when they denied all knowledge of him, quoting:

“Forget an if thou wilt, the scribe!
The lovely script to heart be laid!”

The reason is of course that it is held exquisitely sacred; and seeing that the nature of the symbolism renders it open to the prurient jest or prudish reproach of the notoriously foul-minded Anglo-Saxon, the Persian, who is nothing if not dignified, is justly chary of casting his pearls before swine. Indeed, a certain scent seller with whom I once argued against all this secrecy replied by begging my permission to depart, “for a Jew had promised to spit on his beard before as sohri (noon prayer), and he feared to miss the appointment”.

But for all that, no well appointed private library but has one or more copies of the little masterpiece; no travelling merchant but carries at least some leaves of it under his dirty sheepskin. It is too sacred even to sell, whatever the extremity; the one copy – a mutilated and incorrect Indian – which by dint of infinite diplomacy I half cajoled, half forced from a drunken Afghan elephant-snarer in Ceylon, where I was shooting on leave, became the prey of the ants which help to make that devil-haunted Eden a House of Little Ease.

As, seriously, I expect to get my copy within twelve months or so (a brother officer, now at Q…, where they copyist lives, has promised me to stretch out – unofficially – the iron hand of the Sirkar on my behalf) I may say that I intend to issue the MS. in facsimile, as a pendant to the present volume.

For, when all is said and one, I do not believe in either the advisability or the efficacy of this secrecy business. The Apocalypse has been published for some years now, and I have yet to meet anyone who really knows how to extract the gold. Certainly no unworthy person. All arcana are indicible. A man whose formula is “n” may understand (n + 1), but not (n + 101). So that my Persian MS. is doubly safe from the profaning touch of the British Public. Even the Persians themselves hold that there are Guardians who know how to guard: without pandering to any such superstitious beliefs, I may say that as far as results go, I believe them to be right.

I should observe that the translation itself, as well as many of the notes, is due in the very greatest degree to the earnest help of my munshi, and of a certain dealer in furs, with whom I travelled through L…h, A…r, and G…t, as well as in the C…s country, during two successive summers.

Some two months after the completion of translation, I fell in with the gentleman whose name appears with mine on the title page. He represented to me that a large class of scholars might be reached by a considerable extension of the notes to cover ethnographical, critical, and other interesting points. We went to work accordingly during my last leave in England, and accomplished (I think) a good deal.

(Major Lutiy's death left this paragraph incomplete. I need only add that on his departure from the front he sent the MSS., with numerous further additions, to me. I have retained the paragraph to explain the occasional diversity of opinion in reading or interpretation, and the way in which 'I' and 'we' are alternatively used in the notes. Ed.)

The verse renderings are in every case later paraphrases from the original drafts, and the prose has been carefully revised at leisure.

I wished to put the whole into verse: but the 'prodigious difficulties of the monorhyme', as Burton only too inadequately says, beat me as often as not.

Had I been able to obtain the aid of a professional poet, I might have made a better job of it, for my experience is confined to vers de societe! But I have done my best.

No apology is needed, since the publication of Sir William Jones's able monograph, for the gross symbolism of such Oriental poems as those of Hafiz, the Song of Songs, the Ghazals of 'Ismat of Bokhara – not to mention the obscene Chinese Aphorisms of Kwaw.

Yet no doubt though Hafiz sings chiefly of wine, Solomon of woman, and 'Ismat of Harlotry, we sooner pardon these freedoms because we ourselves can understand though we can never approve of them: but they seem innocent indeed when we compare them with the nameless bestialities of Kwaw, or the frank paederasty of Abdullah.

But, apart from the fact that paederast : fornication: 'St. George'; 'matrimonial' in Persia and England respectively, we may at least suspend judgement while we consider this symbolism in detail with a view to discovering why (unless from caprice) el Haji chose this particular indulgence to mirror that supreme passion of the human heart, the craving for unity with the All-One.

“Make room for me” quoth the poet of Salaman and Absal, “on that divan which is only large enough for one!”

Now I shall wast my time if I prove that something in the nature of sexual intercourse is the most fitting image of that passion; for our Christian theologians, anxious to avoid the reproach of the scoffer who quotes such passages as “My beloved put in his hand by the hole, and my bowels were moved in me” (Cant. v. 4), have built a great rampart of argument to that effect.2) But Abdullah no doubt considered that the specific differences between man and woman vitiated the symbol, since man is formed in the image of God, and in Muslim theology is not supposed to have forfeited the same. It may here be remarked (as a bulwark to this contention) that el Haji is conspicuous – in fact, incurs reproach in consequence – for his innovations in the matter of scientific precision. Hafiz uses his symbols vaguely: the tresses of his mistress are no doubt the Glories of God, but they are also at times the rays of the sun, the verse of the Q'uran and so on; wherefore an uninstructed pupil, or an inquisitive Sahib, or an unauthorized Sufi, one of those who 'creep, and intrude, and climb into the fold', cannot, by possession of the elementary keys, unlock the Holy of Holies of the 'hikmat-i-Illahi'. It is as a violator of the Magian secrecy, even more than as a Christianizer, that Abdullah is blamed. Mildly blamed, for none would dare express downright disapproval of so exalted an adept; but it is no doubt for this reason that the Bagh-i-muattar is only allowed to circulate in private, even among Persians themselves; bestowed rather upon the already accomplished mystic than upon the mere inquirer into the 'hikmat', denied existence to the question of the infidel.

Perhaps owing to some curious trick of my brain, I found myself (one fine day) in the state which, as far as I can gather, Hindu writers call Samadhi. (Compare the experiences of Burton in the Bombay Presidency, as hinted by Lady Sisted in her admirable sketch of his life.)

Hindus claim that advanced Yogis can always recognize at sight those who have ever attained this condition, just as the Freemasonry of Paederasts makes the formality of introduction superfluous among free companions of the Craft.

I must say that I attribute nine tenths of Burtons's success with natives of Arabia, Africa, and Hindoostan to his mastery of their mystic systems, not only as a theoretician, valuable as that is, but as a craftsman. In my own case I am convinced that Mahbub would never have entrusted me with his precious MS. but for the fact that he recognized me as one of the 'illuminati'. Such a secret as that of Samadhi is absolutely safe, because the one who knows it cannot by any possibility divulge the same. It is real, not an artificial secret. One could expose Freemasonry – it has been done repeatedly by idiots who did not understand what it meant – by publishing the rituals and so on. But the secret remains and ever must remain the property of those worthy of it; nor does it necessarily follow that the highest mason living has a knowledge thereof. But the clothing of the secret, so to speak, can be studied; and for those whom the glorious garment may fit such study is truly illuminating.

This being understood, it may be granted without further discussion that the intelligent study of the Bagh-i-muattar will yield deeper knowledge – the husks for the scholar, the wheat for the elect – than any other known poem.

Now the revealing of one is the revealing of all: for from Fez to Nikko, there is one mysticism and not two. The fanatic followers of el Senussi can suck the pious honey from the obscene Aphorisms of Kwaw, and the twelve Buddhist sects of Japan would perfectly understand the inarticulate yells of the fire eaters of el Maghraby. Not that there is or has ever been a common religious tradition; but for the very much simpler reason that all the traditions are based on the same set of facts. Just as the festivals of Spring all the world round more or less suggest the story of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, simply because the actual phenomena which every man is bound to observe in Nature are essentially the same in every clime; so also is Mysticism One, because the physiological constitution of mankind is practically identical the wide world over.

We have then the right to buy our pigs in the cheapest market, and the Bagh-i-muattar will certainly give us more reward for our trouble than any other work, the only possible competitors being the Bhagavad-gita, Bhagavad Purana,3) and the Chinese Aphorisms of Kwaw. El Haji then earns our gratitude in that he has adopted the principle 'One mystic grace one symbol', and if we have but the wit to interpret this simple cypher, the whole secret of the East is open to our eyes. In the notes (which I have by no means stinted) I have indicated clearly to what each allusion refers; and it is within the capacity of any reader of ordinary intelligence to erect a complete system of philosophy, practical and transcendental, on those slender foundations. True, Abdullah approaches Calvin (too closely to please most students of Eastern religion) by his insistence of the doctrines of Sin and Grace, Freewill and Discipline; but on the other hand, neither St. Francis nor Buddhaghosha can parallel his Devotion and his Phenomenalism. No doubt at times one is puzzled for a while: one picks up a loose word here and there: one doubts: one guesses: one is illuminated in a moment.

One is rather reminded of the workings of a heliograph under unfavourable conditions. But (as with that instrument) by dint of repetition one gets the all-important message at last; and the situation is saved.

It is undoubtedly the importance he attaches to Sin, Repentance, Grace, as the means of raising the old to the new Adam that cost el Haji so much pains in persecution by the more orthodox Muslim; possibly the teachings of St. Paul had vaguely penetrated to the gulf with the merchants of Venice or Portugal, and their danger had been recognized by those who held to the simpler grandeur of Islam. But clearly the belief in Evil – perhaps even a modified Manichaeism;4) we must no forget that this heresy is a legacy from the Guebres with their Aormuzd and Ahriman – had impressed itself profoundly on the mind of the young Abdullah. Or he may have attached an exaggerated importance to that mystic phenomena which Bulwer Lytton calls the 'Dweller of the Threshold', that moment of intensest agony which separates Work from Reward and serves as a sure diagnostic5) to discriminate between the happy-go-lucky 'union with God' of the mere church goer – an emotional glow of pious exhilaration – and the splendid illuminating Union which constitutes Samadhi. Never forget that this great doctrine informs almost the whole of so called Christian literature; St. Paul's apostrophe (I Thess. iv. 16) if translated literally into Sanskrit word by word, reads like a mutilated but unmistakable passage from some lost Upanishad.

Such follies as Sri Parananda's lunatic commentaries on Mathew and John could never have been perpetrated but for the fact that his fundamental theory – that Christ was a Yogi – is correct.

And our hymn:

“Forever with the Lord!
Amen! so let it be!
Life from the dead is in that word:
Tis immortality”.

may be rendered by paraphrase:

For ever Timeless: an epithet only used of the Atman.
with the Lord sam Adhi.
Amen Aum.
Life from the dead an expression constantly and exclusively employed to denote the yogic attainment.
that word To Aum is attributed the great power of regeneration. It has the sense of the Greek Logos.
immortality a-mrita, the same idea glyphed as a dew: the Christian Graal, cup, blood, etc.

In short, every single word in the verse is literally and even in two cases etymologically identical with a technical mystic Sanskrit phrase. This is not a carefully chosen and exceptional case; on the contrary, I challenge any orthodox divine to produce any passage of scripture or any decent hymn which is free from identities of this kind.

To return to the question of phallicism, I will not be so frivolous as to quote 'New every morning is the love Our waking and uprising prove' as an example of obscene symbolism in the Christian Church; for there is no lack of serious identity. The cross itself is notoriously the lingam; the vesica piscis – Christ being ΙΧΘΥΣ, the fish – the yoni. Now the vesica piscis is the foundation of all Christian architecture; that is to say, the female member lying open, and awaiting impregnation by the male, is the glyph of the church, and the divine invocations upon its altar. Similarly the figure of the bride of Christ has only been spiritualized in very recent days. Whoso doubts it may consult Payne Knight's essays 'On the Worship of Priapus'. The lady was usually represented by the 'Early Christians' (our models in all things) as a naked female with a lascivious grin; offering with her hands, apparently to the first comer, a vulva which is of the shape and relative size of a horse collar! Any ordinary man who attempted to indulge her fancy would find himself in the position of Baker's blue jay. But with God all things are possible.

I am tempted to add that even plain paederasty, without any question of symbol at all, is perhaps not so incompatible with virtues, religious, social, moral and domestic, as my good compatriots make such a point of asserting with a fine show of disgust and indignation, thereby lending colour to the fixed idea which obtains on the Continent of Europe that all Englishmen are sodomites.

To my hand, as I write this, comes a strange essay περι τησ παιδεραστειασ written by a well known clergyman. He is adored by his wife and children; his church is full when his brethren in the district are in despair; his poor are better looked after than any for fifty miles around; and his choir is incomparably the best in the kingdom.6) To a sincere and even rapturous piety he joins a passionate love for the pleasures of the table and the bed; and the reader will I think grant him both acuteness of intellect and elegance of diction.

It is instructive: indeed, beyond all comparison better than the laborous and pedantic exposition I have conceived it my duty to attempt: it gives the inside view, and references to the scholars and paederasts who have previously enlarged on this fascinating topic: the style is impassioned and the matter impeccable.

I therefore turn my readers over to it without further parley, for I feel that they must be (by this time) thoroughly tired of the prosing of one who is after all not a writer, but a soldier. (In defence to the wishes of the widow of the gallant soldier who penned these lines and gave his life to his country in S. Africa, we do not carry out his intention of attaching his name to them (during her lifetime) and designate him only by his chosen nom de plume, Alain Lutiy. Ed.)

Megale Polis, Etis Kaleitai Pneumatikos
Sodoma Kai Aiguptos
Opou Kai O Kurios Emon


Rev. XI. 8.
Christo Sunestauromai Gal. II. 20

by the

Reverend P.D. Carey

It is sunset, and the rose rays fall aslant the woodland; they trace patterns of wondrous witchery on the velvet of the glade. A ruddy glow lightens the marble leer of the all-glorious one, the child of Arcady, the ineffable Pan – Pan! Pan! Io Pan! – before whom I lie prostrate with my robes careless and freeflung, so that the red warmth of Apollon burns on my live quivering flesh, as I lie and yearn in utter worship towards the all glorious one, not daring to raise my eyes to yonder rosy shaft of Parian stone. The love in my heart melts all the winter of my body, and the warm salt springs gush from my eyes upon the ground – surely the latter spring shall see green violets grow thereon!'

Then, in the hush of the sunset, come noiseless hoofs treading the enammelled turf; and ere I know it a fierce lithe hairy body had gripped mine, and the dread wand of magic shudders its live way into my being, so that the foundations of the soul are shaken. The heavy breath and the rank kisses of a faun are on my neck, and his teeth fasten in my flesh – a terrible heave flings our bodies into mid air with the athletic passion that unites us with the utmost God “hid i' th' middle o' matter” – and the life of my strange lover boils within my bowels – there is a ronronnement as of myriad nymphs and fauns, satyrs and dryads, – a stirring of the waters of life – we fall back in an ecstacy – somewhat like death – with the gasping murmur Pan! Pan! Io Pan! while the marmorean splendour before us turns with the last ray of sunlight his goodly smile upon still and stricken bodies – the heap of the slain of Priapus – perinde ac cadaver – ah! it is night, it is death.

Alas! it is not sunset; here is no glade, but a noisy London square; we cannot live, we must talk; we cannot love, we must dissect. We know that these people are not the gracious children of God, but the evil and laborious gnomes of hell; creatures whose lives are given to the senseless lust of gold, the infamous toil of coynte, counter and countinghouse. They understand us only enough to know that we are happy; therefore they hate us; therefore as they spat on Christ, forsaken of all but John, his sweet-voiced catamite, so does the cur today spit in the face of Oscar Wilde, as he goes from the judge to the prison. Ye were too childlike, too innocent, too hopeful of mankind, that ye did proclaim your pearly gospel to the swinish multitude!

The old law, silence is the master: therefore whoso looketh for my name, let him find it darkling in these lines of power!

R. is the Father, W. the Son,
And E. the Holy Spirit, three and one:
But if they esoterically are read,
My equal name shall glitter out instead.

Yes! we must not sing hymns to Pan to-day; we must pretend to be German professors, with a keen scientific interest in these very remarkable phenomena which look so much like madness, and which our own perfect sanity and the effulgence (possibly a shade alto) of our discreet and legal passion for our Limburger-tainted hausfrau hide from our fuller comprehension.

As is right, therefore:

In nomine v. Krafft-Ebing, v. Schrenk-Notzing,
et Havelock Ellis, Amen.

The Holy Trinity (invoked above) have brought within the knowledge of the English speaking races all those facts connected with 'sexual perversion' (in its infinite variety) which occur in the diseased.

The late Sir Richard Burton has informed us of all that need be known on the subject in the matter of its historical, geographical, and ethnographical distribution; and his Priapeia, and the verses of the Hermaphrodite of Panormita, form a valuable commentary on his remarks. Ulrichs and Symonds have treated the subject sympathetically (though rather timidly and as it were with the cold ardour of the special pleader) in its modern practical aspects; but with the exception of Verlaine in 'Hombres', Wilde in 'Teleny', the pseudonymous (as we suspect) author of 'White Stains', and the nameless Aristophanes who wrote the 'Nameless Novel', nobody in modern times has dared to voice openly the supreme sanity, the splendid athleticism, and the unutterable spirituality of the male rapture of the passion between man and man.

In treating of this matter I must first premise that by paederasty I mean actual sodomy as defined by British law7) immisio penis in corpus vivum.

“Arse makes life golden, want of it dull yellow;
The rest is only leather and prunella”.

At least the rest is but preliminaires. An acute observer of my acquaintance remarked to me recently that it was the actual mess caused by emission, and the necessity of cleaning up, that, by allowing time for passion to cool, prevented a great deal of copulation which would otherwise take place. There is a great gulf fixed between the 'short time' and the 'all night', and that great gulf is filled with Condy's Fluid! This applies equally to sodomy. If the semen is safely bestowed in mouth or anus of the beloved one, the temptation is to begin all over again; bar the trifle of fatigue, one is in the same position as at first; its loss between the legs or in the hand rouses a sentiment of disgust8) which is fatal to passion. Even the mouth, like the vagina, remains in a somewhat greasy condition after it has achieved the holy task, and we have no hesitation in plumping for the anus as the one vase into which the perfumed oil of manhood may be poured without exciting a reaction.9)

This point being established, let me further10)) make a distinction between the two great classes of sodomites.11) Ulrichs has pedantically christened them Urning and Uranodioning; for the former we have no colloquial name: the latter we term Bimetallist. Being himself an Urning, he has naturally failed to grasp the vast gap that divides the classes, which is that between an indulgence and a morbid craving; between the insane delusion that one is Jesus Christ or Julius Caesar and the sane and healthy resolve to emulate the exploits of these worthies in mysticism and war respectively. We pity the Urning, as we pity the consumptive or the drunkard; but we do not pity him in any special sense, any more than a connoisseur of fine wines pities the drunkard above all other pitiable folk. We do not acknowledge any nervous weakness as having a peculiar claim on us, just because it lies in the same plane12) as one of our hobbies.

Now this question of Bimettalism leads us to the subject of the reasons for our indulgence, since we are not (as some silly Germans would pretend) equally with the Urning the slaves of an uncontrollable paranoia, to use a somewhat discredited but useful term.

“Why, in short, (quoth Mr. Moses Monometallist) loving women as you do, sir, do you go to boys and men? Is it only for variety? If not, in what does the charm consist?”

I will enumerate the conditions, and that cheerfully, since it will incidentally enable me to justify that very remarkable phrase used above, the spirituality of Sodomy.

A woman can afford two pleasures to a man, which a boy cannot; namely:

(1) the pleasure of the cunnilinge.
(2) common copulation.

(both these either with or without 'Red and white roses' i.e., menses and leucorrhoea.)

Common to either sex (besides opifex and artifex) are obviously all forms of masturbation with the hand, mouth, breast, armpit, etc; active sodomy; most forms of sadism and masochism; nearly all forms of coprophilia; and so on. (These latter forms are so symbolic that sense of sex is a minor matter).

A man can afford to a man two pleasures which a woman cannot give him; namely:

(1) passive sodomy. (pleasure of the pathic)
(2) irrumation. (pleasure of the fellator)13)

The latter is a small matter, and we are justified in concluding that as far as gross gratifications go, the advantage, substantial though slight, rests with the woman. The supreme pleasures are common to both, except cunnilingism (especially during the monthly courses) on the one side, and passive sodomy on the other. Both are pleasures of a somewhat masochistic order, and if we had definitely to choose, it would be hard. Glory to the Creator whose bounty has not forced us to this alternative; aye! blessed for ever be His holy name, and thanksgiving in the highest for His loving kindness towards the Children of Men!

Why then do we so dearly cherish the passion of man and man, since of the myriad pleasures of love, two only are peculiar to it? Why, at the risk of liberty, do we pursue the shy kisses of silly English boys, often of the lower classes,14) when every type of woman (from the mustachioed and muscular belly dancer from Spain, with a constrictor cunni developed till the penis issues aching and bruised from her dangerous defile, to the soft and rosy maiden of our own dear land, with slender limbs and velvet flesh, whose pleasure is like a single slim petal of hyacinth) is at our disposal for sums ranging from half-a-crown to fifty guineas?

To ask the question is to acknowledge that one is still no better than the brutes; and to answer it is (consequently) to attempt to teach a dog dog-Latin!

O man! how can I hold talk with thee, who hast not lain upon a bed, expectant, fearful, of thou knowst not what; tremulous; stammering foolish words in pretence of conversation; thine eyes hard shut lest thou shouldst see thy lover move and perhaps (oh, worst of woes!), frighten him from thee; fearful, oh! infinitely fearful lest he should not love thee after all, fearful lest he should fear, lest he leave it for thee to say the soft words (oh! the burning cheeks, the bitten lips!) whose hidden fire shall kindle the great blaze? How talk with thee, whose quickened hearing has not known him creep ever closer, yet afraid to touch thee, has not heard the rushing of his heart, the shortening of his breath? How talk, if thou have not felt one trembling foot seek thine, one hand steal near thee and yet nearer? Till thou feel the tremor of his body; till his hot breath stir thine hair! Why, neither thou nor I can tell of that swift attack (is it a minute or an hour?) when without word spoken the bonds of conversation snap – hast thou seen a village, with its smug Swiss thieves, whelmed by the avalanche, the avalanche of elemental force, the avalanche of God? Nay, I remember nothing; I know I found myself naked in his naked arms, his giant member still throbbing and beating in my flooded bowels, and the world aswim before mine eyes.

I tell thee, man, that the first kiss of man to man is more than the most elaborately manipulated orgasm that the most accomplished and most passionate courtesan can devise.15) That is, it is not a physical, but a spiritual pleasure.

I tell thee, as I walk the sunsmitten streets of Mandalay, where lives a boy I love, that the very foundations of the soul tremble as mine eyes fall upon him.

I have never spoken to him; I doubt if I could command myself to speak to him. Have I faced death in a hundred forms, and never winced,16) to fear (at last) the frown of a Nubian slave? Strange, friend monometallist! But true!

With sodomy, too, no children come, to cloud one's love with cares material and profane. I love my own children deeply, intensely; but they are rivals to my wife. Nothing can intervene between my boy and me but the slow foot of change, for sodomites are mortal; but that immortal longing in them which is παιδεραστεια – . That twins them with the Lord of Resurrection; and even as I plunge my member into the sarcophagus, the flesh eater, the podex of my lover, and withdraw it, its strength renewed as the eagles, so do I know that when the Eater of all flesh devours me altogether, I shall arise in my strength, through the blessed resurrection of our Lord Jesus, the lover of John the beautiful, into a world where erectio penis shall be the rule and not the exception. Where, please God, we shall all be Sapphists and Sodomites, joined each to each in one incredible spinthria, with the extreme orgasm (which is the Holy Ghost) abiding upon us and within us for ever and ever.

Shall I find you there, my lost darling? As I pass from the swoon of death to feel the fresh wind of Heaven blowing on my cheek, shall I find you first to meet me in those Elysian glades?

“In what ethereal dances?
By what eternal streams?”

shall I find you, sweet acolyte of Salmacis or of Terpsichore, of Bacchus or Sabrina? Will it be you on yonder bank of yellow moss by the sunspangled rivulet that tumbles noisily from the throne of God? Will it be you with your fine hair like spider's webs in the sun changed to an aureole, and your seductive face still as ever the incarnation of one single never-ending scarlet kiss? Will yours be the long pale hands to mould my body to your liking; and yours be the faithful, the unfailing member that never said me nay?

Oh come to me there darling! Lean upon the golden rampart, and watch for me to come! Be first to meet me, sweetheart! forgive me for all the wrong I did you here. I will try and be a good wife to you, darling, if you will give me one more chance to hold your love.

I had heaven in your kisses, and I went to seek it in the cloister.17) I loved you always; it was but a boy's folly; forgive me! I may never cling to you on earth again: pray God that Heaven may be one long, long life of such bliss as we had of one another long ago by yon slow stream on whose banks I have wandered (many a time since) crying like a lost soul concerning you in the words of Milton lamenting his beauteous-buttocked Lycidas “Oh! who hath reft my dearest pledge?” Alas! neither fate nor God could I accuse: the dread hollow voice of my own stricken soul answered me: “Thine own folly, thou miserable of the fortunate of the sons of men!” Ah! but I beat my breast – in vain – in vain!

Ay! the joy we had of each other under those blue-grey hills! Do you remember the day of the storm, when we huddled under the rocks, and lit a fire of bracken and pine twigs? How you stripped me by force – for I was afraid, and jealous, and coquettish – and took your pleasure of me, thrice in the one delirious hour? By the memory of that cave, I conjure you, be first to meet me in the Elysian fields!

I must express regret for having intruded what may appear to be a personal matter into an essay on the German model, but the good Bimetallist will forgive me. He will know that the old poet was right who wrote:

            “The passion of man for a woman
            May serve a lad for a span.
      But utterly superhuman
            Is the passion of man for man.
      Let him but taste the wine!
            It grips him body and soul.
                        Once and for all,
                  Whatever befall,
            He is bound to the golden goal
      By the joy of his shuddering spine.”

He will know that in the rites of sodomy duly done, even more than in the rites of heterosexual passion, lies the great secret of the Universe, the Key of the Gardens of God…

But I must not proselytize; many are called, but few chosen; a sodomite is born, not made; you can't make a silk sodomite out of an English grocer's boy; one sodomite doesn't make a scandal; take care of the boys, and the girls will take care of themselves; strike while the tool is hot; don't bugger in haste, or withdraw at leisure; a turd in the hand is worth two in the bush; a prick in time saves nine; it's a wise Wilde that knows his own Q.; one good turn deserves another; frig wise and fuck foolish; there's better boys in the choir than ever came out of it – all of which goes to show that it took no genius to write 'John Ploughman'. Not that if Charles Spurgeon had been18) one of us, his style would have approximated to that of Walter Pater; a stylist is as direct a miracle of God as a sodomite. No! I must not proselytize! there are enough of us in the world; a select body of idealists, of men cleansed from gross passions, of poets and mystics linked in a perfect freemasonry of style and manner, of ships (as it were) who have dropped anchor in a safe harbour, of conquerors at ease in the towns they have captured, whose inhabitants are too crass and stupid even to know themselves slaves.

Yes, we are a goodly company, the blest; our lives are spent in sunny gardens and yours in subterranean sewers; we are so blissful that we rarely notice you; when we do, it is to say: God have mercy upon these blind miserable slaves, and bring them out into His light and joy and liberty!

Wherefor I pray Him (Oh thou all-loving, all-transcending God!) that should this essay fall (as seed by the wayside) into the hands of the young and beautiful, the unspotted from the world, that He will bless it to them, that they may dwell with us in the Heaven that is Here and Now, and (after) in the Palace which of His lovingkindness He hath prepared for us in that Garden of Gardens which is approached only through the narrow postern gate of Death.

The Material Basis of Spiritual Sensation19)



As I placed the rigid pen22) of my thought within the inkstand23) of my imagination, I tasted the bliss of Allah; and withdrawing, beheld night and the Void like an hollow vortical shell.24) But it was only Habib's podex;25) and EL QAHAR would rather possess Habib's podex than the universe.

The Spiritual Basis of Material Sensation

I plunged my stamen-shaped spud26)
Into a pool of crimson mud.

Yet stars27) I saw; and camel-jinn,28)
And moons29) upon the winds that scud.30)

The sun31) I saw; and night,32) borne up
Upon some dark eternal flood.

Ay! mine Habib! thy body's key
Is like a scarlet poppy bud.

Strike in my bell thy clapper; wake
The cosmic echo in my blood!

For El Qahar thy beauty broods,
Of thy perfection chews the cud.

The Innocence and Reputation of Man

White ships come over the sea from the Sultan of Ind;33) it is their mission to enquire about the reputation of thy podex, O Habib!

Caravans of camels, laden with presents, come from Damascus and Samarkand, Bukhara and Baghdad; for rich men and men of war,34) princes and amirs, wise men and even holly mullahs, having heard of the black-violet35) mole upon thy buttocks, cannot endure the sweet pain, and lay all their homage below those twin crescents, thy curving feet, like the tusks of a young elephant.

But no crone in Shiraz can seduce thee, O virtuous one! Thou openest, it is true, thy podex, which appears like the sun through a dissolving mist upon Friday,36)) but it is only to admit the dragon of El Qahar. Then there is an eclipse37) of all things: Allah is the uniter.38)

The Pleasure God hath in Man


Habib I sing, whose heart enslaving kun40)
Is like a rose on Ruknabad41) in June.

Like to the soft throat of a nightingale
It throbs and glows – O life-dissolving swoon!

But once my spear hath threaded the dijirid,42))
It clutches as the dragon grips the moon.

Till all is dark but the Unlighted Light,43)
And all is still but the Unexampled Tune.44)

So, when thou smilest on him, dearest lad,
Is El Qahar wiser than Aflatun.

External Religion betrayeth man to Fate

Wine is red, and so are thy lips; what wonder then if El Qahar is doubly intoxicated? Thy mouth brims over with laughter at the antics of thy lover, so that in thy mirth thy podex also brims over.45) Then the guests cry shame; and fall down with laughing, until the feast is disordered and becomes a debauch, so that the decorous are embarrassed. So drunk am I, however, that I shamelessly demand thy love before them all. Then the officers rush in and lead us before the Qazi.46)

But while I am punished, thou, the author of my offence, art bidden to sup. Go not, O sweet Habib! that ass-calibred Jew47) is as unsuited to thy tender podex as the elephant to the nightingale. By Allah, I say go not! 'twere shame, when thou returnest, that thou shouldst seem to thine El Qahar like Hatim Tai's48) tunic to that Allah-forgotten hunchback49) Ali Bukhti.50)

The Impotence of Thought to Perceive Reality

Thy podex like a rose, within
Thy buttocks, sprays of jessamine,

Buds to my kisses; then the wine
Sets this old head of mine aspin,

So that I push thee to thy knees –
A worship, darling, not a sin.

Deep as I plunge, I do not break
Within the velvet of thy skin.

Do what I will, thy self is hid
From me by envy of the Jinn

So, when I think, I cannot pierce
The truth of things; I cannot win

Unto the real; life's wheel is kept
From turning by its axle-pin.51)

But swing thine hips and smile upon
The hideous world's malicious grin!

Then when we end, the task is light:
Bid El Qahar once more begin!52)

The Unity of God

I was excessively drunk yesterday in the house of Husein;53) thou didst appear to me (for there is no might nor any potency save in the Almighty!)54) as having two podices like suns on the horizon in a duststorm; and four buttocks, shaking in a confused manner.

Therefore did I take council with Husein-i-Abdul55) as to what it were fitting to do; and he bade me look upon my member; whether it were one or two. Now then my eyes gave the lie to my hand; but rushing upon thee like a bull, I did penetrate to the core of thy being; and great joy overcoming me I fell down, assured that there was but one.

Thus it is with the unbeliever56) and his three gods; but whoso knoweth Allah knoweth Him to be one.

For all that, Habib, it is a great pity that thou art not double as to thy podex; I could more easily understand and excuse thy filthy dealings with the one-eyed Nubian yesterday. Of a surety thou stinkest yet of his sweat; go wash thyself before thou comest wooing to El Qahar.

Nay, darling, come now, and as thou art; I love thee, wert thou the bedfellow of every hog in Iran.

The Infidelity and Ingratitude of Man

Art thou one or many,57) Habib? Surely thou hast need to be a thousand, since thou hast taken to prostituting thyself to Hindus and Afghans, Nubian slaves and immodest boys from Bushir.58)

When they saw thee of old, with thy tunic hanging upon thy jutting buttocks, like the flowing draperies of the Caliph's tent, men said of thee: “The complexions of the women are well shaded from the sun”. Now it is thin and transparent, that tunic of thine, and people are saying: “Please Allah it may not rain, else will the horses catch cold and die!”59)

Every gossip comes to me and prates of thy misdemeanours; my beard waves with anger like an old goat's. Come to me, and I will beat thee soundly; and if thou offendest again, I will carry thee before this ass-calibred Qazi – Allah on him! – I know well what punishment he will give thee – love; but ever after thou shalt have no need to be a thousand, but accomodate thirty lovers at one time within thy podex.

So saith El Qahar, but I am not so sure that if thou comest to him with thine impudence and prettiness, he will not forgive thee. Allah is the Forgiver.60)

The Results of Sin


Thy breast smells of all the jasmine in Iran, Habib, just as thy podex has the essence of all its roses. But it is too much like the bosom of a woman. Though thy buttocks are like nargis, they are no longer firm.

This is because thou lingerest in bawdy talk in taverns, drinking forbidden liquors; because thou dalliest all day with that camel backed monocular from Nubia.

He serveth thee without remission from the Wolf's Tail62) to the Evening Star, O thou eaten with beastliness! and for this thou forgettest the manly games of youth. When I first had thee, thou wast like a young deer, bounding over the grassy plains; now thou waddlest like a gravid she-ass. Puffy are thy cheeks and bloated, just as if the moon were turned by a sorcerer into a putrid cheese.63)

Fie! thou art surely bewitched by this ugly fellow, with his lips like rotten bananas.64) Because he has a member like an ass, why shouldst thou be in conduct like a mule? I shall anoint myself with camel's dung, and drink many decoctions of chob-chini,65) since nothing appeases thee but male vigour.

Alas! thou carest no more for riding, but only for tippling; Firdausi66) pleases thee not, nor the Ghazals of thine El Qahar.67) Thou art but an hog wallowing in Nubian mire; thou art fat; thou stinkest; thy voice is getting like a jackal's while thy podex is no more elastic than a ten year old wineskin; in three years thou wilt be as foul as thy Nubian.

Come into my garden, boy! with true love and pure, with open air and swift riding thou mayest regain thy beauty. Then wilt thou be grateful to El Qahar, and faithful, if thou canst be faithful. The camel that hath learnt to bite furiously68) – only Allah and the muzzle69) avail.

The Reproaches of God

I have kissed the Black Stone of the Ka'abah,70) O Habib! but a thousand times the black mole upon thy buttocks. I have seen a thousand men kiss the black stone of the Ka'abah; but I hear that the pilgrims to thy house are even more numerous than the Hujjaj.71)

Omar72) was an ass; but he is buried – Allah curse him! – at El Medinah; only those with members like an ass find any permanent resting place in the mosque.

His73) member is firmer than a rock, sayest thou? But I will bottle and drown him.74)

It is disgraceful, Habib, that thou lettest that lousy little tailor into thy secret beauties; but I suppose thou needest his needle and thread to repair the rents made by thy boasted Qazi.

Often have I sung thy podex as the sun, and of a surety he shineth upon all.

Thy gait is the gait of a gravid sow; thou admittest every hog in Iran to thy sty; beware, sayeth El Qahar, lest thou bring forth a litter of pigs!75)


Of what have I sung, Habib? Of thy love. Of what do I sing now? Of thy faithfulness.

Thy presence or absence makes no difference, therefore, to me. In the same way, whether Allah be or be not is little odds so long as His devotees enjoy the mystic rapture.77)

Yet as the podex of Aziz is inferior to thy podex,78) both because it has two fistulae, and because it lacks thy heat, dryness and tightness, so also is the God of the Christian inferior to Allah, both because he has two cogods, and because he hath neither the power, the wisdom, nor the compassion of Him who is alone without equal, son, or companion.79)

Whether He exist or no, whether He love him or no, El Qahar will love Him and sing His praises.80)

In my garden are seven kinds of apples;81) and there are seven kinds of louse82) on the once velvet buttocks of my Habib.

The smooth whiteness is now become a red roughness; he is spotted like a leper.

He is no more fit for the desire of a clean man; even his seducers, the black-skinned swine! having found a boy with tulip cheeks and coralline; and a bosom of jessamine; and eyebrows like Karenian83) bows for beauty of line; and breath like wine; and buttocks fair and firm and fine; and a podex like a ruby mine; have cast him off.84) Until Shahrava85) return he will no more pass current. Let him buy a dildo, for his cry for members is ceaseless as the jackal's!

Nay! But come to me, Habib! I will cherish thee as my life; I will take thee in my garden and love thee ever as of old. El Qahar will make new songs for thee, till thy fame standeth for ever among men, as the sun standeth in the sky, not to be denied.86) So sayeth El Qahar.

Thou hast come back to me Habib! but in sooth thou art a sorry sight! Fifteen87) years since thy birth in Iran; yet thy flesh hangs on thee like his old clothes on Abdullah88) the blind beggar. Seven days did the barber and the druggist toil upon thee; but thy foulness clings like musk.

Also I have been put to great charges for thee, having shut thee up to purge and salivate.89) But oh! how that drooppeth that was straighter than a young palm! Furthermore thou poutest, bemoaning thy Nubian that I have not his vigour. Thou whose podex has become like the twat of one sixty years an whore!90)

Therefore, I will put thee in my harem for the filthy slut thou art; the eunuchs shall beat thee soundly before the women; and this night I will go in to Laila,91) whom most thou hatest of all my concubines.

While thou was away, I wooed thee with soft words and lamentations; now I have my will of thee, I will treat thee with great severity.

So also doth Allah entreat kindly the wicked; and upon the just raineth the plagues. For thy desertion, Habib, and this thy ingratitude doth El Qahar give praise to the beloved One.

O Habib, I have compared thy figure to the cypress, and to a thousand other beautifully shapen things. Also I have said that thine eyes were like the sun for splendour; and like the gazelle's eyes for depth and softness; many other things very well composed have I sung concerning thee.92) I have even compared the perfume of thy podex to that of the rose, and I take Allah to witness that this is not so, except by favour of him in whom all is One.93) I was faithful and diligent in love, and worshipped thee above all save Him to whom alone worship is due.

Thou didst cast me off for thy filthy lovers – Allah forget them! – and now thou comest back thou thinkest still to play the master. No, by Allah! thy podex doth not resemble the rose, or another flower; it resembles nothing but a podex, the podex of a peevish and filthy sodomite.

When thou didst veil thy buttocks with the spangled muslin of Egypt, we cried out that it was the face of Allah radiant through the stars of night – for we were excessively drunk, Habib! – But yesterday we laughed even louder when my women veiled thee as to thy face with a black veil, and Laila cried “Allah be praised, the Concealer, that He hath permitted us to conceal the podex of this pig.”

Thou didst not laugh, O spoiler of sport!

Nor did the rattans of the eunuchs move thee to mirth, falling like the first hard rain of summer upon thy back, and upon thy buttocks, and upon thy feet, Thou art no longer cheerful; Laila in the night bade me observe that in thy song, which thou sangest to the eunuchs, there was a note as of pain. Is it because thou hast not eaten for three days that thou hast lost thy good spirits? Or wast thou ashamed, shooting the peppercorns?94) No. by Allah, for thou hast no shame. It may be because I have clothed the male ass of Abdullah the tailor in costly trappings and made him pass throughout the whole city in charge of the pimp Mohammed Shaib the Maghraby,95) saying: “I go to fetch Habib from the house of El Qahar as a beautiful bride to this my master Khar-i-zakar-i-asal”.96)

The people of this city are laughing, Habib; it is at thee! Even thy Nubian called out in the Bazaar: “Beware, O presumptious one! Remember the ass that fell into the pit!”97)

I love thee, Habib; and that none the less that thou hast cured me of my folly for thee.

I am the master, and thou the slave. See to it that thou be the slave of love,98) then wilt thou live ever happily with El Qahar, the despiser of Shahrava.99)

It is a pleasure to be thy tutor,100) Habib; thou learnest swiftly, and (I think) wilt not soon forget. When thou camest in to me at night thou wast all in tears; and clasping my feet didst moan exceedingly, and beseech pity.

Yet when I smote thy buttocks with the whip, bidding thee be cheerful, thou didst rise instant with laughter and smiles. Thou didst put on thy old provoking coquetry; though for many days thou hadst drunk nothing but water, thou didst comport thyself as one in whom the wine first blusheth.101)

Also when my love revived for thee a little, thou didst not immodestly thrust out thy buttocks, and show bare a gaping and hungry podex. On the contrary, thou wast like a young girl, and there was much shame when thy hand led the camel to the well.102)

Also there was embarrassment for thee when I bade thee act as thou didst act with thy Nubian; since, if thou didst too well, I should reproach thee with wantonness; but if ill, with coldness. So I praise thee that thou didst murmur that “Allah hath neither equal, son, nor companion;103) how wilt thou, master, that I act with thee?”

Then I forgave thee, and love utterly revived, so that calling for wine, we debauched together for three days and nights. The debauch exceeded even all that I have ever done with thee or another.104)

But thou art a fool, Habib, thou thoughtest that I was angry with thee. Never, by Allah! Nor, though He plagueth His lovers, is He ever wroth against them.

So eagerly did I kiss every red weal upon thy velvet buttocks that thou didst wish thy beating had been prolonged by a whole day. Also, for every peppercorn that did shoot from thy podex, thou hadst a balm. Wise art thou who badest me sell this my garden to buy more pepper therewithal.105)

Repine not, therefore, O man! at the chastisements of Allah! Each of these will He a thousandfold repay.

And the pain that I suffered at thine infidelities is well repaid by this love restored. Thou shalt never leave the side of El Qahar, and Laila shall be sold to Haroun the goatfaced Jew.106)

I am a bearded and a turbaned sar;107)
Thou art a boy more lovely than a star.

Thou art mine own; I beat thee sore indeed;
More than thy beauty do I love the scar.

I mocked thee, shamed thee. Men despise thee now.
Well, it is well! they come no more to mar

Our loves; we'll wing through universal space,
Borne in the moon's chryselephantine car.

Nor shall the bounds of heaven nor the walls
Of Allah's House108) to love be bond or bar.

Nor shall the Thee make mischief with the Me,
The Near be interrupted by the Far.109)

See, how the roses bloom! How shine the pearls!
The tulip buds, how beautiful they are!110)

While in the deep and dark, thy podex gives
The fragrance of some porcelain jasmine jar.111)

Our canopy is night; our fan the wind;
Our bed some mountain's amethystine spar.

Thine arms close tighter; drain the cup of love
(Which is the cup of death) with El Qahar!

I am become like a skull at the feasts of my friends;112) for no sooner am I pleased by anything than I am reminded of the excellencies of thy love, the perfections of thy podex. Upon these I discourse fluently, so that at last the guests are weary.

Only last night I was bidden by Yusuf,113) that ill-conditioned114) bastard! to hide my head therein, if so I loved it; adding that, thanks to the Qazi, there would be no difficulty in performing the task.

Both these reproaches are thy fault, Habib! O beautiful one! thou hast bewitched me and thou hast betrayed me. But as thy beauty excuses the former, so does thy return make an end of regret for the latter.

Now am I aware of the wisdom of my tutor, who bade me weary not of the length of the Book;115) but bade me praise the compassion of Allah, who made men evil that He and they might rejoice together at the end.116)

It is indeed the fact, O gazelle-eyed boy, that thy podex is excessively wide; but my member can fill it, pressing in to its length till the sun and moon are at rest upon the snow-hills. This (thou wilt remember) was not the case before thou didst forsake me.

Thou mayest doubtless ask why, if such were the case, I did not cause thee to be violently enlarged by the eunuchs with diverse fruits.117) 'Twould have given thee more pain, O boy of buttocks more beautiful than the peaches of Shiraz!

Ask also, an thou wilt, why in the beginning I chose not a youth of vasty podex, having hips like a buffalo. Because the perfections of thy podex are perfect by reason of the imperfections of thy podex.118) It is he who is lost in the darkness who rejoiceth at the rising of the moon.

There are two laws, joy and sorrow, and they are twin babes feeding at the breast of Allah. Could El Qahar not rejoice in his sorrow, he would need sorrow in his joy.119)

There are no degrees in Allah, O boys with ears120) like new moons! and there is no degree in the excellence of thy podex; nor is the joy of thy lover, when he delights therein, from day to day diminished or increased.

This is the sigillum of perfection in any work. The perfect lover is calm and equable; storms of thunder, quakings of the earth, losses of goods, punishment from great men, none of these things cause him to rise from his divan, or to remove the silken tube of the rose-perfumed huqqa from his mouth.

I can even take pleasure with Laila, O no longer jealous one! When thou was away from me, I was unable to regard her or her companions (the thunder-smitten bitches!)121) without excessive sickness.

It was for thy sake, o mischievous one! that I caused the eunuchs122) to fornicate with Zuleikah in a painful manner, while I beat her with whips of hide.

So that she became unconscious; and her reputation was of chastity and prudence.123)

Therefore, as to-night is full moon, I will acquaint thee with a certain cherry-tree that hangs over a cool reach of Ruknabad. Under its blossom we will sit in our boat and listen to the water. Go therefore and anoint thee with rose; and besmear thy podex with jasmine mixed with ambergris in oil;124) for not until the dawn breaks will El Qahar withdraw his member.125)

The night is full of small breezes, blowing apple-blossoms hither and thither. All the stars will shine, and thou shalt have a caress for every star. But there is only one moon, and only once shall thy podex be invaded; for not until the dawn breaks will El Qahar withdraw his member.

Even so that happy one, who is united with Allah, shall never leave Him; so the crimson of the West shall fade into the blue of the whole sky, and the blue be illumined by the streamers of the false dawn, which is like death as the true dawn is like the last day.126) I hope, Habib, that thy podex is capable of a severe combat; for not until the dawn breaks will El Qahar withdraw his member.

I know a cherry-tree by Bendimir127)
Whose blossom curves and sways upon the clear

Eddies of light; I have a cedar boat
Whose cushions are of dove's down;128) let us steer

Under that tree and lie alone together
What time the West is grey, the stars appear.

Then you shall love me as a virgin would;
Shudder a little with a little fear,

But yield thy podex to my lotus-wand
Giving some smile twin sister to a tear,

Just as the body shudders129) when the soul
Gives up to Allah, in its hot career,

Identity; impales its sunless self On to the splendour of that sunbright spear

And laughs and weeps, not knowing what it does, Entering the glowing rapture of the sphere

Where He is manifestly all; and all He; where the I and Thou must disappear.

We shall not know if thee I sodomize, Or if thou sodomizest me, my dear!

If beautiful Habib plays 'kir'130) or 'kun', And El Qahar the wise plays 'kun' or 'kir'.

Only we know that we in Him are dead,
And that the Far is buried in the Near.

Thus like a cherry-blossom is our life
Floating unwetted on the moon-white mere.131)

It is no time to sing; for from the house
Comes forth the bride Habib, sans prince or peer;

Unique Habib, who walketh like a cat,
Sitteth, a swan, and runneth like a deer.

His face is like the moon that shines upon
The labouring Hajj,132) its camel-throned Emir.133)

For like a column of innumerous men
Doth serpentine his body; he is here

With hugs to break this breath, and with his mouth
To stop the mouth of El Qahar the seer.

If I had ever been angry with thee, O luscious-buttocked tulip! I would have forgiven thee for thy device upon this cow-bellied Qazi. I am repaid for my trust, permitting thee to receive his letter, and the go-between to pouch the hundred dirhams134) thereof. For, supping with him, thou didst make him exceedingly drunk. Then, introducing Abdullah Kaffur,135) that catamite of our grandfathers, thou didst present to the besotted fellow that poxy podex with its heaped haemorrhoids, like a well whose wall has been broken down.

Now therefore that ass-membered one – Allah forget him! – is very sick. Neither from his nose nor from his member will men be able to read that he is a Jew,136) O beloved one with a nose like a rose-tinted ivory statue and a member like a young almond tree in blossom! for both are dropped off.

Beware, if thou ridest in the bazaar, that thou dost not hurt the good Qazi, the just one, the incorruptible one, the wise one, the merciful to the afflictions of the poor,137) by stepping upon his nose or his member! Beware! sayeth El Qahar the seer.

Whoso hath fair Habib to sing and play138)
May scoff at all the jinseng of Cathay.139))

That naked podex knows a sacred spell
To exorcise the Jinn that bring decay.

One glance, one touch, and acorn springs to oak –
God sees the daystar, and invokes the day.

If Suleiman140) with all his concubines
From dusk to dawn consecutively lay,

Yet at thy buttocks' velvet, O Habib,
The man would rise erect from mudded clay.

Bid thou the Qazi to thine house; I ween
That he would sprout a member on the way.

Or didst thou call upon him in the tomb
Isa141) would rise, as silly Christians say.

Thy podex being his, thine El Qahar
Is always gold, and never rose and grey.142)

On each man's brow hath Allah wrote his fate: –
Many are destined to frequent my gate!

They catch a glimpse of thee upon the roof: –
By fixed Necessity they masturbate!143)

But thou and I are free,144) as love is free;
We smoke and drink and smile, content to wait.145)

The Zahid-sage is bound by dogma's chain,
Looks up and worships – let the donkey prate!

The wine-drawer and his beloved boy
Unite above in the ecstatic state.

Nor doth the Sufi need a heaven in Heaven: –
Earth's heaven to who hath God to heart for mate!

And if at first thy virgin podex bleed146))
He smiteth, for He is compassionate!

O Zahid, hear thou El Qahar147) the wise:
“By love hate ends; hate never ends by hate.”148)


Like Mars, red planet of the evening,
Rising o'er breasts of tender earth in spring,

So gleams thy podex, beautiful Habib,
My brother and my lover and my king!

For Mars is like a rose and full of fire;150)
For Mars is like a serpent with its sting.

There is a pain, an ecstacy, a woe,
A joy, athrob within the wondrous thing.

The dull and boneless devotees of twat –
Leaves them to grovel; we are well a-wing.

Yet twitch that podex, like the wandering way
Of Mars within the everlasting ring.151)

So shall my member, like the nightingale,152)
Salute thee with melodious twittering.

I made thee famous throughout all Iran153)
With these naughty Ghazals that I sing.154)

In every caravanserai the boys,
As to their lords they fierce or langorous cling,

Cry: “Lov'st thou me, dear master, as Habib
Is loved by El Qahar the conquering?”

So, seeing man beloved of Allah, jinn
Aim at that bliss; their crowns and jewels fling

From star to star before the crystal throne,
And El Islam goes ever widening.155)

To Allah praise! and El Qahar his slave
Taketh reward in offering thanksgiving.

Hast thou never thought, O Habib of the athletic body, that when thou wrigglest thy velvet buttocks with immense vigour, and bitest hard with thy podex-muscle upon the member of El Qahar, that thou hast not remembrance of any circumstance connected with my personality or thine, but art completely absorbed in the act?

It causes me to remember an antient folly and blasphemy spoken to me – Allah purify mine ears! by a certain Sufi, who, being excessively drunk, had lost control over his tongue. For he said that in a certain holy meditation both Allah and himself were destroyed, and that nought remained, but only the consciousness of bliss.156) This is contrary to reason, for how can bliss exist, except as the quality of some person or sensible thing?

Nevertheless, these experiments which I have performed upon thy podex, solely with a view to investigating these statements,157) make for a similar conclusion.

It is excessively annoying to the pious that any analogy in Nature to their follies should seem to supply a base for these wild and irrational theories.

It is the call of the Muezzin; but I must purify myself, for during these reflections thy podex hath been active upon the member of thine happy El Qahar.158)

Nor thou, Habib, nor I are glad
when rosy limbs and swart entwine;

But when rapture drowns the sense and self,
the wine the drawer of the wine,

And Him that planted first the grape159)
o podex,160) in thy vault there dwells

A charm to make the member mad,
And shake the marrow of the spine.

O member, in thy stubborn strength
a power avails on podex-sense

To boil the blood in breast and brain;
shudder the nerves incarnadine!161)

From me thou drawest pearly drink –
and in its pourings both are drunk.

The Imam162) drives forth the drunken man
from out the marble prayer-shrine.

Blue Mushtari163) strove with red Mirrikh
which should be master of the night –

But where is Mushtari, where Mirrikh
when in the sky the sun doth shine?

Now El Qahar to Hafiz gives
the worship unto poets due:164)

But songs are nought and Music all;
what poet music may define?

Allah's the atheist! He owns
no Allah, Sneer, thou dullard churl!

The Sufi worships not, but drinks,
being himself the all-divine.

Come, my Habib, the roses blush,
the waters gleam, the bulbul sings –

To pierce thy podex El Qahar's
urgent and imminent design!165)


On Shinar plain a tower was built
By man's ambitious fear and guilt.

(But Allah smote it with his fire: –
Who sees it yonder in the silt?)

But I have built a higher tower
Of love and fame for thee, o jilt!167)

And yet a higher,168) this member firm,
Fit for thy podex, an thou wilt.

Nor Allah smites it, nor the Jinn,
Until its pearly wine is spilt.

Come in the cool of evening
Beneath the figured goathair169) quilt!

Then will I gallop through the vale
My spear at thy dijirid to tilt.170)

Thy buttock-heaves to El Qahar
Are of his song the lively tilt.

Ecstacy stronger than Death



The camel-rider swoops across
the desert, with his howling Jinn,

To wreck and ravage human life;
insufferable Bedawin!{fn2}

But shall he ravish thee from me?
I see the camel check and kneel,

Vanquished by dread of the Unknown,
appalled by fear of the Unseen!

To Death is Love impregnable;
To Love seems Death desirable,

Fixing the lightning flash of life
and making permanent the scene.

The Zahid looks from Life to Death;
the Sufi gathers Death from Life;

They podex between 'twixt thy buttocks lies,
the Future and the Past between.

The Sufi pierces, gains and holds
the Present; can the present fade?

Never! through all the seas of time
fares on the prow erect and keen.{fn3}

The keel a member fit to pierce
the podices of ocean-lords,

Clasped to thy gushing bosom-waves,
o pearly amorous undine!

The 'Maybe' and the 'Letushope',
the 'Allahknows; and 'I believe';

The 'Sweetitwas' and 'Werecall',
the 'Pitytis' and 'Mighthavebeen':{fn4}

These founder in the rushing tide,
these bear a cargo black with fear,

Heavy with hate and dull with woe,
a miserable load of teen:

While we the 'Jolly Roger'{fn5} sail
whose freight is fairy{fn6} pearls of dew;

The podex and the member locked,
without a bar, without a screen.

Remembrance and regret we quash;
we banish traitor hope and fear;

The present ecstacy is all,
the Middle Path, the Golden Mean.

And He endure, then love endures:
 -- so El Qahar will ever sing,

Till he the world from mil of prayer
to wine of meditation wean.{fn7}

Like peacocks in a garden spread
our thousand eyes of jewel-sheen.

Though squawking with an eunuch's voice,
our paederastic plumes we preen..{fn8}

For voice is sound, and dies with air;
light is co-excellent with God;{fn9}

As Hate's a poison for delight,
so love's a physic for the spleen.

And El Qahar is Truth, and nought
but Allah stuffs his gaberdine,{fn10}

And Allah windeth he about
with tarband gemmed{fn11} of gold and green.{fn12}

{Footnote 1. Death in the East rides a camel, not a white horse.}

{Footnote 2. Bedawin -- any wanderers. But the homeless necessarily live by robbery. Hence the paradoxes of Socialism.}

{Footnote 3. Lit. sharp as [Arabic] zu'l faqar, the sword of Mohammed which he captured on the field of Badr. A sort of Eastern Excalibur, by the unusual mythopoetic process.}

{Footnote 4. I confess to fantastic license in translation of this curious passage. But some of the words are not Persian or anything else, and two or three seemed me formed in this manner. For example, I have translated [Arabic] "Allah knows" reasonably enough; and [Arabic] Shayadistan, Perhapscountry, is well for "maybe", while [Arabic] "happy memory" justifies "Sweetitwas". But what shall I say of [Arabic] (?) [Arabic] and the rest -- mangled though suggestive roots? Possibly the poet knew very little about ships and their names.}
 {Footnote 5. Jolly Roger -- again a coarse expression, best untranslated. The notorious debauchery of pirate ships, and the slang verb "Roger" (futuere) suggested the present phrase.}

{Footnote 6. The text would justify us in reading "rounded pearls" [Arabic] fairy (peri of Moore) and [Arabic] fullness. Where there was doubt, we have chosen what seemed the more poetical reading.}

{Footnote 7. Some MSS. end with this Takhallus. See Note 12.}

{Footnote 8. This and the following stanzas seem inconsequent. But they contain profound allusions. The thousand eyes of the peacock's tail are equivalent to the thousand petals of the Sahasrara lotus in India; the divine lotus that only exists as a throne for the descending Shiva upon his devotee. The eunuch's voice is the shrill sound heard by adepts at the moment of union with the divine. The garden is of course the sphere of the trained soul.}

{Footnote 9. This is a very literal translation; it is either an accident, or shows a high degree of scientific knowledge. The dependence of sound on air was discovered in Europe by Hawksbee in 1705.

(Hawksbee first performed the "bell in vacuo" experiment in 1705. Newton (Principia Vol. III 1687) gave an inaccurate formula for Velocity of Sound in Air and other fluids. Laplace nearly 100 years later corrected this. But we do not wish to stake El Haji's reputation as a prophet on this phrase. It is perfectly open to us to read "dies with breath" or "dies with mind" the root [Arabic] (Heb. [cheth, vau, resh]) meaning originally wind, hence breath, hence much later "spirit" or "ghost". The Latin "spiritus" and Greek [Greek letters: Pi-Nu-Epsilon-Upsilon-Mu-Alpha] have an identical history, the most complete case of metaphysical sophistication in language. The elavation of the Ruach Alhim (the wind of the elements), a poetic phrase for the actual wind stirring the surface of the unfathomable deep to life, to a Person neither made nor begotten but proceeding -- and the rest of it -- is a phenomenon unparalleled in the long history of human folly, especially when one considers the gorgeous way in which having got a ghost from a wind, they adduce the original passage as a proof that their forefathers believed in ghosts! The secondary use of [Arabic] to mean "mind" is however reasonable enough, and possibly the Yogic process is responsible. Early mystics (or psychologists) would naturally observe the extreme instability of the consciousness as its most obvious characteristic, and name it from the most unstable phenomenon in nature known to the primitives, wind. But why not Woman? Ed.)

{Footnote 10. V. 14 is the saying of Mansur el Hallaj, "I am Truth and in my coat is wrapped nothing but God". He was toned by more orthodox Arabs, and his blood traced "An' el Haqq" on the ground.}

{Footnote 11. Gem [Arabic] Guhr. The Fable of the Cock and the Dunghill probably sprang from so childish a source as the pun between Guhr and Guh [Arabic] (dung). It is more obvious in the oblique Guh-ra and Guhr-ra.}

{Footnote 12. The last three verses are probably spurious. Verse 11 supplies a natural end, with the takhallus. A.L.

(It will be observed that some of these notes are redundant. We have not altered or cut any of Major Lutiy's notes, though we have added a small number of our own. On the rare occasions of disagreement, we have added his initials to his note, and added our own view in brackets. Ed.)}

The Origin of Religion



The dew is on the rose; behold
The sun illumine them with his gold!

My dew is on thy rose; what Light
Their love with rapture doth enfold?

They are immune from Life and Death;
From heat and hunger, thirst and cold.

The worn ascetics{fn1} of the mosque
Guess not what joy the ages hold.

Seek we the tavern and the stream,
The garden and the grassy wold!

No potter fashioned thee, o man!
`Tis thou that didst the Potter mold.

From Fear grew Hell, from Hope sprang Heaven;
From Love our Ecstasy untold.{fn2}

Those are delusions, slow to live,
This hath no death, the iron-souled.

(Therefore the podex of Habib
To pierce am I, thy lover, bold.){fn3}

Only from the weariness of love
Was death's unholy camel foaled.{fn4}

Be this the song of El Qahar
In gold on ivory enscrolled.{fn5}

{Footnote 1. Ascetic. Zahid, indifferently to represent the fat easy-going, conventional materialist, self-styled orthodox, common to all religions, and the desperate devotee who does not set his life at a pin's fee when heaven is at stake. El Haji probably wishes to kill the two birds with the one stone.}

{Footnote 2. Another hint that all Religion is subjective; and that consequently mean men are Evangelical, gross men Roman Catholics, cowards believers in Eternal Punishment, sensual and sentimental men Universalists, and so on. Such a rationalistic view of the Genesis of Creed is uncommon enough in Eastern literature, though the general Fichtean positing of the non-Ego by the Ego implied in the previous stanza is to be found openly or obscurely in most sacred books.}

{Footnote 3. This stanza is almost certainly spurious.}

{Footnote 4. This is the old jest: "As long as you drink a drop of this medicine daily, you will not die." Though perhaps the erectio penis of the hanged man may give the lie to the jape.}

{Footnote 5. In fact, I saw a very beautiful copy so inlaid on thin sheets of ivory in the house of a very wealthy whoremaster.}

Ecstasy master of circumstance



Thou art perfect, Habib, in love; for yesterday when as a test of thy virtue I had thee beaten by the eunuchs, there was no cry of pain.

Entirely lost in our love, thy knowledge was only of my member, and not of the blows; nor could any application of the staves, however vigorous, take away from thee that delight thou hast in me.

Thou wast indeed unconscious of thy beating, crying only: "Press harder and deeper, O master!", though my member was entirely remote from thy podex, being engulphed in the ambitious and muscualr twat of a certain concubine with splendid breasts like erect members{fn1} so firm were they.

Such mirage, if it be mirage, is truer than truth, if it be truth.

Nothing can shake thee in love, any more than any affliction touches the Sufi. It is therefore of no service that I restore to thy sweet podex its accustomed guest.

Whether it be there or not, it is there for thee;{fn2} so that thou wilt never again bemoan thyself, saying: "Give me my Nubian! for without stiffness is the contemptible member of El Qahar the sage."

{Footnote 1. I have seen such women in Tehuantepec, Moharbhanj, and other places. But even an Englishwoman acquires the human figure if deprived of stays, and made to walk several hours a day for a number of months.}

{Footnote 2. A very convenient doctrine: all this -- (This note appears unfinished.) I wish one could teach it to the English wife, for ever on the groan as she is that she is neglected, and then crying out again when one gets her with child. The solution of the sex-problem is given in the Arab proverb, "Women for children, and boys for pleasure." I strongly advocate the putting of women in their proper sphere; they should breed, nurse, educate, and perform those physical tasks for which their coarser nervous system and lack of intelligence fit them. But no woman is a fit companion for a man; she of necessity degrades him. Luckily, in the case of the best men, she disgusts him. How many women have left any mark on history, save by the excess of their impudicities and whoredoms? We must exclude those born to queendom. I can think of but one, Jeanne d'Arc, an example of the opposite abnormality, frigidity.



Wherefore, O Zahid, so afraid
To see the Maker in the Made?

Some one-eyed cripple hunchback built
You marble tower whose coolth and shade

Gladdens the lover. Take the fact
And leave the cause! What joy or aid

Springs from thy searches for the cause?
Thy cause thou dost to earth degrade,

Bounding its nature; shall Habib's
Delicious podex be displayed

To weaklings whose erection lags
For them to prate and make parade

Of tedious knowledge? Rather plunge
To scabbard the impassioned blade!

Throughout the summer to indulge
The sodomitic{fn1} accolade!

Forget, an if thou wilt, the scribe;
The lovely script to heart be laid!{fn2}

Describe the script? The scribe adore?
Perchance his podex is decayed.

The garden quit? Frequent the mosque?
By Allah, 'twas an ass that brayed.

Allah, if Allah be, indwells
All beauty.{fn3} He is best repaid

By who loves jade as jade, nor asks
Some might Jaker for the Jade.{fn4}

Thy garden-podex wants, methinks,
Nor worship, but a member-spade.{fn5}

{Footnote 1. The Sodom-fable is to be found in the XVth chapter of the Q'uran. Moslems accept the Bible, so far as it goes. Only, they regard the Christian as the Christian regards the Jew: as one not up-to-date. Big fleas have small fleas, etc., quoth the bard; and the modern follower of El Baab and the Baha-i-Ullah says the same to the orthodox Muslim.}

{Footnote 2. An allusion to a well-known tale, perhaps to be identified in Alf Laylah wa Laylah. A chief returning from some expedition finds his favourite wife in the embraces of one of his sons. He reproaches her, saying: Am I not the maker superior to whom I made? (quoting, I fancy, the Q'uran) She replied that women might lawfully treasure the poem and press it to their hearts, but that it would be highly scandalous if they treated the poets in that manner.}

{Footnote 3. We are not inclined to regard the 'if' as sceptical, but as a strong form of affirmation. "As sure as Allah exists, He exists not only in temples made by men for His worship, but in all the beauty He has created." This, at least, is the line of defence attempted by those orthodox Muslim who cannot quite forgive Abdullah -- or forget him.}

{Footnote 4. Taken by a parallel construction to Maker-Made.      The absurdity is not so glaring in Persian, owing to the system of "modes" by which from each root is extracted a great number of derivatives, according to fixed rules. Thus [Arabic] Jade might become [Arabic] a maker of Jade, were only Jade a *verbal* root. As [Arabic] slayer from the root [Arabic] to slay. The Satire is of course against those who think that the difficulty of self-created matter is overcome by postulation a self-created God.}

{Footnote 5. The Takhallus being absent from this Ghazal, it is either spurious or unfinished; or else affords us a ground for rejecting those Ghazals which but for the Takhallus would be declared not to be authentic. This latter view has guided us to some extent in this edition. (There are altogether some 80 or 100 extant Ghazals of Abdullah; fortunately, in the keyletter we have a certain check on this particular series. Major Lutiy wrote his note under the idea of issuing the whole in a single volume. Ed.)}

The venality of the objectors to mysticism



They say that in the deserts of Arabia there dwelleth a beast very like a horse, but possessing a great horn. Now I am not at all like a horse, though I am beautiful and swift, but I certainly possess an immense horn.{fn1}

Also there is a great bird which, when in danger, placeth its head within the sand, exposing its podex. Though, Habib, though otherwise not at all like a bird, dost expose thy podex, even when in no danger.1

I cannot but think that all this was in the mind of the Mullah, when in his sermon on Friday he reproached us openly with beastliness.

It is true that no beast does anything in the hope of receiving money; it is in my mind to take an hundred dinars{fn2} to this one-eyed dotard, so that the orthodox of Shiraz may speak of the beauty and chastity of Habib, of the piety of El Qahar, and of the great wisdom and tunefulness of his songs.{fn3}

{Footnote 1. The similes are very affected.}

{Footnote 2. Dinar -- a gold coin worth about 10/-.}

{Footnote 3. Evidently the reviewer is as old as the world.}

The contempt of the mystic for opinion



In ill repute of pious folk{fn1}
The Sufi seeth but a joke.

The traveller, passing by the mere,
Heeds not the frogs, but lets them croak.

So in thy podex I delight'
Nor heed at all what Allah spoke.{fn2}

While stands my member, blooms my rose,
Wine I can drink, or huqqa{fn3} smoke,

So long I laugh at Aflatun,
And fun at Aristu{fn4} I poke.

Thy buttocks with their splendid sun
This joy in me have ever woke;
In rapture alway El Qahar
His spirit is content to soak.

{Footnote 1. Pious folk -- Wahhabi [Arabic] the Muslim strictarians.}

{Footnote 2. Obscure. I doubt if the Q'uran forbids sodomy. See Q'uran XV, where the fault of the people appears to be their breach of hospitality, always a stigma in primitive communities. The Bible is just as broadminded on the point, both in the Story of Sodom and that of the Levite. May be "Allah" is a slip for "Mullah"  -- a difference of only one letter.}

{Footnote 3. The bowl of the pipe is the sphere of the heavens; the tobacco is the benevolence of God; the live coal His glory and desire toward man; the water in the bowl is the veil which prevents man being burnt up in that glory, and the purifying influence of calm upon the soul; the smoke is the perfume of the Spirit of God; the tube is the Influence (Heb. Mezla), from on high; the mouthpiece the love of one's earthly teacher (this sounds as though Sufi confessors shared the predilections and privileges of Jesuit confessors); the inhalation is the enlightenment of the soul; the exhalation the holy influence shed by the Sufi upon his fellow men -- and so on.

Mahbub was perfectly willing to explain every phrase in the book on these lines; reasonable people will agree that a single sample is enough. But see note 1 on XXXVIIIth Ghazal.}

{Footnote 4. Aristu -- Aristotle. Most sensible men will heartily agree with these sentiments. El Qahar is more than mystic and sodomite; he is a practical person. But perhaps the unusual word huqqa is a pun on hukm (command) and the phrase means, "As long as I obey God's law, I care nothing for philosophy!" A.L.

 I cannot admit that huqqa is an altogether unusual word; I think hukm rather merits that title. Besides, the pun is not obvious and less so to a Persian than an Indian at that. Ed.}

The falsity of the Orthodox



I have kept my dinars, Habib, to buy thee a new tarband withal; having reflected upon the case of the Mullah, that about his father we know nothing, while on the contrary about his mother everything is known.{fn2} For himself, since we know so much, none desireth to know more. 

I think, however, that we will make him somewhat drunk, or even excessively drunk, and that in that condition we will lead him to the house of Fatma, where the old humbug{fn3} shall fornicate with the ugliest of the slave girls. Also setting him upon an ass{fn4} with his face to the tail, we will conduct him to the Qazi saying: "These, O Qazi, be brothers; but the malice of a wizard hath changed the elder and more foolish into the semblance of a drunken Mullah".

By this means will he become ashamed,{fn5} and prate no more of beasts.

{Footnote 1. This ode is by most considered spurious, or the work of a pupil on a skeleton left by the master. But the very stigmata on which this view is based -- the absence of the Takhallus, and of the word "kun"  -- seems to us to point the other way. No forger would have omitted so simple a precaution. It is possible that the ode is incomplete. More reasonable seems the suggestion that el Haji{fn1} disliked the introduction of his holy word [Arabic] and of his sacred Name in an ode of this type -- as a kind of extra insult to the Mullah;{fn1} feared stoning if he signed it. The strongest argument for its genuineness is that the secret key-letter is right; if we cancelled the ode it would make nonsense of all the following ones. Unless, indeed, this ode *replaces* a genuine one. For which there is not a jot of a tittle of evidence.}

{Footnote 2. This is the boldest attack on orthodoxy that we have met in Eastern literature. The paternity of Islam -- its divine origin -- is said to be uncertain; the character of Mohammed, its mother, is vilified, the suggestion being that he received the Q'uran from all sorts of evil spirits; while of the religion itself he asserts dullness and inutility.}

{Footnote 3. The old humbug -- lit. this Saiyid of Samera. A Saiyid is one of Mohammed's own tribe; but at Samera there is an establishment for forging pedigrees, in all respects precisely similar to our own Heralds' College.}

{Footnote 4. Combined with the information in 31, that the Mullah is one-eyed, this suggests that el Haji wishes to identify him with [Arabic] dajjal, Antichrist, who is usually spoken of as a one-eyed man riding upon an ass. Thus he may mean: "The Spirit of Orthodoxy is the spirit of Antichrist". It would at least be in keeping with the rest of his opinions, and the symbol is lucid and keen.}

{Footnote 5. One MS. has "cornered" (shashdar shudan), a technical term in backgammon, when the game, though not actually finished, is seen to be hopeless for one of the players.}




Upn the Shah's third finger gleams
A ruby bright as summer's beams.

It hath a magic spell, men say,
To guard him from deceitful dreams.

Nor while thy podex grips my tool
Canst thou deceive me, boy, it seems.{fn1}

If other thoughts invade my heart
Of thee my heart but lightly deems.

As he who worships Allah{fn1} knows,
His Teacher light the fool esteems

Whose mind is occupied with sense -- 
And how the crowd of senses teems!{fn3}

But El Qahar doth love; collects
Into one ocean all the streams.{fn4}

{Footnote 1. This is the Rabelaisian jest -- the story of Hans Carvel's ring -- in Eastern dress.}

{Footnote 2. Again a confusion. He refers to the Sufi, not to the Zahid. (Teacher is a nominative -- fool accusative. Ed.)}

{Footnote 3. Anyone who has practiced even for a short time any of the Eastern systems of meditation will realize the force of this remark. No person who has not practised can realize how swift and numerous our impressions are. Under ordinary circumstances the great majority do not rise into consciousness at all, for one is occupied with one main current of ideas. But once the mind seeks to check all possible currents of ideas, the simple impressions rise into the vacant space, which is fairly bombarded.}

{Footnote 4. "Into one wave all the wavelets" is the Hindu equivalent for this. El Baab, when the orthodox took him out to be shot, having dug holes in his skin and filled them with lighted bamboo-shoots dipped in wax, is said to have observed: "These are many flamelets, and will soon expire; but my soul is One Flame, and will not." And there is a tale of an harlot, who retorted on some men who reviled her: "You are like the raindrops; but this my vulva is One Pool." They stoned her for the blasphemy.}

Devotion better than learning.



These holy talks and scriptures, truth to tell,
Are foul to taste as Mecca's holy well.

Give me my boy's narcissus waist to hold,
His jasmine podex{fn1} to my raptured smell,

His rosy lips and coralline to kiss -- 
Well saith the sage that youth's sole heaven is hell!

A thousand times a night the Fatihah{fn3}
Did I recite -- my member did not swell.

Once for a night I slept with my Habib -- 
A thousand times that member rose and fell!{fn4}

Love and not worship is the key of life;
Silence, not prayer, the universal spell.

For while I knelt, how could I clasp Habib?{fn5}
And while I prayed, how kiss? Adorable

And perfect boy, thy podex serves alike
My member both to challenge and to quell!

So say the Sufis: Allah wakes desire
For Him, and grants it. Life is like a shell

That rouses echoes of some distant sea
To Zahid-lubbers all innavigable;

But the light-hearted Sufi thither floats
Breasting God's waves with Life for coracle.

So El Qahar defies the host of Fate,
Having thy podex for a citadel.

{Footnote 1. Zemzem. The holy well at Mecca. Its waters are excessively foul, and even the most devout make a wry face when drinking them.}

{Footnote 2. Jasmine podex -- surely a true perversion of sense! Yet the adjective is as invariable as pious for Aeneas and fidus for Achates.}

{Footnote 3. Fatihah, the first chapter of the Q'uran. To recite it 1,000 times nightly causes one to become a great Sheikh.}

{Footnote 4. Surely Oriental exaggeration. A.L. (Not at all. I do not think that El Haji necessarily means separate and distinct emissions; he may mean thrusts. Now even the uneducated Briton, with a little practice, can learn to retain his semen for 3 to 6 hours without withdrawl or prolonged rest. Allowing only four thrusts on an average per minute, it would require but four hours and ten minutes to fulfil these conditions. Ed.)

(True. I wrote the above without a copy of the text at hand. But the discussion will prevent repetition of my false conjecture. Ed.)}

{Footnote 5. Observe that the very idea of irrumation never once enters his pure mind. The subject of this peculiar vice is a very extended one. I think the orthodox Muslim probably fears the defilement of his mouth, or that of his lover. He would not object to being thus excited by a woman, who is already from crown to sole one mass of filth. Prejudiced as I am in favour of the Unfair Sex, I cannot but see this. Like Balaam, I am constrained. But if anyone wishes to argue with me, I may point out that -- it happened before. A.L.

Irrumation, with either sex, is perhaps the most popular of all the sex-perversions -- or sex-refinements? -- in the West. A well-known English peeress of American origin... ...has kindly favoured me with a classified list of the principal methods employed by the patient. It will be seen that they easily surpass the crude expedients of the Kama Sutra.

1. The Spider's Legs.

     Tickle the penis with fingers, lips, tongue, and eyelashes.

2. The Fire-drill.

     With flat palms rub the penis vigorously in a direction perpendicular to its axis. The tip of the penis is held firmly in the mouth.

3. The Mouse Trap.

     Nibble and kiss the penis all over, like a mouse at a piece of cheese. Suddenly nip hard on to it and finish, like the closing of the trap.

4. Les affaires son les affaires.

     Swallow the penis whole, rocking the head furiously backwards and forwards.

5. The Woodpecker.

     Bite sharply with teeth upon the penis.

6. The Limpet (or Barnacle).

     Suck the gland hard, so as to create a vacuum (this is a rude cupping process, causes the blood to flow strongly to the part and so is almost unfailing as a means of producing erection.).

7. The Oyster Supper.

     Spit on the penis and catch the "oysters" until they are replaced by the "pearls".

8. The Green Corn.

     Suck at the penis as you do to eat green corn (i.e. all down the shaft). 

9. The Asparagus.

     Suck at the penis as you do to eat asparagus (i.e. at the tip).

10. L'eternelle idole.

     Worship the penis; rub it on the forehead, and so on, according to your ideas of what a ritual should be.

11. The Naughty Boy.

     Smack the penis smartly with the hands. Afterwards make up to it, and pet it.

12. The sculptor.

     Mould and knead with firm lips and fingers, as a sculptor models clay.

13. The catapult.

     Pull down the penis, and let it flap back against the belly.

14. The Metronome (for two patients).

     With tongue and forefinger at the root of the penis guide it, swinging it to and fro from mouth to mouth, one lover being on each side of the irrumator.

15. The whirlpool.

     Swallow the penis whole, and roll the tongue round and
round the gland.

16. Parfait amour. (Lady T --  has to say that she learnt this from Mlle. Marcelle of the house just off the Carrefour d l'Odeon, a Paris.)

     Swallow the scrotum whole and rub the penis backwards and forwards across the nose. Excite at the same time the testes with the tongue and the fundament with the finger.}

The Vanity of metaphysic



Sevenfold stands Suraiya in the sky;
Seven virtues do thy podex glorify.

First, thou art hotter than Jahim{fn1} itself,
And drier than Arabia art thou dry.

Third is thy tightness, like an hoop of steel,
And O! thy muscles, their mobility!

Fifth, is thy smell like jasmine-ambergris,
And soft thou art like peaches; seventhly,

Such is the beauty of its form that one,
Seeing it, might be well content to die.

(So{fn3} Allah blazes higher than the noon;
No water stains His spotless unity.

His love once hold thee, He will never loose;
But shake with rapture to the utmost "I";

The perfume of His love is wonderful,
And tender is He as a virgin's eye,

While for His beauty are no words of earth,
Nor can the heavens this need with song supply.)

So thou with Allah, man! hold Him as dear
(Nay, dearer!) as the apple of thine eye.

Then, when thou hast Him, cease to speculate -- 
Who hath the How is careless of the Why.{fn4}

So I, Habib, thy podex sodomize;
With simple art the Mullahs I defy

To analyse the mystery; nor care
So long as I am in the galaxy

Of sevenfold Suraiya; El Qahar
Lifteth his member evermore{fn5} on high.

So doth wise El Qahar to El Qahar
The fool by El Qahar the bard reply.

{Footnote 1. Suraiya -- the Pleiades.}

{Footnote 2. Hell.}

{Footnote 3. The passage in brackets is certainly spurious. We retain it as shewing the ingenuity of interpretation employed in this class of literature.}

{Footnote 4. The natural (though hardly altogether just) contempt of the practical expert for the arm-chair critic.}

{Footnote 5. Surely Oriental exaggeration.}

The ruling passion strong in death.



What if our pleasures prove the bane
Of this thy lover's shuddering brain?{fn1}
Some evil Jinn may haunt the fane;
Some serpent hurt the sugar-cane;
Some rot infect the golden grain!
Nay, though my flesh grow boil and blain,
Each sinew cramp, each muscle sprain,
Each link dissolve of Nature's chain,
Each nerve disrupt in thoughts inane,{fn2}
Each function abdicate its reign,
I care not, so this love remain.
Dead or alive, insane or sane,
The perfect passion of us twain
Shall bring us blessing in its train
As summer brings the welcome rain.
Turn, life's deceitful weather-vane!
Our love is set as Charles his wain{fn3}
That lights to love the amorous swain.{fn4}
On one leg stands the thoughtful crane;
On one love rests my life; in vain
The evil Jinn may pour their pain,
Torture this soul again, again,
With wrath and will, with might and main;
High Allah can their hate restrain -- 
Our loves their goodly shape retain.
Though Shaitan{fn5} should the court profane,
He spits against the loftier plane
In empty malice. Who would deign
To mark him? By our lion's mane{fn6}
I swear! to tread the lonely lane
Of death to me is royal gain,
Since I with my Habib have lain,
And he my tool doth entertain.
I speak the truth; falter, nor feign'
Seeing my camel on the plain
Girt for the Journey; spared or slain,
My love's no moon to wax and wane.
Allah our love with mercy sain!
Then death's a splendid window-pane
Through which I look to the world to explain.
Give me the Cup! its wine I'll drain,
Thy podex to my member strain,
And thrust, and pull, and writhe amain: -- 
Thrill though each raptured dying vein
That El Qahar's dissolving brain
Be of his Destiny the bane!

{Footnote 1. Can this be a reference to the Western superstition that mystic devotion injures the intellect? Or only to the dangers of "obsession", to the appalling results which occasionally occur when the processes are ill performed? I cannot but give my adhesion to the former theory: at this stage of the poem el Haji is attacking sceptics and orthodox people: there is no imperfection in his love.}

{Footnote 2. El Haji's materialism. There is nothing strange to an Oriental in the theory that emotions and thoughts depend upon bodily changes. All books on Philosophy teach or imply this, in direct contradiction to the silly metaphysical theories of thought which pass current in the West. Yet they hold that all depend, ring within ring, upon the central point, God. If the Eastern is an idealist, it is the idealism of Malebranche or Berkeley; if a sceptic, it is the scepticism of Huxley or Hume; if a materialist, it is the materialism of Leibnitz or the earlier Kant.}

{Footnote 3. Charles' wain -- the Great Bear, the Car of David, and many other names, equally absurd.}

{Footnote 4. We do not know whether this can possibly have any reference to a local custom. In Egypt the rising of Sirius heralded various obscene religious festivals. Our own view is that the best signal for beginning a love-affair is the rising of -- no matter!}

{Footnote 5. Shaitan -- Satan. It is, however, a generic name for an evil spirit.}

{Footnote 6. Lion. The Persian, with the Scot and the Cingalee, claims a lion for his emblem.}

Satisfaction excludes speculation.



I have a porcelain jasmine-jar

deep stained with crimson -- blood, I wis!
And in my garden do I lie,

my garden full of clematis.

Above me sing the birds, around

the rose and lily blush and pale;
Mine is a bower of eglantine,

my couch of lilac and nargis.

The cup of wine is in my hand;

the slaves await the master's word;
My huqqa{fn1} smoke to heaven curls,

laden with maddening cannabis.{fn3}

I feed upon my jasmine-jar

these eyes; this brain its beauty knows,
Its perfume roused to ecstasy

by cunning strain of ambergris.{fn4}

Above, Habib my lover hangs;

his podex is the jasmine-jar;
His lips are softly closed on mine,

one long unfathomable kiss.

All, all is rapture; who would shift

one inch, all mystery to disclose?
A fool is he who queries Quid?

still baffled by the question Quis?{fn5}

I do not care, for love is all;

one moment lent to mullah-talk
Is lost to love; and why complain

when nothing is at all amiss?

The folk that haunt the evil house

of Fatma to Hakim{fn6} resort
Wisely indeed: Thy drugs! they cry:

we cannot make a shift to piss!{fn7}

The Zahid still frequents the mosque

and moans the dreary Fatihah:
O fools! ye miss love's podex-joy,

and missing love all good ye miss.

Come, O Habib, thy podex close

on El Qahar's enamoured tool!
Though we mistake the world and God,

at least is no mistake in this.

{Footnote 1. After this ode the "secret key-number" breaks down. It is said that there are five odes missing. But no doubt need therefore be cast upon the genuineness of the following odes. Some weight is to be given to the contention that there can be only 42 odes, neither more nor less, for mystical reasons. Their Persian dress I cannot learn; but the Egyptians knew 42 Gods who purify the soul; and the Jews speak of the "Revolution of the 42-fold Name in the Palaces of Yetzirah" -- the world which should invade and redeem this material scheme of things. 

Talking of this "scheme of things", I remember the wit of a certain comely youth at Oxford, who reproached his exhausted lover with the quatrain:

     "Ah love! could Thou and I with Fate conspire

     To grasp this sorry scheme of things entire,

     Would we not shatter it to bits, and then

     Remould it nearer to the heart's desire."}

{Footnote 2. [Arabic] huqqah. It is said that this word represents hieroglyphically the process of smoking. [Arabic] the harsh aspirate changed to [Arabic] the smooth aspirate by medium of the force of [Arabic] which Arab mystics describe as being "of a watery, lunar nature, and consonant to dogs, jackals, beetles, pools, old women painted, dreams, water pots, drunkenness, illusion, broken spears, and astrologers". In this case the watery nature symbolizes the rose-water through which the smoke is drawn to purify and soften it.}

{Footnote 3. Cannabis -- Hashish, bhang, ganja, marijuana, kif, a drug much used by Yogis and Fakirs. It induces maniacal attacks, destroys the sense of proportion in time and space, and gives powerful emotions to its victims.}

{Footnote 4. Ambergris. Without much perfume of its own, it is priceless for bringing out the best of any others with which it may be mixed. The price in 1906 was 135 shillings the ounce.}

{Footnote 5. i.e. it is useless to explore the universe until the problem of personality is satisfactorily settled.}

{Footnote 6. Hakim -- doctor.}

{Footnote 7. Gonorrhoea is known in Persia as elsewhere. At a recital, when all the young men exclaim joyfully: "What flowing stanzas!" (suz), an old cynic may be heard to mutter: "What flowing gleet!" (suzak).}

Ecstasy beyond all price: but to be had
by him who casts away all other desires.



What shall a man give in exchange for the enjoyment of thy podex?{fn1} There is nothing in Iran, or upon the whole earth, that is worthy to be spoken of in this matter. The treasures of the sun and moon are not to be compared with it; if the stars also were to be offered, they would not equal the joy of even the first rubbings of the member against its orifice.

The desire of the fanatic is to cast away life at the feet of Heaven;{fn1} but for thy podex heaven and life together might be thrown away; and all the perfections of Allah are not worth one perfection of thy podex.

He therefore who would attain to merge his member therein offers nothing, but on the contrary employs to the best advantage whatever he hath, though in the Pursuit he forgetteth that he hath it, not valuing it. To him who so acts the Attainment of thy bed is certain.

It is only necessary to have seen thy buttocks agitated in walking beneath thy tunic for a wise man to abandon all other pursuits.{fn3}

All this hath El Qahar achieved; therefore for him thou wilt push out thy buttocks, causing that blush rose, thy podex, to expand.

The member of El Qahar will wallow therein like a water buffalo at noon in the pools of mud.

Come, Habib, thou hast not been sodomized since sunset; the member of El Qahar is erect and straining like a fresh horse; before darkness falls thou must be sodomized five times.{fn4}

{Footnote 1. Cf. Canticles; and Matthew, "What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"}

{Footnote 2. Refers to the Ghazi, still a terror to our Frontier officials in N.W. India. The method of manufacture is interesting. A poor and despairing man is selected and watched. One night, as he slinks through some deserted beggar's haunt, he is secretly drugged and conveyed to a palatial house with gardens and fountains. He awakes to find himself robed in fine linen and purple, surrounded by rich wines and foods, and by an adoring bevy of the most luscious beauties that he can imagine. He is however always kept to a certain extent under the influence of hashish, in order to bewilder him slightly, and to cause him partially to doubt the reality of his present joy. In a week or so he is again deeply drugged, dressed in his old rags, and abandoned in the same beggar's haunt as before. He wakes up utterly miserable, and consults the local Mullah as to his experience. "My son!" replies the good old man, "favoured of Heaven! You have had a vision of the realms of Paradise." He naturally wants to know how to get back, and the Mullah reiterates the well-known blessing on those who die slaying infidels, and further indicates such and such a Sahib -- who has probably made himself obnoxious to the faithful in some way -- as a suitable person to attack. Lord Curzon however very wisely met this manoeuvre by ordering the cremation of murderers of this type. If the body of a Mussulman is burnt he cannot go to Paradise; for the os coccygis, from which God will raise his body from the dust, is destroyed.

But it would probably be waste of time to explain all this to Mr. Keir Hardie.}

{Footnote 3. That is, even a very slight experience of the outer joys of the mystic path is sufficient to induce the neophyte to devote himself entirely to the same.}

{Footnote 4. Surely Oriental exaggeration; especially when one considers the shortness of Persian twilight. Perhaps the 5 refers to the Pentagram. Ed.}

The relations between the twins of rapture




This member of mine is compassionate and merciful unto thy podex, of which he is king, greater than two-horned Alexander,{fn2} assuaging its desire.

Holy is this member and bringeth pleasure to thy podex; to him thou art faithful, like a child to its mother's breast, assuaging thy desire.

Terrible is my member to thy podex, causing him to tremble, but also he is dear; strong he is and proud, like a peacock spreading his splendour in the sun, assuaging thy desire.


My member hath created thy podex; he hurteth thee with a delicious pain, and pictureth thy podex as a beautiful garden, wherein like a young child he may play, assuaging thy desire.

My member pardoneth the infidelities of thy podex; he conquereth its resistence, and giveth pearly dew, like the stars to the roses, assuaging thy desire. 


Beautiful is my member as it openeth thy podex, and allwise to know every secret recess thereof, holding it on its stiffness like a lion thrust through by a spear, assuaging thy desire.


My member supporteth thy podex as a rose-tree its flower; all night long it humbleth and exalteth itself, like the moon, assuaging thy desire.

My member cherisheth thy podex, drawing it close; and hateth it, pressing it away; it reareth all the petition of thy podex, like a maiden enraptured by a lute, assuaging thy desire.

My member seeth all podices, and judgeth that thy podex alone is beautiful; just is he therein, and consoleth it with pearly dew, brighter than the eye of a fawn, assuaging thy desire.


My member knoweth all the secret places of thy podex, and is longsuffering therein; great and perpendicular is he within thee like the sun at noon, assuaging thy desire.

My member pardoneth the imperfections of thy podex; worthy of thanks is he therefore, being exalted within thee, like a tower of ivory and gold, assuaging thy desire.

Great and strong is my member, and protecteth thy podex from his rivals;{fn3} he exposeth it, and numbereth his emissions, each like the spray of a fountain, assuaging thy desire.


Glorious is this member of mine and generous of pearly dew; beholding the heart of thy podex, like the sunset watching for the full moon, or like a darwesh meditating on Ya Sin,{fn4} assuaging thy desire.

My member heareth the complaint of thy podex; he is a vast member, and healeth thy misfortune, like cedarwood that healeth the sick, assuaging thy desire. 

My member reconcileth thy podex with himself, and being exalted sendeth out his pearly dew; he is the witness of all these orgasms, like a-many comets and meteors, assuaging thy desire.


My member is the Truth, never swerving from thy podex; he is the advocate of its beauty, and strong is he like a young unweaned lion, assuaging thy desire.

Solid is my member, a foster-father to thy podex, ever providing it with pearly dew; and thankworthy is he, like a poet before a king, assuaging thy desire.

My member reckoneth the orgasms of thy podex, he who began them; he raiseth himself from the dead, and giveth thee life, like the moon to Musalla,{fn5} assuaging thy desire.


My member slayeth thy podex with its terrible thrusts, he the living one! and he pleadeth for all the joys of thy podex, like Azrael{fn6} for death, assuaging thy desire.

My member is the only one that will fit thy podex, and he is the most holy one, as the Beyt Ullah is the most holy among mosques; he is the sole member, like Arafat{fn7} among mountains, assuaging thy desire.

My member is unaccompanied in thy podex; powerful is he, yea! most mighty, and hasteneth from orgasm to orgasm, like a man bringing tidings of victory, assuaging thy desire.


My member retardeth his ejection{fn8} in thy podex, prolonging our pleasure; he is the first therein and the last, like Israfel{fn9} among trumpeters, assuaging thy desire.

My member manifesteth himself erect and beautiful and concealeth himself forthwith in thy podex; for he is the fosterer of all thy beauty, like an harlot attiring herself, assuaging thy desire.

He is the tallest of all members, and charitable toward thy podex; he turneth the heart of thy podex to him, and avengeth Sodom{fn10} therein, pouring down a rain of pearly dew, yet hotter than flame, like ambergris upon the ocean, assuaging thy desire.


My member pardoneth the overflowing of thy podex, and pitieth its grief; the Lord of the Universe is he for thee, and there is none like him, assuaging thy desire.

Worthy of glory and honour is my member, who divideth thy buttocks, and assembleth thy whole soul in thy podex, like a great king gathering an army in one place, assuaging thy desire.

Rich is my member in pearly dew, and enricheth thy podex therewith; he refuseth to withdraw therefrom, and afflicteth thee with the sweet pain of a thousand orgasms,{fn11} like the bitings and pinchings of a courtesan,{fn12} assuaging thy desire.


My member bestoweth much advantage upon thy podex; he is the light thereof, as the sun of the dark earth at dawn; and he giveth it peace, assuaging thy desire.

My member is the finder-out of thy podex, even in the darkest abyss; my member surviveth a thousand times a thousand orgasms{fn14} and inheriteth the wealth of them like a miser hoarding gold coin, assuaging thy desire.

My member is the guide of thy podex, never leaving it for a moment; patient is he, eternally toiling therein;{fn15} for Hua{fn16} is God, and His Name is Unknown, like all things save Himself only,{fn17} assuaging thy desire.

{Footnote 1. The ninety-nine names of God, in sections of 10; 3, 3, and 4 to a subsection, occur in this remarkable poem. These are the names: 


as salamu



al cadasu



al maliku









al mutakabiru

the proud


al jabaru

the mighty


al azizu

the dear


al muhaiminu

the terrible


al muhminu

he to whom one is faithful


al caharu

the conqueror


al ghaffaru

the pardoner


al musawiru



al bariu



al khaliku



al cabidu



al alimu



al fatahu






al wahabu



al muzillu



al mu'aizzu






al khafidu



al basitu




the comforter





al hakamu



al basiru






al shakuru

worthy of thanks


al ghafuru



al 'azimu



al halimu

long suffering gracious


al khabiru

all knower


al hasibu



al moqitu



al hafizu



al kabiru

the great


al alliyu



al wasi'au



al mujibu

hearer of complaints



beholder of hearts


al karimu

the generous


al jalilu




witness of all


al ba'asu



al majidu



al wadudu



al hakimu

healer, wise


al walihu



al matinu



al qawiyu



al wakilu



al haqu



al mohiyu

giver of life


al mo'aidu



al mobdiu



al mohsiu



al hamidu

worthy of thanks


al majidu

most holy


al wajidu

the only one


al qoyumu

advocate of all


al haiyu



al momitu



al muqadimu

first of officers hastener


al maqtadiru

most mighty


al qadiru

of power full





al wahidu



al batinu






al ahiru

the last


al aiwalu

the first


al moahiru



al muntaqimu



al towabu

turner of hearts


al baru



al mutaalu



al waliyu

fosterer of all


zuljalilie walikrami

worthy of glory and honour


maliku el mulk

king of the universe



who pitieth


al 'afuwu



al marhnyu



al rhanyu



al jami'au



al moqsitu



al adiyu




la lumiere



giver of advantages





al man'au






al rashidu



al warisu



al baqiu



al badi'au



Hua is God; and there is none other God than Hua. Amen.}

{Footnote 2. Alexander the Great, still great in Hindostan. I can trace no legend to justify this epithet; perhaps it is merely poetic for "mighty".}

{Footnote 3. This verse (says Mahbub) conceals a "Great Word to become mad, and go about naked" if repeated 1001 times nightly for a number of nights not stated. Very probable.}

The concealed Word is only the common:


"Glory to God, and Praise to God! There is no God but God.

Great is He, and protecteth us; there is no might save in Him,

the Exalted One."}

{Footnote 4. The "Heart of the Q'uran"; one of its holiest chapters, recited or read to all good Muslim at the point of death, whenever possible.}

{Footnote 5. Musalla, near Shiraz; as Richmond, near London; or the Cafe d'Hermenonville, near Paris.}

{Footnote 6. Azrael -- the angel of death.}

{Footnote 7. Arafat -- the holy mountain near Mecca.}

{Footnote 8. The Vindu-Siddhi, power of retaining the semen, is one of the most interesting and important branches of Hathayoga, the Hindu "Physical Culture". The following from the Shiva Sanhita, concerning the Vajroli Mudra, affords an adequate example of the method and aim: 53. Actuated by mercy for my devotees, I shall now explain the "Vajroli Mudra", the destroyer of the darkness of the world, the most secret among all secrets.

54. Even while following all his desires, and without conforming to the regulations of Yoga, a householder can become emancipated, if he practices the VAJROLI MUDRA.

55. This VAJROLI YOG practice gives emancipation even when one is immersed in sensuality; therefore it should be practised by the Yogi with great care.

56. First let the talented practitioner introduce into his own body, according to the proper methods, the germ-cells from the female organ of generation, by suction up through the tube of the "meatus urinarius"; restraining his own semen, let him practise copulation. If by chance the semen begins to move, let him stop its emission by the practice of the YONI MUDRA. Let him place the semen on the left hand duct, and stop further intercourse. After a while, let him continue it again. In accordance with the instruction of his preceptors and by uttering the sound "hoom", let him forcibly draw up through the contraction of the "Apana Vayu" the germ-cells from the uterus.

57. The Yogi, worshipper of the lotus-feet of his Guru, should in order to obtain quick success in Yoga drink milk or nectar in this way.

58. Know semen to be moon-like, and the germ-cells the emblem of sun; let the Yogi make their union in his own body with great care.

59. I am the semen, Sakti is the germ fluid; when they both are combined, then the Yogi reaches the state of success, and his body becomes brilliant and divine.

60. Ejaculation of semen is death, preserving it within is life; therefore, let the Yogi preserve his semen with great care.

61. Verily, verily, men are born and die through semen; knowing this, let the Yogi always practise to preserve his semen.

62. When through great efforts success in the preservation of the semen is obtained, what then cannot be achieved in this world? Through the greatness of its preservation (i.e. through celibacy) one becomes like me in glory.

63. The "vindu" (semen) causes the pleasure and pain of all creatures living in this world, who are infatuated, and are subject to death and decay. For the Yogi, this preservation of semen is the best of all Yogas, and it is the giver of happiness.

64. Though immersed in enjoyments, men get powers through its practice. Through the force of his practice, he becomes an adept in due season, in his present life.

65. The Yogi certainly obtains through this practice all kinds of powers, at the same time enjoying all the innumerable enjoyments of the world.

66. This Yoga can be practised along with much enjoyment; therefore the Yogi should practice it.

67. There are two modifications of the VAJROLI, called "Sahajoni" and "Amarani". By all means let the Yogi preserve the semen.

68. If at the time of copulation the "vindu" is forcibly emitted, and there takes place an union of the sun and the moon, then let him absorb this mixture through the tube of the male organ. This is "Amarani".

69. The method by which the "vindu" on the point of emission can be withheld through YONI-MUDRA is called "Sahajoni". It is kept secret in all the Tantras. 

70. Though ultimately the action of them ("Amarani" and "Sahajoni") is the same, there are arisen differences owing to the difference of nomenclature.. Let the Yogi practise them with the greatest care and perseverance.

71. Through love for my devotees, I have revealed this Yoga; it should be kept secret with the greatest care, and not be given to everybody.

72. It is the most secret of all secrets that ever were or shall be; therefore let the prudent Yogi keep it with the greatest secrecy possible.

73. When at the time of voiding urine the Yogi draws it up forcibly through the Apana-Vayu, and keeping it up, discharges it slowly and slowly; and practices this daily according to the instructions of his Guru, he obtains the "vindusiddhi" (power over semen) that gives great powers.

74. He who practises this daily according to the instructions of his Guru does not lose his semen, were he to enjoy a hundred women at a time.

75. O PARVATI! When "vindu-siddhi" is obtained, what else cannot be accomplished? Even the inaccessible glory of my godhead can be attained through it.}

{Footnote 9. The angel to whom is allotted the duty of sounding "the last trump".}

{Footnote 10. Sodom -- a legendary city, said to have been destroyed by a volcano. But it has a mystic meaning. It is spelt [mem, daleth, samekh] in Hebrew, signifying by the secret keys of Qabalah Temperance (turning a man) from pleasure to Self-Sacrifice. (Erroneously read by Zahids as follows: the angel Metratron bestowing upon Indulgence condign Punishment). I doubt, though, if El Haji knew all this. A.L. (Nonsense! The Angel of the Key of [samekh] is Sandalphon, not Metratron, and is of Reconciliation. Even a Zahid would surely know this. The true key to its meaning is its value 104 = 8 x 13, and therefore its interpretation of the number 8, since 13 is only the basic unity. Now 8 refers to the Chariot and Abacadabra. Perhaps the two Sphinxes which the Charioteer drives are the symbols of the two sexes which he enjoys, even as the Sphinx is the Deification of the bestial, and therefore an apt Hieroglyph of the Magnum Opus. Ed.)}

{Footnote 11. Surely Oriental exaggeration.}

{Footnote 12. The rules for which are carefully laid down in the Ananga Ranga, and other works on the Science, Art and Craft of Love.}

{Footnote 13. For a similar literal division of the stanzas of a poem, cf. Psalm CXIX.}

{Footnote 14. Surely Oriental exaggeration.}

{Footnote 15. After all this, mere envy must drive us to assume a mystical sense for these writings.}

{Footnote 16. Hua -- He. But it is further the true and secret unpronounceable Name of God, concealed by its obviousness. The 100th name, about which people make such a fuss, is simply Allah [Arabic] itself, the other 99 merely replacing Allah in the sentence Hua Allahu alazi wailaha ill Hua, thus: Hua Arrahmanu alazi etc., and so for the rest. How [Arabic] came to mean God ([Arabic] the God) is a question for the profoundest scholarship; but we note that [Arabic] has the numerical value of 66, and that 66 is the sum of the first 12 numbers, beginning, as Orientals do begin in a cosmogony, with Zero. Now [Arabic] has the value of 12. The symbolism of this number will occur to all students. But without coursing that hare to death, we may lightly touch upon the traces of Hua through the languages. Hebrew Hua, English He; and note the remarkable similarity to Allah of Ille, Il, Lui, Le and so on. 

The Hebrew Allah is [he lamed aleph] usually transliterated by our empirics Eloah, perhaps dropping an L because 36 is the value of [Hebrew letters from left to right: He Lamed Aleph] and the sum of the first nine numbers (0 to 8) being the number of their Divine Sephiroth (not including Malkuth, the world); and the addition of the 10th number{fn9} giving them 45, the value of the name [Hebrew letters from left to right: Mem Daleth Aleph] Adam. But even the Hebrews acknowledge the superior purity of the 12 system by retaining Hua as a title of Kether, their highest emanation. Unfortunately they seem to have forgotten that Kether should itself be counted as Zero, thereby altering their whole chain of aeons and its symbolism, though it is true that, realizing the necessity of Zero as starting point for any system, they concealed behind Kether three veils of the negative, culminating in Ain, pure negation. But this was rather an effect of the Brahminical (or post-Fichtean) metaphysic, in which an Absolute is reached by denying to it all possible predicates as thinkable, and therefore derogatory. Even when one retorted, "He is then Unthinkable", the wary Rabbi would reply, "Neither Thinkable nor Unthinkable." You can't win; but you don't want to play any more!

All this is far, far indeed from the true practical Qabalah, which contents itself with leading the student to the next stage, which teaches the animal to think, the thinker to aspire, the aspirant to wisdom and crowneth the wise man with the glory of the 12 Stars, his holy Genius.

Not that it is for a mere dabbler like myself to suggest to others even a line of research; but love conquers modesty, and I should like to hint that in the restoration of a duodecimal notation and cosmography lies the best hope of a perfect recovery of the perfect Way. A.L.

One is sorry to have to object that the Arabic Hua is spelt [Arabic] not [Arabic] and equals 11, not 12. The number 11, however, does represent the squaring of the circle, the Great Work, since there are 11 letters in Abrahadabra, whose symbolism is so enigmatical; [Arabic] is further the equation of a [Arabic] 5 the Pentagram and [Arabic] 6 the Hexagram, Micro and Macro-prosopus, Man and God.}

{Footnote 17. This is the extreme sceptico-mystical position; to admit that phenomena are perfectly mysterious, while asserting a direct consciousness of the Absolute.}

The fame of Ecstasy the redemption of the World.



Habib hath heard; let all Iran

who spell aright from A to Z

Exalt thy fame and understand

with whom I made a marriage-bed;

Resort to tool-and-podex play

till all the world in tears is shed

Before the sword of Azrael,

the trump of Israfel the dread.{fn2}

Exalt, exalt our love at last

Among the living and the dead,

Resort to love, and press its purple

calix with His purple head,

Till fall the pearls with rubies strung,

the dews upon the dawn that bled.

Crimson, o lover, was our love,

and crimson streams the sunset past;

Hyacinthine glows the vault of night,

the Future certain, sure to last.

Accept the gold of noon that pours

its white-hot flood, its radiant blast!

Rampant within thy podex take

this member, stiffer than a mast.

Lively as love itself, supreme

in pride, stupendous in the vast!

Even the present gold and white,

the Moment ever fleeting fast,

Surrendered never! this delight

the Venus-throw hath surely cast.{fn3}

Jehannum shall exclaim "Habib!"

and light inform its murky fire,

Entrancing all the ghouls{fn4} to love,

waking the Shaitans to desire!

Rejoicing souls in Paradise

shall spurn the Hur al Ayin{fn5} with ire,

Opening their lips in pangs of woe,

offering their souls in pawn to hire!

Men from the utmost desert lands

shall spurt their steeds through sand and mire,

Even to look upon the face

immortal from this lewdly lyre.

Perfect, Habib, my magic song:

perfect our loves for ever are:

Olibanum and ambergris,

nargis and rose of the 'attar,{fn6}

Lily and lilac, thus they rise

in fragrance to the morning star.

Light springs and liberty is fair -- 

o break the intoxicating jar!

It is enough that thou art Near,

the shamer of the foolish Far,

To glut thy jasmine podex on

the member of thine El Qahar;

To glut thine almond member in

the podex of thine El Qahar.

{Footnote 1. Riddle. In the Persian are perhaps concealed some details of the Poet's life and amours. (This is an acrostic that spells out Herbert Charles Jerome Pollitt—Librarian)}

{Footnote 2. Azrael -- angel of death; Israfel -- of the last Judgement, bear respectively a sword and a trumpet. We have taken Azrael, though modern Persians  usually (not the text here. Ed) call him Abu yahya [Arabic] "Father John". Some ignorant Persians confuse him with Ezekiel! Result: "to sup with Father John" means either to eat dirt, i.e. apologize, or "to die". Hence an offended Persian, in a tavern brawl, may say, "You must sup with Father John tonight", meaning "Retract, or I knife you."}

{Footnote 3. Venus-throw -- the double six. The highest throw at dice.}

{Footnote 4. Ghoul -- a corpse-devouring devil.}

{Footnote 5. Hur al Ayin, pl. of Ahwar al Ayin, our Western "Houri". Literally, one whose eye is intensely white, i.e., the conjunctiva; while the cornea is perfectly black.] [Footnote: 6. 'Attar' [Arabic] a druggist. "Attar of roses" (corrupted to "Otto of Roses") is all nonsense. The word meant is Atr [Arabic] perfume.}

The rapture in rapture.


BAGH-I-MUATTAR((This is an acrostic that spells out, backward, Aleister Crowley.))

Ye cypress-breasted boys of birth,

attend the coming of the gloom!

Expose your breasts of jasmine, show

your lily buttocks all abloom!

Let Love awake, and blush, as Love

comes glimmering from the starry womb,

With standing member all aglow,

purpled with cloth from Rapture's loom.

O tulip cheeks! O lips of rose!

the joy of Allah ye assume,

Rejoicing in the luscious play,

the slippery splendour of the spume

Cast from the holy hiding-place

for ever till the day of doom.

Rejoice, O podex, in thy strength!

thy spasms like the stars illume

Earth's darkness, life's disgrace, abash

the trifling terrors of the tomb.

The nargis scent shall steal about

the world, assuage its fret and fume,

Suspend the laws of Nature, break

Qismat's insufferable boom,

Incense the mountain and the plain,

sufflate the forest and the combe

Eternally with love, with love,

with love, the lily all abloom.

Love me, your poet; pass the night

from twilight gloom to twilight gloom

At podex-play with El Qahar

within his Garden of Perfume!




A Labyrinth do I the Paraclete

EIdolize in the House of gnathous Rock
STarry with scent of dittany of Crete,

ERotice with the love-chants of a cock
CROWing of her whose gnostic lips are wan,
LEYlah conceiving by the Lycian!


Black is the midnight when that wintry bird

Stands on the snowbank like an ermine tail
Blotting the royal robes: he cries a word

That gilds the red blood in the blessed Grail:
Wherefore the Beetle ramps upon the Hill,
And argent angels trumpet sour and shrill.


Jinn gnash their wings and lurk upon the West:

Like camels they abandon life for love,
Sucking green poison from a dugless breast.

Such is the echo in these towers, above
The incandescent sea that rolls about
The soul of God, its ravelin and redoubt.


Drear and devout the dead monks moan and rave

Within these cells of this my labyrinth:
They couple with the ghuls upon my grave,

And on my monument's marmoreal plinth
They rage in amorous rituals unto Pan,
Whose leer breeds Thersites and Caliban.


Hour after hour *one* toils about the maze:

*Two* are embayed in bowers of moss and rose:
*Three* quarrel for the clue their spites erase:

*Four* squat like sun-kissed archipelagoes:
*Five* make an holy Nun (as none who counts)
And track Dione to her lustral founts.


Woe to the world! the bull and girl conjoin.

The monster guards the grot: the sly goat grins
When priest and prelate privately purloin

The perfume of our quintessential sins.
Woe! when that pizzle, ripe from Hathor's Cow,
Writes the red blush on Pasiphae's brow!


Zazel, the saturnine, the brooding fiend,

Listens and laughs at this ecstatic "woe"!
His desart teats from twisted terrors weaned

The ghost of Chasmodai: our vials flow
With galangal and marjoram and myrrh,
As Rhodope rapes life from Lucifer.


Chryselephantine cross! how good you gleam!

How gods and goats respire the dark perfume
Of oliban, and scent the erotic steam

Of myrtle in the cypress groves of gloom
That rolls and gathers into shapes of bronze
Who dream strange dreams and chant strange orisons.


Temple and Thora, Taro and Throa!

These are the goals and gates whereto ye tend,
O ribbed red barrows, whose virilia

Earn muliebria at the smooth sad end.
Alas! ye have not learned with God and me
To say your father's name A-dun-a-i!


Ieheshwah hath the tooth between the nail

And window in his word: therein is joy.
But whoso dons the gilded coat of mail

Takes from Damascus dame, and leaves the boy
To wander as he will with whips and sighs,
And vain hibiscus cloistered to his thighs.


Kabus the nightmare makes me mad for kus

When kun and kir are all the k's I can:
I grow Ex Epicuri grege sus:

I shave with steel these hairy marks of man:
Then Sappho swoops her sweetest on the goal
Of scorching blood, and swallows up my soul.


Lola be mine, and Lola rave astrain

Who findeth in my labyrinth a pool
To give her ganja-gramarye in grain: -- 

The boy is blind, but beautiful, O fool!
He cannot see the scars of thy disease:
Lydia and Lalage divide his fees.


Myrrh be thy music, harping thy perfume,

When thou canst sit upon the foursquare stone
Shaped like an egg, well hid within the tomb

Where Jesus drawls: "Consult that cruel crone
Who mutters mantrams to her swart tom-cat,
And trims her broomstick toward Ararat!"


Nina, the navrant enervating nun,

Anoint thee with the lewd laborious oil
She gathered of the sow-sweat sin the sun

And quintessentialized with tearing toil!
Let her anoint thee! thou shalt stand as stiff
As unicorn confronting hipogriff.


So fly above the hedges that confound

Thy clue-shorn chase: is Lampsacus afire
With sunset on its marble walls, enwound

As an hog's heart in the cobalt desire?
Is there a Tuscan holding to thine eyes
A tusky marvel to affright the skies?


Arab and I admit to gutsy fear.

We nurse the world in our expanded wombs.
With ambergris and cedar-oil we rear

Colossal children stolen out of tombs.
We hide them in our bowels, sooth to say,
To show them to the Lord of Judgment Day.


Priapus laughs, and we behold him Pan;

Then if I smile, in me Panthea glows;
I am a panther, mark the caravan,

Devour a child, and plant a royal rose.
Then to my Rose if Pan is his own Pandar
My horn is worth the two of Alexander.


Tzedeq of God that winged magnificence

Is called by sylphs. It pours the pregnant pearls
Even on the thuribles of gilt incense

That smoke within the garlands of its girls.
So from mere myrrh mirific murders come,
And holy bane from plain olibanum.


Qaiyum thine anguish, with the thorny crown

Lashing thy brow, the jackal's direful din
Breaking thy body! Could not eiderdown

Serve thee? His kisses cool thee? Is not sin
The royal road to sainthood, eremite
Whose purple pestle shuns the Dog's delight?


Rays of Aldeboran invade the coil

Of this my labyrinth and point the way.
Lick Nina for the consecrated oil!

Scrape Jesus for the sacramental clay!
See how the fumes of Voodoo curl around
Thy Wanga-circle, the enchanted ground.


Shaitan appears. But gloomier clouds of smoke

Than hell's are here, where wand and spell combine
The utmost spawn of chaos to invoke

As gods within the most supernal shrine.
I am the master. Will not God contest
The last grim struggle for his Alkahest?


Tangri suffices me, and I am He,

The bornless spirit with the sighted feet.
Twain pearls and seventy shimmer upon me:

My food is myrrh and dittany of Crete.
Dolphin and Phoenix round the Maypole tree
Dance to the wedding march of El Lutiy.

            Explicit Abjad-i-Al'ain

The two books have nothing in common but the name. Garden is the almost universal glyph for a book of mystic lore, and Perfume for divine chrism. The Arab book is a treatise on the various methods of copulation, plus some obscene stories, and a collection of prescriptions against impotence, pregnancy, and the like.
St. Augustine can find no better symbols than El Haji to express his love for God. “What is it then that I love, O my God, when I love you? It is not the beauty of bodies, not the glory which passes, nor the light which our eyes love; it is not the varied harmony of sweet songs nor the aroma of perfumes and sweet flowers, nor the voluptuous joys of carnal embraces. No, it is more than these that I love when I love my God; and yet in this love I find light, an inner voice, a perfume, a savour, an embrace of a kind which does not leave the inmost of myself. There in the depths of the soul glows something which is not in space: there a word is heard which has no syllables; thence there breathes a perfume which no breezes waft away: there food is always savored and never eaten: there are embraces which never ask to end…”
The few who still suppose that Omar Khayyam was a libertine should read the exposition of Book xi of this Purana.
Manes (Mani) the heresiarch was of course Persian.
I cannot agree that such a moment necessarily intervenes between normal and Samadhic consciousness, or, as the Buddhists assert, that there is a long series of intervening states invariable and well-defined, though perhaps this may sometimes be so. Nor is the appearance of the “Dweller” a sure earnest of success: on the contrary, many (even most) will fail to pass this terrible barrier.
Crede experto? Ed.
There is of course not the most shadowy reason in ethics for the attitude of the law. The most confirmed sodomite (bimetallist) may beget quite as many children as another, while monogamy is the fashion. If man were expected to fertilize some dozens of women every night, like a stud ram, I don't say: but he is not. But on the positive side, a strict adherence to sodomy except for the practical purpose of begetting children, or for pacifying women, an object which a parallel development of Sapphism would more rationally fulfil, would avoid the numberless crimes and calamities inseparable from sexual intercourse – venereal diseases (almost entirely), seduction, abortion, concealment of birth, child murder, social tyranny – et omnis horrida cohors malorum.

As few people seem to know the fons et origo legis, I may here be permitted to sketch it in outline. When the power of the Crescent menaced that of the Cross, sodomy was put down with Draconic rigour because the Turks believed that the Messiah (a reincarnation of Jesus) would be born of the love between two men. Sodomy was thus a religious duty with the Turk; at any moment his passion might be used to bring about the millenium; so with the Christian it became heresy and was punished as such. People who were beyond suspicion, such as the Princes of the Church, could always obtain dispensations, and in fact habitually did so. The documents are extant. This was to the mediaeval mind a far more urgent matter than any mere persistence of Levitical tradition, founded as it was on a popular superstition scarcely less gross than their own.

But today no man can bring forward either the population nonsense or the heresy nonsense, so he brings up his dinner instead, under the equally absurd delusion that the process is physically dirty. In the interests of Light and Truth, one cannot too widely disseminate the grossly phrased, but noble, American proverb that “A turd jumps away from a live prick like a grasshopper from a snake”. Anyway, one can wash! (i) i. The pathics of Laknau, when offering themselves for hire to British officers, draw long strips of muslin from their recta, whose perfect cleanliness is thus beyond suspicion. O si sic omnes! Ed.

The sole effect of the law as it stands is to make life in England insupportable for the wretched urning, and to expose every man, whether he be a sodomite or not, to the attacks of blackmailers of the vilest sort.

Suppose I am threatened by these gentry; suppose I catch them and prosecute them; suppose they get the maximum penalty, and I leave the court with applause and with the strongly expressed thanks of the judge for the courage and skill with which I have discharged so unpleasant, albeit so useful, a public duty?

Very well; does that convince my jealous wife?

Does that prevent people in the street pointing me out as “the man who was mixed up in that buggery business, don't you remember? Of course there was nothing against him; it's difficult to bring home these things, don't you know? But we think what we think, don't you know?”

While your admiring friends openly boast of you as a “dam clever bugger, by God! He had half the boys in London, and when they started to blackmail him, he turned right round like that (gesture) before you could say “knife”, by God! and didn't they get beans, by God!”

But could I fight an English election? How would my chiefs in the army look at it, when it came to the actual point of choosing one of two men for promotion? What price that fat tutorship?

There are dozens of weak innocent fools in London at this hour who, making these reflections, paid the first fatal moderate demand.

There are dozens of strong-minded men who have come to the conclusion that they may as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb, especially as the former is real and the latter imaginary, and so, a posteriori turned their thoughts ad posteriorem. Some are born sodomites, some achieve sodomy and some have sodomy thrust upon them: the Urning, the Bimetallist, and the carcerophobe.

There are some sodomites which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some sodomites which were made sodomites of men: and there are sodomites which have made themselves sodomites for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake. (The Urning, the Bimetallist, and the carcerophobe, and the holy sodomite to whom his passion is a sacrament, leading him on the straight road into the very arms of God). He that is able to receive it, let him recieve it!

The law manufactures sodomites as it manufactures habitual criminals.

Legalize sodomy, and you will diminish it; or even if, as you seem to fear, you increase it, you will see no change in society but an advance in refinement, and possibly, parallel with the fall in price of Mercury Iodine, and Sandalwood oil, a slight increase in demand for that preparation of the supra-renal capsules which is so useful in obstinate cases of internal haemorrhoids.
Pray analyse the sensation aroused in you by the story which ends (Mrs. Awkins, asleep, being awakened by the cup of tea which she has spilt over her lap). “There you are, Awkins! All over my stummick again!”
A skilful sodomite should be able to withdraw his penis nearly dry. The subsequent moisture of the anus will act as a pleasing lubricant, when the next round of preliminaries is over.
This has been already anticipated in the long note above. (Ed.
I would suggest allopath, homaeopath, and eclectic, as a fitting classification of humanity.
A little obscure. I suppose the author means: a scientific whist player need not pity a gambler more than he does a drunkard; a father of twelve pity the raper more than the brawler; or the polo enthusiast pity the man who thinks he is a horse more than him who fancies himself a teapot. A.L.
Conversely, it is interesting to observe that a woman can afford two pleasures to a woman, exclusively:
      (1) tribadism (cunnus ad cunnum)
      (2) cunnilingism
A man can afford three pleasures to a woman exclusively:
      (1) sodomy
      (2) irrumation (pleasure of the fellatrix)
      (3) copulation
Of these, tribadism is rather artificial, and hardly to be distinguished from ordinary masturbation; so that the balance is strongly in favour of man. This explains why very few women are exclusively Sapphists, but many bimetallists; and enables one to comprehend the hatred of woman for sodomy, and the toleration with which men regard Sapphism.
I cannot too strongly urge my readers to select their lovers from their equals in rank and fortune. It is the only safeguard against betrayal; further, it fulfils the Greek ideal, and silences the voice of adverse criticism. A.L.
Besides all this, there is the question of “nature” and “against nature”. “Praise Lacedaemon, and despise Corinth! God gave me Daphne; I won Hyacinth.” All our modern devices, though applications of nature, are against man and above nature; therefore of God. Nature's man is the cave-man. We take no paternal pride in the pariah dog, the product of nature; in the highly bred setter, the product of man's genius applied to nature's very raw material, through centuries and chiliads of struggle, we do. There is no poetry in the panting Puritan prone on his puffing and perspiring Priscilla: the love of Adrian and Antinous is a monument for all ages. Is there better poetry in the world than Wilde's “…on Adrian's gilded barge The laughter of Antinous” or F………'s “the splendid Syrian youth with scarlet mouth Standing upon the summit of the world?” Why to kiss my boy is a canzonet, and to suck him off a sonnet; his mouth is a madrigal, his lips are lyrics, and his eyes idylls; to be beneath him is an epithalamium, and on top of him an epic.
The author of this essay was with the force that captured Theebaw in 1886, and with the Soudan expeditions of recent years. A.L.
A high Anglican, he lived for three years, immediately after his ordination, in monastic seclusion at L…. A.L.
He was. A.L.
I am alone responsible for these capital summaries; but a well know lady mystic in London assures me that they are just.
[Arabic] satirist, not to be confused with [Arabic] pilgrim.
El Qahar – The Conqueror – Abdullah's 'Takhallus' or cognomen qua poeta.
22) , 23)
Common symbols for member and podex. See Burton, Priapeia.
Not the common cowrie… …which would be more probably taken as an emblem of pudendum muliebre. [Arabic] is the pearl-oyster shell; [Arabic] the cowrie, here the text reads [Arabic] shell-whirlpool, which I took to mean the common spiral sea-shell. There may be a less fantastic phrase for this; to my Munshi, who had never studied the sea, all shells are alike and I could not explain my questions.
It must be noted that kun (Be!) is the Arab Fiat or λογοσ, hence “podex” is a just symbol of the Noumenon or Essence, the knowledge of identity with which is the goal of all genuine religion.
[Arabic] Suli, an impaling stake. A rare word of Sanskrit origin.
Chokmah, the “emanation” referred to the Sphere of the Stars.
Geburah. Curiously reminiscent of Cazotte's conception of Asmodai. There may be a pun between [Arabic] camel and [Arabic] the devil. Demons are usually described as resembling animals or distortions of them. One may consult the descriptions of the 72 evil spirits of the Goetia, or the following actual results of the clairvoyance of a well known Irish lady.


ALCANOR A light-flash. Perhaps bird-like – swallow or dove.
AMATIA A very black snake, wormy and wriggly.
BILIFARES A great toad with a black head.
LAMARION A donkey-headed beast the size of a spaniel with a long twisted tail.
DIRALISEN A snake with six feet. Its head is like that of an enormous ferret, and the eyes very red.
LICAMEN A very small long-eared monkey.
DUNIRAG Like a sheep with the mange. It has straight horns and four black legs; the wool is in knots and patches.
ELPONEN A whitish long-haired mouse.
ERGAMEN A big black hairy spider.
GOTIFAN A bat of light colour and red mixed.
NIMORUP A stunted dwarf with large head and ears. His lips are greeny bronze and slobbery.
CARELENA A long beaked owl, very big, grey, with no feathers.
LAMALON Has human feet, thin legs, and a skinny body; the head is huge and a goats, the arms long and skinny.
IGURIM Has a crocodiles head, a smooth fish's body, with white belly. Long is its tail and tapering, and it hath no feet but brownish fins.
AKIUM Is a long-bodied black sphinx.
DORAK Is a very misshapen monkey, of slate colour. The hands are very human, as also the ears. The body is like a woman.
TACHAN A red pelican's head, a shrunken brown four-legged body.
IKONOK A very black toad with bright red eyes and much gold on his salient points.
KEMAL A big bird, pigeons head, grey. The wings are very long with rosy tips.
BILICO Skeleton in front of Set Beast's face.
TROMES An enormous black beetle with lobsterlike mandibles.
BALFORI A 7-pointed white star, with one point very long.
AROLEN Enormous green locust.
LICROCHI A cat's head, a dachshunds body, a long tufted tail. Browny-yellow, dead looking.
NOMINON A large red spongy jellyfish with one greenish luminous spot. Like a nasty mess.
IAMAI A small light crested yellow bird, iridescent under the throat.
AROGOR A black vulture with human ears, a very long beak, and very red eyes.
HOLASTRI An enormous pink bug.
HACAMUBI A monkey, black, with long hair and a white face.
SAMALO An altogether black undersized ram with very long curling horns lying back along its back.
PLISON Has two very thin legs, a black big belly, and arms stretched up and behind its very large and long seal's head. The mouth is human and enormous.
RADERAF Has a rhinoceros' head, but the roof of the head is cut off. He hath no body or legs.
BOROL An erect serpent coiled, with a crowned flat head.
SOROSINA Like a lamb pierced from right shoulder to back with an arrow. Lamb (sideways on) lying down.
CORILLON Is very strong, having the paws and body of a couchant lion. But its face is a woman's with her hair like an Egyptian Queen's.
GRAMON Is a tortoise of light colour with a knobby shell.
MAGALAST Like a very small green frog with a red, 4-pointed star on his head.
ZAGALO A big frog, green with dull yellow spots. It hath a rattail, very long.
PELLIPIS Like a red flaming tapering Rod, with notches at the thick end.
NATALIS A small black gnome. In his left hand is a grey pedestal surmounted by a white pyramid.
NAMIROS Is formless, like a flood of yellow light more brilliant than the sun.
ADIRAEL A very large gold fish with an enormous head.
KABADA Is a fat frog, erect, with a green white chest.
KIPOKIS A small figure, fox-headed, extending its left hand.
ORGOSIL A very dark and very large tortoise.
ARCON A smallish nude human bony figure. It has a square head with three large plumes.
AMBOLON A hunched-up rabbit squatted on a pedestal.
LAMOLON An enormous snail of very deep blue.
BILIFOR An erect serpent with a flat head pointing forward.
Chesed and Jesod.
Cf. a 'windy and watering moon' in “Atalanta”.
Binah. That is, in Man's innocence his devotion enables him to commune with all the Gods except Kether, the supreme. The symbols are identical with those of the Hebrews and the Bohemians.
About as vague a personage as we find in Mandeville, Malory, or Moore. It is a curious literary phenomenon that in all countries poets will talk about “Cashmere” and “Cathay” and so on without the smallest fact to guide them. Yet there is a certain consistency in the conception.
[Arabic] Ghazi warrior; sometimes used only of one who has slain an infidel. A common piece of mild chaff to a harlot (male or female) is: “Why have you stuck rouge ([Arabic] Ghaza) on your face? In order to stick a Ghazi to your bottom!”
Black-violet: so in text [Arabic]. A black mole, in Sufi cipher, means the “point of indivisible unity”. But El Haji more scandalously and obviously chooses the podex itself throughout most of his masterpiece.
Friday. This appears at first sight an obvious misreading. But (if you please) Mahbub says: “When a boy opens his podex, the hairs depart one from another like true believers quitting the mosque on Friday. [Arabic] (mist) also means a worm in Arabic and the passage implies that all Arabs have tape-worms!” As is well known, they pay respect to Abu Bekr and Omar, and make things very hot for the Arami every year at Mecca. The dragon is of course the universal one; Rahu in India; Caput Draconis and Cauda Draconis in the West, famed in Astrology as the powers of the Eclipse.

But I personally support the misreading theory for [Arabic] though I can offer no conjectural restoration. The text makes nonsense, and Abdullah, with all his puns and eccentricities, rarely does this. (In Morocco the appearance of hair on face or privates utterly disqualifies a boy for pathic.
[Arabic] This is one of El Haji's “portmanteau” words. He will not specify [Arabic] (solar) or [Arabic] (lunar) eclipse; so calmly invented a word with the third possible guttural to include all kinds!
From the Q'uran. Used however to *reject* amorous advances, as they say “Allah is bountiful” to a beggar, meaning “I am not”. But here it is meant seriously, or at worst to imply; “This is a very disgraceful conduct – let us blame it on Allah”!
Aflatun – Plato.
Kun [Arabic] anus.
Ruknabad – A streamlet of Persia near Shiraz (Forbes).
Dijirid. A ring at which Arabs tilt at full gallop. It is our Western “tent pegging” or the medieval “quintain”, this latter perhaps brought by the Crusaders from Syria. (Tilting the ring? Ed.
43) , 44)
Light – Tune. Trancendental phenomena known to the practical mystic.
To break wind is the worst breach of good taste possible to a Musalman. Witness the famous story translated by Burton.
Qazi – magistrate.
It is exceedingly doubtful whether an actual Jew would be permitted to hold office, even if converted to Islam. The term is probably simple abuse. Ass-membered (khar nafsar, [Arabic]) is with most Persian writers a compliment. El Haji had certainly never heard the English rime “A gentleman's pin is long and thin”; yet he appears to share the prejudice, probably from personal reasons.
Hatim Tai. The Hercules of Persia, though his feasts are more famous than his stature. But here the bulk is clearly the important thing.
Hunchback – not merely an unfortunate, but a bad man. Witness “Expect 42 ills from the cripple, and 80 from the one-eyed man; but when the hunchback arrives, say Allah help us!”
Bukhti is the two-humped camel of Bactria. Ali is therefore the fellow's name; Bukhti his laqab or nickname – which none escape.
The very cause of life – desire – is that which hinders its attaining to higher planes. A Buddhist and by no means a Mohammedan doctrine. I am a little uncertain of my translation. Literally [Arabic].
Cf. Verlaine – c'est a reccomencer. But “beginning” is here “maruk” [Arabic] not “rashid”; and Mahbub says that here is a punning reference to Marut [Arabic] (any connection with the Sanskrit Martus?) and Harut, who are the Persian “Beni Elohim” going in to the daughters of men. To punish them, Allah hung them by their heels in a well at Babylon, where they wile away the time by giving magical instruction. The meaning therefore (argal!) of the whole passage is that unredeemed (i.e. uninitiated) man, however ordinarily devout, is liable to become a sorcerer! I cannot help thinking that Mahbub must have been hung up by his heels at one time: nobody could ever think all that out right way up!
53) , 55)
Husein – possibly represents the mystic teacher or Guru of the poet. The Nubian is perhaps Satan or the “Evil Genius”. Abdul means Saints or Hermits, but also a class of being spoken of in the Oracles of Zoroaster as “Intelligibles”, “Empyrean Rulers”; in short, Viceroys of the Demiourgos. They are the Mahayana “Dhyana-Buddhas” and the modern planetary gods Arathron, Bethor, Phaleg, Och, Hagith, Ophiel, Phul. The curious may consult Cornelius Agrippa for further details.
A common expression of surprise or shock. In such a connection it here becomes (to the Persian mind, at least) intensely ludicrous. As in the story of the King who climbed the wall (in the other “Scented Garden” – Ed.) where this form of jest is carried to its limit.
Unbeliever, i.e. the Christian, who ranks in Islam with the idolater and the polytheist.
In reference to the problems of Greek philosophy, I may refer students to Erdmann's History of Philosophy for an adequate and noble discussion of this fascinating theme.
Hindus, etc. The sins of the soul. Cf. Ezekiel XVI and XXIII – indeed the whole symbolism of the Hebrew prophets.
Meaning that his buttocks are now public; like a serai; while before they were private, like a harem.
From the Q'uran. But possibly a threat equalling “God may forgive you but I never will”, as our demi-virgin Astrea Redux told the treacherous Countess.
[Arabic] Hakim – doctor, not to be confused with [Arabic] Hakim – official.
Wolf's Tail – the false dawn, or zodiacal light.
One MS. omits the sentence, and finishes the previous couplet “O flabby and withered lips!” [Arabic] “lips of one who fasts”.
Probably a pun. [Arabic] to kiss. [Arabic] rotten.
Reputed aphrodisiacs. In reality of little more use than the boasted South American Damiana. Chob-chini (wood of China) is the “ginseng” of Sze-Chuen and Corea. The modern biological methods of restoring sexual vigour are interesting. Brown-Sequard prepared a testicualar infusion, but his was not found – everywhen, everywhere, and by all, a success. Today they kill a goat, obtain the semen while the animal is still not quite dead, and preserve by a special process. Such a decoction, even when a year old, exhibits live and active spermatazoa when warmed by an experienced microscopist on the stage of a good instrument. Injected under the skin, it produces magnificent results, both as a general tonic and a cure for impotence. Thus the goat, deposed from his satanic glory, and proved (like a young virgin) useless in gonorrhea, has at last found his causa finalis in the laboratories of Chicago. (The following addition to the above note was communicated to me by the able and learned M. Merryweather of Armours).


Prepared from the testicles of the ram. The value of the orchitic substance is stated to be assured in the treatment of well-defined cases, particularly in cerebral depression, failure of reproductive power, premature senility, nervous asthenia, neurasthenia etc. In these complaints, the employment of the Orchitic substance gives good results by stimulating the nervous system, by increasing the power of work, and also the secretions, the proportions of haemoglobin and the vital resistance, etc. Such results are partially explained by the chemical composition of the Orchitic extracts which are extremely rich in organic phosphorus. The results are similar to those obtained by the use of Glycero-Phosphates and Lecithins.
Preparations – Orchitic desiccated powder (Armour). One part is equal to 80 parts of the raw material packed in one ounce bottles at 2/6d. Orchitic Tablets (Armour). Each tablet contains 2 grains of the dessicated substance packed in bottles of 100 tablets at 1/6d.
Firdausi, the epic poet of Persia.
Some MSS. end with this Takhallus. But this title seems hardly justified without what follows. At the same time, it must be remembered that the titles are all probably of late insertion and for convenience of reference only.
According to Mahbub, this is an attack on the Q'uran. (He being like so many Persians today not only a Sufi, but a follower in a sect of El Baab, delights to point out these things.) For furious [Arabic] is a pun on [Arabic] Salir, a prophet, who converted some of the Thamud tribe by producing a camel from a stone. (Q'uran Cap. VII) But even so the joke is not obvious to my mind.
Very like Cromwell's famous retort to the officer who asked if his puritans should engage in prayer, as the enemy might attack at any moment. “Of a surety; and bid them keep well dry their powder”.
Ka'abah – the Holy Place at Mecca. See Burton's Pilgrimage for a long description of this and of the Black Stone.
Hujjaj – plural of Haji, a pligrim to Mecca.
Omar – See Burton's Pilgrimage for facts about this caliph, highly honoured by the orthodox Muslim, but detested by the 'Arami' (Persians) who ever seek to defile his tomb, often risking their lives in the attempt. Frequent is the pun between Omar and Hhumar “ass”. They are spelt nearly alike [Arabic] and [Arabic] and Persian pronunciation always slurs the difference between “ma'ajub” and “ma'aruf” o and u.
Whose? Presumably the Nubian's; but the text is ambiguous.
A pun. [Arabic] means both “rock” and a jinn who offended King Solomon. The latter (as usual) imprisoned him in a brass globe and threw him into the sea.
All this is so much the more insulting as the woman and the pig are such unclean beasts. See Frazer “Adonis, Attis, Osiris” Book I. Cap. IV p. 36 in reference to a shrine of Hercules at Gades (Cadiz) an early Tyrian colony. “Neither women nor pigs might pollute the holy Place by their presence”. So that we need not attribute the Mohammedan viewpoint to the Inspiration of Allah; others had noticed it before.
Aziz is a generic term – darling, sweetheart, etc., almost the French mignon, with a subcurrent of meaning – pathic. Joseph (ibn Yakub) says Palmer, is called “aziz i mist” implying that he was Pharaoh's catamite; and his behaviour towards Potiphar's wife is applauded in Persia not as virtue but as policy. But Platt attributes the title to Potiphar himself. (Q'uran XII “Joseph”.) I think he is wrong.
Affirms the subjective value of devotion. Cf. Fuller “The Star in the West”, who speaks of “concious communication with God on the part of an Atheist” – and so on.
Again Habib represents Allah; the constant interchange is very confusing, and to Western minds a great blemish on the poem. But the childish sublety of the Eastern mind regards this as a “veil” preventing the unbeliever from penetrating the allegory.
Q'uran CXII. Cf. Browning (Ring and Book, The Pope) for these 3 qualities.
Affirms the subjective value of Devotion.
81) , 82)
Often the case in Persia.
Karenian – proverbial expression. (Write this up fully). (Major Lutiy did not live long enough to accomplish this intention; and we cannot trace the phrase. Possibly it is more Indian that Persian. Ed.)
This passage menas that “the devil always leaves you in the lurch” as Spurgeon said. However devoted one may be to vice, sooner or later it tires and gives no more pleasure. The same is of course true of virtue; but to the mystic, virtue, as such, is itself vice. Cf. “All your righteousness is as filthy rags”.
Shahrava. A king who forced a leather currency on his subjects. Dildos in Persia being usually made of leather, the jest is double edged. To present a dildo, or anything which might by any possibility be used as such, to a courtesan is a deadly insult, implying “You cannot attract a live man”, and she will assuredly have you murdered sooner or later if she can.
A proverb and a pun [Arabic] denial [Arabic] splendour.
Again a long explanation from Mahbub. The soul (he says) falls from 66 [Arabic] to 45 [Arabic] Adam, man. Then the twofold head of the dragon-camel divides it into 3 equal portions 45 [divided by] 3 = 15. But God transfixes the dragon-camel with an arrow (Samech 60 “Temperance” the 15th letter of the alphabet) and 60 + 45 = 105 = 21 x 5, or the Perfect Crown 3 x 7 [Arabic] in the 5 quarters of the perfected Man, the Cross replaced by the Pentagram.
Abdullah – the unredeemed man; Cf. Rev. III. 17.
A common medical practice in the East.
The worst of insults. The great excuse for the podex is its superior tightness – supposing that the Persians thought an excuse necessary.
Laila – perhaps the Evil Jinn. Laila means “night”; and Lilith is the chief of the succubi, much feared by good Muslims. It was reserved for Mr. Thomas Lake Harris and his English dupe Berridge to cultivate of set purpose this abominable and disgusting variety of masturbation.
This passage is a clever parody on a well known Ghazal of Hafiz.
That is to say, phenomena are all alike to who perceives the Noumenon.
To amuse oneself at the expense of another, one may fill his rectum with peppercorns, and apply a pinch of pepper to the nose. This causes the peppercorns to shoot forth, often noisily.
The Shaib are of the famous Riff tribe. The Moors are considered a very wild and boisterous crew, but very good-tempered. They are the Irish of Islam. Burton is, I think, a little hard on them when he writes: “what conscience has the murderous Moor, who slays his guest with felon blow?”
Ass of the member of honey. [Arabic] So Mahbub's expansion of the “portmanteau” text [Arabic] Khazk'asal.
Refers to a fable. An elephant had fallen into a pit, but managed to scramble out. Seeing an ass going in that direction, he kindly warned him. The ass disdainfully replied that he, being light, ran little danger. Ay! said the elephant, but small and without an hand, how wilt thou escape if thou *dost* fall? And in fact the ass fell and perished miserably.
(I think if far more likely that it refers to another fable, the following, told by Persians against Omar and Ayeshah who as the daughter of Abu Bekr is supposed by the Shiahs to have influenced Mohammed's conduct for evil. There are numerous scandals concerning her. Yet the more decent Persian tells the story of Zuleikah (Potiphar's wife) and of Joseph. A certain dog meeting an ass, greeted him cheerfully. “Why this glee, brother dog?” “Passing near a dunghill, (probably Abubekr's house is intended) I met a beautiful virgin named Ayesha who is as firm and as tight as it is impossible to believe.” The ass trots off, all on fire, but suddenly falls headlong into a deep pit. He is about to bear witness that there is no God but God, and that Mohammed is his Prophet (i.e. about to resign himself to death), when he is lifted out by a woman's hand and set on solid earth again. “O ass! how dost thou dare awaken Ayeshah the promised wife of the Prophet of Allah?” “O Ayeshah! I met a certain dog, who bore witness that thou wast tighter than it is possible to believe, the liar!” “Verily, o ass, but Omar hath passed by since then.” Ed.)
The same phrase is used in the story of this name in Alf Laylah wa Laylah. Possibly some satire is concealed; but my munshi failed to make me see the joke.
Shahrava was a despot who forced leather money into circulation. The passage means, according to Mahbub, that El Qahar will not use a leather dildo, but his own stout member, upon the podex of Habib; but I prefer to think that he simply means “I will not beat thee” i.e. with leather thongs. In all countries beating is jestingly spoken of as “payment”. Besides, the whole ode concerns active punishment, not mere deprivation of pleasure. (See note to XII. Ed.)
[Arabic] the word used here has the value of 180 which is 4 times 45, so it means that his Guardian Angel is on all sides of him. So Mahbub!
All this implies that by now the adept has acquired the complete control of his mind and senses. If a camel is shewn to the ordinary man, he is compelled to see a camel and cannot persuade himself that it is a house or an ox. If a drum is beaten near him, he is obliged to hear a drum, not a fife or a viol. But the adept can easily put himself out of gear with his senses, and awake others; as, for instance, he can awake the supernal taste by concentrating his thought upon the center of his tongue; hearing, upon the root; and touch, upon the tip.
There ought to be a proverb “You can lead the camel to the river; but you cannot make him swim” for impotence is in Persia, as everywhere, the penalty of age and excess. But as far as I know, there is not.
The grave Persian literally screams with laughter whenever his poet quotes the Q'uran in a blasphemous sense; just as our own people with the Bible.
A last touch of the whip.
As a witty Irishman remarks, “There is only one argument that will convince a woman – the argument in a circle”.
A very profound allegory. Laila being the Jinn, this passage means that since the revelation of the Method of true communion between man and God, magic or dealings with the Jinn should be left to Jews (and other heathen), stigmatized as goatfaced because of their materialistic or gross views of the universe. The Haji was however accused of Christianizing tendencies on account of this passage, since Christians repressed Magic so severely, and in spite of his stout denials. To this day many singers “mak' siccar” of the approval of the orthodox by altering the words to “Christian Jew”.
The Sanskrit root Sar ““head” has given to Europe and Asia the word for Ruler; as Sar, sir, sieur, Caesar, Sarah, Kaiser, Tsar, Shah, sirdar, sirkar, sire, signor, senor, seigneur and a host of others.
[Arabic] the temple at Mecca. But I think here it means the House not made with hands. The letter [Arabic] itself (not [Arabic] but the Hebrew [letter Beth]. Ed.) means house and connotes, (says Mahbub) a great Magus – “The Magus of Power”. The passage means therefore that mystic union is the key to Pracitical Magic.
This sort of individualization of ideas is common in Eastern literature. We had a bad attack of it ourselves with Thomas Haines Bayley and Co. “Though Custom may frown upon Boyhood and Beauty, And Ethics takes counsel with Prudence and Breeding, Morality smiles “But if Patience be Duty, Should Courage lament or Repentance lie bleeding?” And so though on Conscience's inviolate altar We strew the sad flowers of Repulsion and Shame, Religion and Justice must bid us not falter Till Purity mingles with Pleasure and Fame”. You go on till your stock of abstract nouns is exhausted. (There is, the Qabalist may (perhaps too hypercritically) remark, a shade of lack of Equilibrium here. Why prefer the Near to the Far? Browning (Abt Vogler, IV) is better with his “Earth had attained to Heaven; there was no more near nor far”. Yet even Browning in this passage discrimintaes against Earth in favour of Heaven: I suppose we are none of us perfect).
Roses, etc. – the cheeks, teeth, and lips.
I have heart the claim that the substance of porcelain can be so impregnated with perfume that “You may break, you may shatter – etc.” But I never saw a piece that withstood honest washing with hot soap and water; and I don't believe it.
This simile seems nigh universal; but in Persia it probably comes from Egypt rather than from India. Here the sense is of course altered.
Yusuf – probably represents that class of persons who ridicule and slander the Mystic. The epithets seem to uphold such a conclusion.
Ill-conditioned – The readings are here very various. We find ill-favored, ill-mannered, infamous, ill-starred, ill-doing and so on. So I chose a word wide enough to include them all.
The Q'uran. Many Moslems know it by heart throughout. The interior riming of so many of the chapters makes this task curiously easy, even to a stranger. I found that I could readily master any of the short chapters in an hour or so, while the acquirement of a dozen stray words would last me the whole day.
This attempt to reconcile all-Power and all-Benevolence is formally identical with that of the veriest Evangelical, and is none the less shamelessly casuistry for its Oriental phraseology.
This is a common practical joke among friends. The recalcitrant pathic is treated more severely by sharp tags on the coccyx with the knuckle, dagger hilt, or tent peg. Genuine obstinacy would lead to the slitting of the muscle, and the summoning of all bystanders to assist, each in his turn, at the resulting “sure thing”.
All this seems curious, since tightness is such a desideratum. But I take it that the ideal condition is a close fit, like a kid glove; and of course one which needs much stretching is best.
All this is the orthodox Sufi method of explaining the origin of Evil, which, as monotheists, they are compelled to ascribe to Allah. We have much similar casuistry in the West.
So our best M.S. [Arabic] But [Arabic] flesh – meaning buttocks – sounds more likely. Considerations of prosody support the text.
Meteor-struck: meteors are the stones flung by the angels at the Jinn who pry into Heaven. This epithet confirms our view of the allegory.
Eunuchs. Those from who the testicles only are removed can still copulate, and experience the sexual orgasm, though of course no fecundation results. Hence the possibility of Gibbon's remark that a certain lady “preferred the titillations of her favourite eunuch to the ponderous emballings of the Roman praetor”; and of Martial's epigram: “Cur tantum eunuchos habeat tua Gellia, quaeris, Pannice? vult frui Gellia, non parere”.
This jest depends on the pun – a somewhat significant one! – between [Arabic] unconscious, stupefied and [Arabic] matron, a virtuous woman.
An excellent prescription. Olive oil is of course meant.
For the use of the refrain the reader may consult any manual on Persian prosody. El Haji has made several innovations.
How beautiful and touching are these similes! No artifice, no straining of the metaphor is involved; the poet rests in calm and beatific certitude of “a good death, and a joyful resurrection in His holy kingdom!” Yet there is no false piety, no arrogance; and like every straight-living man, he is capable of honest laughter, almost in the same breath.
A river which flows by the ruins of Chilminar.
Cedar – dove's down. By no means at random; symbolically chosen, or perhaps even because these substances have a reputed value in mystical practices. Apollonius of Tyana (? connection with Dhyana) was accustomed to wrap himself completely in a woollen garment in order to perform magic – presumably with some idea of “insulation”. Cedar is esteemed highly as incense. The passage may mean: “I will float heavenward on the perfume of my adoration, being insulated from the world by my love (or the Holy Spirit) under That Tree.” i.e. the Tree of Life.
Evidently refers to the physiological sensations experienced in some mystical practice – perhaps Pranayam or one of its congeners.
Kir – membrum virile.
This simile, like that of the lotus-leaf in India, is the invariable expression of the life “unspotted from the world”.
Hajj – here used of the actual procession of pilgrims.
The official leader of the Hajj, usually appointed by the Padishah.
Dirham – a coin, equivalent according to Darmstetter to about 13s. 6d. of our money. But the word is used very loosely to imply a piece of money, so that 100 dirhams here probably stands for a shilling or less. Just so in India “rupee” means any coin. “Jahanpana ghulamko rupaiye dijiye”. “May the Support of the Universe be pleased to bestow rupees upon (his) slave!” is adequately answered by any sum from a halfpenny upwards.
Kaffur means Camphor, white wax, and is a lucus a non lucendo insult given to unusually black slaves.
Though both Mohammedans and Jews are circumcised, there is a difference in the technique of the operation which would enable an expert to tell at a glance to which religion a man belonged. It is alleged by some that the toughening and hardening of the glans penis which results from the operation predisposes to sodomy, inasmuch as a greater intensity of friction is required to produce emission. True, but a moist and flabby vulva of gigantic size is poor fun for anybody. Undoubtedly, a hardened tool does (in mathematical language) “flatten the curve” of rising excitement, and this is the secret alike of giving and receiving pleasure. The Hindu bayadere compares the average Sahib to a village cock, and the passionate Englishwoman jeers at her brutal and hasty husband for his “two-puffs-and-a-spit” performances.
It is more than possible that the Haji had some unpleasant experience of the magistracy, or at least a personal spite against one of its members. For the symbolizing of Fate by human law is not so obvious to a Persian as to an Englishman: in Persia the defendant has plenty of free will, if he has plenty of cash. But our poet flourished no doubt in a Golden Age.
The word used here is [Arabic] 'hearing' and also “the song and Dance of the Mevliviyeh dervishes”. Thus far Palmer; and I can learn no more. But probably the word is used to emphasize the purely religious nature of the passion.
Chob-chini, wood of China, a root highly reputed as an aphrodisiac. In China the jinseng of Sze-chuan and Korea is most esteemed. That of America is not so good, in the fatherland-dizzied eyes of the Celestial. (See note to IXth Ghazal. Ed.
Suleiman – our King Solomon, as historical as King Brahmadatta, who reigned 120,000 years in Benares.
Isa – Jesus. Muslim hold that a phantom was crucified in the place of Jesus. See Q'uran III.
Gold – noon, not sunrise or sunset, whose colours are rose and grey. A question of the clinometer.
They who worship Allah give pleasure to themselves, but He profiteth not at all thereby. (Mahbub's comment).
This doctrine of Freewill as the prize of Theurgy is curiously parallel to that of Zoroaster, “Theurgists fall not so as to be ranked among the herd that are in subjection to Fate.” Lyd. De mensis. Taylor.
Once union with God is attained, the whole of life (or perhaps religion) becomes pleasant.
May perhaps refer to the “horror of great darkness” which comes, say the Mystics, to an Aspirant on the Threshold of Illumination. (We must beg students to observe that Major Lutiy seems to have written these notes in two moods, one in which he admits his own personal knowledge of, and identification with, mysticism; the other in which (as here) he writes as a mere scholar. Ed.
Obscure throughout, and the two last stanzas seem quite inconsequential. They may have been transferred from another Ghazal by some presumptuous scribe. A.L. Yet if so where is the Takhallus? Ed.
Identical with a phrase in Dhammapada, the Buddhist “Book of Proverbs”.
Mirrikh. Mars the planet.
I have often seen Mars – in the Red Sea especially – with its apparent diameter something like a quarter that of the moon, and its brightness sufficient to wake me, who am the soundest of sleepers. Thus seen for the first time it is a stupendous and astounding phenomenon.
i.e., with a circular motion. The art of working the hips in coition, called by the Romans Ars Crissandi (Ars Cevendi in the case of a boy. Ed.) is in the East as complex and profound as that of music. It requires as much study as theology, and as much practice as billiards.
An hardly obvious analogy. Boccaccio's use of it is a curious coincidence.
Persia. Not to be confused with [Arabic] Iram, the legendary Paradise which Sheddad ibn 'Ad is said to have established somewhere in Arabia.
That is, God has delivered the Means of Grace to all men; it is notorious. In one M.S. this ode ends here with the couplet:

      “Deceive me not; for El Qahar thy Lord
      Ripe is for cuddling – and for punishing.”

But this is very inferior, and would have to be transferred to the early part of the odes. Which the secret key-number forbids. Habib is by now far too high an adept to fall away from Grace.
This is a very profane jest. Ostensibly, of course, the verse means that mystics are the salt of the faith. But Islam means “resignation” or “Submission”. In wooing a lover your conquest is his submission, and your penis widens out his anus. The old sodomite is as keen to promulgate his vice as his religion, the dog!
A mystical fact. The rationalist objection is put satirically.
One of the few touches of satire in the work. But perhaps he is referring to the belief that Messiah is to be born of sodomitic connection. No doubt many Mussalmin would seduce boys on this transparent pretext.
Before prayer the Moslem must recite a prayer of purification. If he is ceremonially impure, as after copulation or other bodily function, he must in addition wash the parts. Excellent accounts of the two forms of both are given by Burton, Payne, Lane, Palmer, and others.
God – not Noah. But the grape here means the physical basis of Ecstasy.
The word used here is not [Arabic] but [Arabic] the square root (arithmetic). Possibly a pun with the word [Arabic] jazbat, which I have translated “charm”. However there is (according to Mahbub) a mystic truth concealed. Arithmetic like all sciences was at one time considered magical by the vulgar; to this day the “magic squares” of numbers of which the simplest case is:

| 4 | 9 | 2 |
| 3 | 5 | 7 |
| 8 | 1 | 6 |

are attributed to the planets, and credited with supernatural powers. There is an Arab saying – I think by Averrhoes – “God is the square root of man”; and a certain very holy Fakir (only recently dead) determined to discover the nature of God by working out the square root of three. He is said to have engraved over a thousand pounds weight of thin silver plates – supplied by the faithful – with the minute characters of his calculations. At his death these plates were distributed and of course worked innumberable miracles. Should such a plate come into the possession of any Englishman, he will probably be puzzled; this note may enlighten him. The plate I saw – but could not buy – was some 18 inches square, nearly as flexible as platinum foil, and contained some 320,000 characters, at a rough estimate. The 1,000 pounds' weight seems to me an absurd overstatement.
Refers, in all probability, to the reddening of the buttocks. The Persians supposed the smaller capillary blood vessels to be nerves.
Imam – a leader of prayer. Muslim have no “priests” in the sense of paid mediators.
Mushtari – also Birijis [Arabic] is the planet Jupiter. Most nations seem to attribute a blue or violet colour to it; for mystical reasons, doubtless, but also because (to my eye at least) it actually has that color.
I suspect, maugre Mahbub's head, that this is “writ sarcastic”. The pompous old dullard must have seemed to our lively Abdullah very much as Southey did to Byron. Yet the Eastern is a terrible slave to convention, and may perhaps acquiesce in Hafiz as the undergraduate of today acquiesces in Milton.
The central thought of these two chapters is represented in the Buddhist philosophy, perhaps; but in the Hindu practice, certainly. It is true that the Hindu claims the extinction of self in Parabrahm (Jivatma in Paramatma) as the phenomenon in question; but this is clearly a petitio principii, since we can always retort that any perception however glorious is less than the brain that perceives it. The Hindu would (idly) retort that this perception was not the phenomenon, but only one's very partial and imperfect memory thereof. And the logician would retort – and we should soon get quite beyond the limits of a note.
This is the very same old fable we learnt about the Tower of Babel.
Jilt – the Persian has a coarser word – our English “cock-teaser”. But a translator must be allowed both latitude and modesty.
Surely Oriental exaggeration. A.L. We cannot agree. The member is the Mahalingam, whose dimensions are only to be expressed in astronomical terminology. Ed.
Goathair – the “pashmina” of Kashmir; so says Mahbub the Kashmiri; but I suspect him of patriotism and believe the text to read 'pustin' [Arabic] a fur pelisse, spread out as a quilt. (Of course one may cavil at “quilt”, which implies quilting, not any rug qua rug. But a wounded buffalo is a very mild animal compared to a translator in trouble with his monorhyme, so that we had perhaps better say nothing. Ed.)
This perhaps refers to a posture of coition described in the other “Scented Garden”. The lady is hung from the roof by a belly-band, while her husband (let us hope) stands on a stool, and swings her to and fro, catching her vulva from behind on his penis. This is continued until emission. The true sportsman refrains from guiding either the lady or his penis with his hands. The length of the swing should not be less than 4 or 5 feet; under these rules the game is excellent. With a boy it would however be incomparably more difficult, if not impossible. The text suggest though that the boy is fixed, while the man swings. This should be easier of execution.


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