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

THE WILD ASS


===== I =====

          THE secret of the House of Set\\
              Is hidden in my sevenfold veil;\\
          For I am he that doth beget\\
              The Rood, and bear the Holy Graal.\\
\\
          Yet is my manhood woman-frail,\\
              Barren my motherhood.  They now\\
          Shall men my mystic mountain scale?\\
              These ram's-horn thumbs jut from my brow\\
\\
          To push them to the miry slough\\
              Wherein the foes of Set are caught.\\
          Come, let us pluck the Golden Bough\\
              From the brave Tree of life and thought!\\
\\
          Who heareth naught, he heedeth naught.\\
              Come, we are safely housed and shrined\\
          Where subtler images are wrought\\
              Than boast the treasuries of Mind!

{201}
===== II =====

          The secret of the House of Set.\\
              As a poor pilgrim clambering\\
          Toils on the slopes, so I to get\\
              Halidom for my lord the King.\\
\\
          Faintly and feebly murmuring\\
              I uttered the mysterious runes,\\
          And bade my body's sleekness sing\\
              Silky, satanic, subtle tunes.\\
\\
          Was he not holy?  Milk of moons\\
              Were not so pallid as his cheek,\\
          And roses of a million Junes\\
              His mouth left livid.  So I seek\\
\\
          In all God's seas a tiny creek\\
              Wherein to moor my shallop.  Nay!\\
          He is a mountain, chill with bleak\\
              Stark winds of innocence astray!\\
\\
          The fearful passion sweeps me away.\\
              So with a passionate thrill of fear\\
          I creep — like shadows across Day!\\
              Like Winter on the expended year! —\\
\\
          From those cold feet, a frozen meer,\\
              To those cold knees, a lost lagoon,\\
          To that wild woodland, strangely near\\
              To the lone tower that tops the moon!    

{202}\\
\\
          Verily and Amen!  Unhewn\\
              The great grim forest menaces.\\
          What gardener may dare to prune\\
              Those woods to build me palaces?\\
\\
          So climb, each ledge an infinite stress,\\
              Lustful as light, as lechery loth,\\
          From the brutality of Besz\\
              To the plumed perjury of Thoth!\\
\\
          I held him holy.  Holier both\\
              Than aught the bearers of the bier,\\
          Thoum-aesh-neith and Auramoth,\\
              Saw in the hiding-house of fear.\\
\\
          The sorceries that span the sphere,\\
              The spells that harness star and sun,\\
          I whispered in his siren ear —\\
              Once, twice, and thrice for every one!\\
\\
          Once, twice, and thrice — the boon's begun!\\
              With four and five and six it stirs:\\
          With seven the druid dance is done,\\
              And Death drives home his silver spurs!\\
\\
          Then — the last leap.  What crowning curse\\
              Can bid that cup of curses brim?\\
          How may God's maniac ministers\\
              Lash the last languor out of Him?    

{203}\\
\\
          I did it.  How?  So great and grim\\
              The Gods are, I may never guess.\\
          Suffice it, on his mouth I swim\\
              A drowning dastard.  The caress\\
\\
          Wakes the lost life.  I see him dress\\
              The godhead.  Up he bounds and brays: —\\
          The wild ass of the wilderness,\\
              The soul that sees, the soul that slays!\\
\\
          Inhabit the untrodden ways;\\
              Set!   Thou my god and I thy priest,\\
          Thy temple hidden in the haze\\
              Of deserts death to god or beast!\\
\\
          Thou who art both shalt foin and feast\\
              With me who am both, thy hate's co-heir,\\
          Lord of the West and of the East —\\
              The scorpion's hole, the lion's lair!\\
\\
          I kissed his mouth — sublime despair!\\
              Our souls were one; our bodies met —\\
          Yea! darkness cover everywhere\\
              The secret of the House of Set!

\\
                                       ALYS CUSACK.   

{204}

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