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The Winged Beetle
A Labyrinth do I the Paraclete
Eidolize in the House of gnathous Rock
Starry with scent of dittany of Crete,
Erotic 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 for 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 in 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 in the sun
And quintessentialized with tearing toil!
Let her anoint thee! thou shalt stand as stiff
As unicorn confronting hippogriff.
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 its gusty 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 on 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 Nine 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 bournless 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.
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