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Proem

Master, I come, but ere the pregnant gloom

Lighten at last, I ask myself for whom

I take the pen, since English throbs and glows

Forth from its gold, like streams from sunny snows.

And if I write for England, who will read?

As if, when moons of Ramazan recede,

Some fatuous angel-porter should deposit

His perfect wine within the privy closet!

“What do they know, who only England know?”

Only what England paints its face to show.

Love mummied and relabelled “chaste affection,”

And lust excused as “natural selection”.

Caligula upbraids the cruel cabby,

And Nero birches choir-boys in the Abbey;

Semiramis sandpapered to a simper,

And Clytemaestra whittled to a whimper!

The austerities of Loyola? to seek!

But — let us have a “self-denial week!”

The raptures of Teresa are hysteric,

But — let us giggle at some fulsome cleric!

“The age refines! You lag behind. “God knows!

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

That Crowley knows you as you are — that fret.

He buys not doctored dung for violets!

Your smug content, your Puritan surprise,

All lies, and lies; all lies, and lies, and lies!

Pathics from Eton, ever on their knees,

Amazed at their twin brothers the Chinese!

Pathics from Harrow, reeking of Patchouli,

Shocked at the vice of the Mongolian coolie!

Canons of Westminster, with boy-rape sterile,

Hope Christ may save us from the Yellow Peril!

To call forced labour slavery is rude,

“Terminologic inexactitude.”

This from the masters of the winds and waves

Whose cotton-mills are crammed with British slaves!

Men pass their nights with German-Jewish whores,

Their days in keeping “aliens” from our shores.

They turn their eyes up at a Gautier's tale,

And run a maisonette in Maida Vale.

Murder poor Wakley — the assassin leaves 

Escorted by the Yard's blackmailing thieves,

Lest dead men (or their papers) should tell tales

And maybe compromise the Prince of Wales.

Arrest poor Wilde — the creaking Channel tubs

Groan with the consternation of the Clubs.

Scared, hushed, and pale, our men of eminence

Wait the result in sickening suspense.

Announced, all Mayfair shrieks its decent joy;

And, feeling safe, goes out and hires a boy.

Your titles — oh! how proud you are to wear them?

— What about “homo quatuor literarum?”

The puissant all their time to vice devote;

The impotent (contented) pay to gloat.

The strumpet's carwheels splash the starving maiden

In Piccadilly, deadlier than Aden.

“England expects a man to do his duty.”

He calls truth lies, and sneers at youth and beauty,

Pays cash for love and fancies he has won it —

Duty means church, where he thanks God he's done it!

Morley's Hotel is the one stance to see

Our Nelson from! — Oh God! that I should be

Alone among this slime! — I saw Thy Graal:

Show me the men that have not bowed to Baal!

For as I love with spirit and with sense

I nauseate at this crawling crapulence,

Our whole state, summed in one supreme enigma,

Solved (in a second) by a simple Σ

Monstrous conjunctions with black man and brute

Level our ladies with the prostitute:

Our spinsters chaste in criminal abortion,

And matrons with the pox for marriage portion;

Husbands who pimp all day for their young wives,

Athletes from Oxford, pathic all their lives,

Who sport the “so” coat, the sotadic necktie,

And lisp their filthy pun “Mens conscia recti!”

Priest who are celibates — outside the choir!

Maidens who rave in Lesbian desire:

The buck of sixty, cunning as a trapper,

Stalking the pig-tailed, masturbating flapper;

The creeping Jesus — Caution! we may shock it!

With one hand through his torn-out breeches pocket;

Flagellates shrieking in our streets and schools,

Our men all hogs, and all our women ghouls:

This is our England, pious dame and prude,

Who calls me blasphemous, unchaste, and rude!

 

Come to sweet air, poor sirens of the stews!

A pox on all these yammering Yahoos!

My healthy sperm begets the Son of God

Winged with the dawn and with the star-stream shod!

Not on your purulence and ichorous itch,

O English girl, half baby and half bitch,

But on the glorious body and soul of her

Of whom I am the Lord and worshipper,

The brave gay cleanly maiden whose embrace

Flushes with shameless fervour the fair face,

Fills the whole leaping heaven with the light

Till all the world is drunken with delight.

 

You with your own authentic filth defiled

Robbed Keats of life, and Shelley of his child,

Corrupted Swinburne to your foul disease,

Denied Blake bread — are you fed full on these?

You hate the wise, true, beautiful, and holy: —

Dogs! is there nothing you can do to Crowley?

 

Therefore I see and speak, who would be dumb

And blind: but Thou dost call. Master, I come,

 

ALEISTER CROWLEY.

 

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Index | Dedication | Preface | The Plymouth Brethren | A Boyhood in Hell | Adolescence | The Writing of the World’s Tragedy | Alice Wesley Torr or Aleister Crowley? | Pornography | Sodomy | Christianity | The Poem Itself | The English Spirit | Proem | …

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