Nov 042013
 

haunted-woodThe skies they were ashen and sober;

The leaves they were crisped and sere —

The leaves they were withering and sere;

It was night in the lonesome October

Of my most immemorial year;

It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,

In the misty mid region of Weir —

It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,

In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

Here once, through an alley Titanic,

Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul —

Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.

These were days when my heart was volcanic

As the scoriac rivers that roll —

As the lavas that restlessly roll

Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek

In the ultimate climes of the pole —

That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek

In the realms of the boreal pole.

Our talk had been serious and sober,

But our thoughts they were palsied and sere —

Our memories were treacherous and sere —

For we knew not the month was October,

And we marked not the night of the year —

(Ah, night of all nights in the year!)

We noted not the dim lake of Auber —

(Though once we had journeyed down here) —

Remembered not the dank tarn of Auber,

Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

And now, as the night was senescent

And star-dials pointed to morn —

As the star-dials hinted of morn —

At the end of our path a liquescent

And nebulous lustre was born,

Out of which a miraculous crescent

Arose with a duplicate horn —

Astarte’s bediamonded crescent

Distinct with its duplicate horn.

And I said — “She is warmer than Dian:

She rolls through an ether of sighs —

She revels in a region of sighs:

She has seen that the tears are not dry on

These cheeks, where the worm never dies,

And has come past the stars of the Lion

To point us the path to the skies —

To the Lethean peace of the skies —

Come up, in despite of the Lion,

To shine on us with her bright eyes —

Come up through the lair of the Lion,

With love in her luminous eyes.”

But Psyche, uplifting her finger,

Said — “Sadly this star I mistrust —

Her pallor I strangely mistrust: —

Oh, hasten! — oh, let us not linger!

Oh, fly! — let us fly! — for we must.”

In terror she spoke, letting sink her

Wings until they trailed in the dust —

In agony sobbed, letting sink her

Plumes till they trailed in the dust —

Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust.

I replied — “This is nothing but dreaming

Let us on by this tremulous light!

Let us bathe in this crystalline light!

Its Sybilic splendor is beaming

With Hope and in Beauty to-night: —

See! — it flickers up the sky through the night!

Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming,

And be sure it will lead us aright —

We safely may trust to a gleaming

That cannot but guide us aright,

Since it flickers up to Heaven through the night.”

Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her,

And tempted her out of her gloom —

And conquered her scruples and gloom;

And we passed to the end of the vista,

But were stopped by the door of a tomb —

By the door of a legended tomb;

And I said — “What is written, sweet sister,

On the door of this legended tomb?”

She replied — “Ulalume — Ulalume —

‘Tis the vault of thy lost Ulalume!”

Then my heart it grew ashen and sober

As the leaves that were crisped and sere —

As the leaves that were withering and sere,

And I cried — “It was surely October

On this very night of last year

That I journeyed — I journeyed down here —

That I brought a dread burden down here —

On this night of all nights in the year,

Ah, what demon has tempted me here?

Well I know, now, this dim lake of Auber —

This misty mid region of Weir —

Well I know, now, this dank tarn of Auber,

This ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.”

Edgar Allen Poe, Ulalume

 

Dec 212012
 

On the Eastern gate he placed the form of an Eagle; on the Western gate, the form of a Bull; on the Southern gate the form of a Lion; and on the Northern gate he constructed the form of a Dog. Into these images he introduced spirits who spoke with voices, nor could anyone enter the gates of the City except by their permission.

There he planted trees in the midst of which was a great tree which bore the fruit of all generations. On the summit of the castle he caused to be raised a lighthouse (rotunda) the colour of which changed every day until the seventh day after which it returned to the first colour, and so the City was illuminated with these colours.

Near the City there was abundance of waters in which dwelt many kinds of fish. Around the circumference of the City he placed engraved images and ordered them in such manner that by their virtue the inhabitants were made virtuous and withdrawn from all wickedness and harm. The name of the City was Adocentyn.

Picatrix

Jun 182011
 

And go alone I could, and plead your cause
Alone for all: but, by the eternal laws,
Yourselves by Toil and Travel of your own
Must for your old Delinquency atone.
Were you indeed not blinded by the Curse
Of Self-exile, that still grows worse and worse,
Yourselves would know that, thoughyou see him not,
He is with you this Moment, on this Spot,
Your Lord through all Forgetfulness and Crime,
Here, There, and Everywhere, and through all Time.
But as a Father, whom some wayward Child
By sinful Self-will has unreconciled,
Waits till the sullen Reprobate at cost
Of long Repentance should regain the Lost;
Therefore, yourselves to see as you are seen,
Yourselves must bridge the Gulf you made between
By such a Search and Travel to be gone
Up to the mighty mountain Kaf, whereon
Hinges the World, and round about whose Knees
Into one Ocean mingle the Sev’n Seas;
In whose impenetrable Forest-folds
Of Light and Dark “Symurgh” his Presence holds;
Not to be reach’d, if to be reach’d at all
But by a Road the stoutest might apal;
Of Travel not of Days or Months, but Years—
Life-long perhaps: of Dangers, Doubts, and Fears
As yet unheard of: Sweat of Blood and Brain
Interminable—often all in vain—
And, if successful, no Return again:
A Road whose very Preparation scared
The Traveller who yet must be prepared
Who then this Travel to Result would bring
Needs both a Lion’s Heart beneath the Wing,
And even more, a Spirit purified
Of Worldly Passion, Malice, Lust, and Pride:
Yea, ev’n of Worldly Wisdom, which grows dim
And dark, the nearer it approachesHi m,
Who to the Spirit’s Eye alone reveal’d,
By sacrifice of Wisdom’s self unseal’d;
Without which none who reach the Place could bear
To look upon the Glory dwelling there.

Bird Parliament, Farid ud-Din Attar

Apr 232011
 

‘Whilst Orion scans his life-line,
Golden God, Apollo, drones on,
Lecturing him to love the fortune
Which has favoured him, the brave one:

‘”Know thyself, you are not alone:
Standing beside Lord Zeus’s throne,
Leans the youth whose cup is flowing
O’er the Earth, and he’s not going!

‘”Lips more sweet than finest mead
Has the fair lad, Ganymede.
This victorious prince of Troy
Is now the God’s beloved boy!

‘”Weep as well for fair Callisto.
See the nymph in Ursa Major,
Maid of my beloved Sister?
Zeus’s fatal lust destroyed her.

‘“Stubborn Starman show some pity
For the nymphs and others like them,
Girls I’ve chased for countless decades;
Pity those who grieve for Hyas.

‘“Then be glad the dreaded Hyrdra
Lies beneath thy feet, not higher,
Praise the Lords you’re not poor Chiron,
Poisoned centaur, noble Titan!

‘”Look around thee in the Heaven –
Canine friend and sisters, seven
Comfort thee from loneliness –
Now count the stars, for thou art blessed!”

‘‘Vainest God!’ thinks hale Orion
I’ve a mind to rouse my lion,
Give the great beast reincarnation
End for good this indignation!

‘‘Powers come to raise Osiris:
Make me from the horns of Taurus
Such a crown. I’ll call on Isis,
Set on Greece the ire of Horus.’

Feb 272011
 

Apollo, lord of the wide quiver fair

And far-sped arrows, found her on a day

Wrestling unarmed against a lion bold,

And cried to Chiron: “Son of Philyra,

Come from thy sacred cavern and behold

What woman’s soul can dare!

This calm-browed girl essays a wondrous fight,

Her heart no toil can weaken, and her mind

No fear subdue. Born of what mortal kind

Is she, and stolen from what tribe of might,

Who haunts these glades of shadowy mountains wild?

Illimitable strength her actions prove….

Pindar, Ninth Pythian Ode, Apollo sets eyes on Cyrene

Oct 182010
 

Some say that all gods and all living creatures originated in the stream of Oceanus which girdles the world, and that  Tethys was the mother of all his children.

But the Orphics say that black-winged Night, a goddess of whom even Zeus stands in awe, was courted by the Wind and laid a silver egg in the womb of Darkness; and that Eros, whom some call Phanes, was hatched from this egg and set the universe in motion.

Eros was double-sexed and golden-winged and, having four heads, sometimes roared like a bull, or lion, sometimes hissed like a serpent or bleated like a ram.

Night, who named him Ericepaius and Phaethon Protogenus, lived in a cave with him, displaying herself in triad: Night, Order and Justice. Before this cave sat the inescapable mother Rhea, playing on a brazen drum, and compelling man’s attention to the oracles of the goddess. Phanes created earth, sky, sun and moon, but the triple-goddess ruled  the universe, until her sceptre passed to Uranus.

The Homeric and Orphic Creation Myths, Robert Graves

Sep 262010
 

Three Golden Apples from the Hesperian grove.
A present Worthy of the Queen of Love.
Gave wise Hippomenes Eternal Fame.
And Atalanta’s cruel Speed O’ercame.
In Vain he follows ’till with Radiant Light,
One Rolling Apple captivates her Sight.
And by its glittering charms retards her flight.
She Soon Outruns him but fresh rays of Gold,
Her Longing Eyes & Slackened Footsteps Hold,
‘Till with disdain She all his Art defies,
And Swifter then an Eastern Tempest flies.
Then his despair throws his last Hope away,
For she must Yield whom Love & Gold betray.
What is Hippomenes, true Wisdom knows.
And whence the Speed of Atalanta Flows.
She with Mercurial Swiftness is Endued,
Which Yields by Sulphur’s prudent Strength pursued.
But when in Cybel’s temple they would prove
The utmost joys of their Excessive Love,
The Matron Goddess thought herself disdained,
Her rites Unhallowed & her shrine profaned.
Then her Revenge makes Roughness o’er them rise,
And Hideous feireenesse Sparkle from their Eyes.
Still more Amazed to see themselves look red,
Whilst both to Lions changed Each Other dread.
He that can Cybell’s Mystic change Explain,
And those two Lions with true Redness stain,
Commands that treasure plenteous Nature gives
And free from Pain in Wisdom’s Splendor lives.

Michael Maier, Atalanta Fugiens