The Stars before him from the Field of Night,
Drives Night along with them from Heaven, and strikes
The Sultan’s Turret with a Shaft of Light
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat—and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet—
‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me’.
The Hound of Heaven, Francis Thompson
It is when your spirit goes wandering upon the wind,
That you, alone and unguarded, commit a wrong unto others and therefore unto yourself.
And for that wrong committed must you knock and wait a while unheeded at the gate of the blessed.
Like the ocean is your god-self;
It remains for ever undefiled.
And like the ether it lifts but the winged. Even like the sun is your god-self;
It knows not the ways of the mole nor seeks it the holes of the serpent.
But your god-self dwells not alone in your being.
Much in you is still man, and much in you is not yet man,
But a shapeless pigmy that walks asleep in the mist searching for its own awakening.
And of the man in you would I now speak.
For it is he and not your god-self nor the pigmy in the mist, that knows crime and the punishment of crime.
Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world.
But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you,
So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.
And as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree,
So the wrong-doer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you all.
Like a procession you walk together towards your god-self.
You are the way and the wayfarers.
And when one of you falls down he falls for those behind him, a caution against the stumbling stone.
Ay, and he falls for those ahead of him, who though faster and surer of foot, yet removed not the stumbling stone.
And if any of you would punish in the name of righteousness and lay the ax unto the evil tree, let him see to its roots;
And verily he will find the roots of the good and the bad, the fruitful and the fruitless, all entwined together in the silent heart of the earth.
And you judges who would be just,
What judgment pronounce you upon him who though honest in the flesh yet is a thief in spirit?
What penalty lay you upon him who slays in the flesh yet is himself slain in the spirit?
And how prosecute you him who in action is a deceiver and an oppressor,
Yet who also is aggrieved and outraged?
And how shall you punish those whose remorse is already greater than their misdeeds?
Is not remorse the justice which is administered by that very law which you would fain serve?
Yet you cannot lay remorse upon the innocent nor lift it from the heart of the guilty.
Unbidden shall it call in the night, that men may wake and gaze upon themselves.
And you who would understand justice, how shall you unless you look upon all deeds in the fullness of light?
Only then shall you know that the erect and the fallen are but one man standing in twilight between the night of his pigmy-self and the day of his god-self,
And that the corner-stone of the temple is not higher than the lowest stone in its foundation.
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
I remember one night lying sleepless in bed,
That I heard what the moth to the fair candle said:
“A lover am I, if I burn it is well!
Why you should lie weeping and burning, do tell.”
“Oh my poor humble lover!” the caudle replied,
“My friend, the sweet honey away from we hied.
When sweetness away from my body departs,
A fire-like Farhads to my summit then starts.”
Thus she spoke, and each movement a torrent of pain
Adown her pale cheeks trickled freely like rain.
“Oh, suitor! with love you have nothing to do,
Since nor patience, nor power of standing have you.
Oh, crude one! a flame makes you hasten away;
But I, till completely consumed, have to stay.
If the burning of love makes your wings feel this heat,
See how I am consumed, from the head to the feet!”
But a very small portion had passed of the night
When a fairy-fated maiden extinguished her light.
She was saying while smoke from her head curled above,
“Thus ends, oh my boy, the existence of love!”
If the love-making science you wish to acquire,
You’re more happy extinguished than being on fire.
Do not weep o’er the grave of the slain for the friend:
Be glad! for to him lie will mercy extend.
If a lover, don’t wash the complaint from your head!
I have told you: don’t enter this ocean at all!
If you do; yield your life to the hurricane squall!
Conversation between the Candle and the Moth, translation G S Davie
There were only two apples hanging on the bough.
And He held the trunk of the tree with His arm and shook it, and the two apples fell down.
He picked them both up and gave one to me. The other He held in His hand. In my hunger I ate the apple, and I ate it fast.
Then I looked at Him and I saw that He still held the other apple in His hand.
And He gave it to me saying, “Eat this also.” And I took the apple, and in my shameless hunger I ate it.
And as we walked on I looked upon His face.
But how shall I tell you of what I saw?
A night where candles burn in space,
A dream beyond our reaching;
A noon where all shepherds are at peace and happy that their flocks are grazing;
An eventide, and a stillness, and a home-coming;
Then a sleep and a dream.
All these things I saw in His face.
He had given me the two apples. And I knew He was hungry even as I was hungry.
But I now know that in giving them to me He had been satisfied. He Himself ate of other fruit from another tree.
I would tell you more of Him, but how shall I?
When love becomes vast love becomes wordless.
And when memory is overladen it seeks the silent deep.
Kahlil Gibran, John at Patmos
So is her face illumin’d with her eye:
Whose beams upon his hairless face are fix’d,
As if from thence they borrow’d all their shine.
Were never four such lamps together mix’d,
Had not his clouded with his brows’ repine;
But hers, which thro’ the crystal tears gave light,
Shone like the moon in water seen by night.
‘O, where am I?’ quoth she, ‘in earth or heaven,
Or in the ocean drench’d, or in the fire?
What hour is this? or morn, or weary even?
Do I delight to die, or life desire?
But now I liv’d, and life was death’s annoy;
But now I died, and death was lively joy.’
Venus and Adonis, William Shakespeare
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
Standing on the outskirt of the forest, Hermes whispered a message to his light‐headed, wine‐brining friend: “Zeus’s twice‐born son, your time shall surely come. You bear the living vine; on you the sun shall shine”.
The wolf by Apollo’s side pricked up its ears and whined. “And what of me, Father, bringer of the cosmic light, voice of all reason and destroyer of dark night?”
Zeus raised an eyebrow. “How soon, I wonder, my great golden child, ’til you think yourself greater, even, than I?”
It was then that his deer‐daughter put a restraining hand on her brother’s shoulder and entreated him in an urgent voice. “Bait him not, beloved brother; the chariot of the sun shall be struck down by lightening and the silver moon shall die of grief! Then you would see that our licentious youth shall sober in a second and sit upon thy gilded chariot!”
“Ay, sister of the moon, with his hairy hand upon my priceless goblet, while his sluts strum tuneless ditties upon my incomparable turtleshell lyre!”
Dionysus raised his cup to them in a toast: “You have my blessing brother, I think not to steer the chariot of the sun, nor to take your hallowed place in heaven…I’d rather have a bit of fun! You’ll have to watch the lyre, though, methinks the sound of music shall do much to make our mystery.”
The setting sun saw the Master facing East in a seemingly effortless but distinctly prayerful posture; calling the Earth to witness. In time the Moon rose and Venus emerged triumphant like a diamond on its band of gold.
Looking up at the sky, the Master saw how the quintessential force of the evening star was thrown into relief by the glowing pharos of Mars, silently beckoning his paramour as he bequeathed to her the dark and endless night. The imperator of war was in a state of surrender at the temple of beauty, but he also had a message to impart:
Here in orbit turn the star-lings – planets binding, suns inclining – in such ways that whole dimensions fold inside the vaults of Heaven.
The Master wondered about the possible effects of Mars’ conjunction with Venus, pouring out onto Earth the magnified force of a sublime alchemical wedding.
This compelling planetary event was irresistibly conspiring with the imminent precession of the equinoxes to create the most potent cosmic conditions that had ever been witnessed from Earth; at least since the Star of the Magi had heralded the turning point of history. Or so it seemed.
How could the signs at this time be ignored? Thought the Master. The answer was that they could not! That the divine plan might remain unfulfilled was inconceivable, but how, precisely, it would manifest was nonetheless a mystery of Mysteries.
When the ears of the student are ready to hear, then cometh the lips to fill them with Wisdom.