by: Aleister Crowley (1875-1947)

      URN back from safety, in my love abide,
      Whose lips are warm as when, a virgin bride
      I clung to thee ashamed and very glad,
      Whose breasts are lordlier for the pain they had,
      Whose arms cleave closer than thy spouse's own!
      Thy spouse--O lover, kiss me, and atone!
      All my veins burst for love, my ripe breasts beat
      And lay their bleeding blossoms at thy feet!
      Spurn me no more! O bid these strangers go;
      Turn to my lips till their cup overflow;
      Hurt me with kisses, kill me with desire,
      Consume me and destroy me with the fire
      Of blasting passion straining at the heart,
      Touched to the core by sweetness, that smart
      Bitten by fiery snakes, whose poisonous breath
      Swoons in the midnight, and dissolves to death!
      * * * * * *
      Turn to me, touch me, mix thy very breath
      With mine to mingle floods of fiery dew
      With flames of purple, like the sea shot through
      With golden glances of a fiercer star.
      Turn to me, bend above me; you may char
      These olive shoulders with an old-time kiss,
      And fix thy mouth upon me for such bliss
      Of sudden rage rekindled. Turn again,
      And make delight the minister of pain,
      And pain the father of a new delight,
      And light a lamp of torture for the night
      Too grievous to be borne without a cry
      To rend the very bowels of the sky
      And make the archangel gasp--a sudden pang,
      Most like a traveller stricken by the fang
      Of the black adder whose squat head springs up,
      A flash of death, beneath a cactus cup.
      Ah turn, my bosom for thy love is cold;
      My arms are empty, and my lips can hold
      No converse with thee far away like this.
      O for that communing pregnant with a kiss
      That is reborn when lips are set together
      To link our souls in one desirous tether,
      And weld our very bodies into one.
      * * * * * *
      The first cool kiss, within the water cold
      That draws its music from some bubbling well,
      Looks long, looks deadly, looks desirable,
      The touch that fires, the next kiss, and the whole
      Body embracing, symbol of the soul,
      And all the perfect passion of an hour.
      Turn to me, pluck that amaranthine flower,
      And leave the doubtful blossoms of the sky!
      You dare not kiss me! dare not draw you nigh
      Lest I should lure you to remain! nor speak
      Lest you should catch the blood within your cheek
      Mantling. You dared enough--so long ago!--
      When to my blossom body clean as snow
      You pressed your bosom till desire was pain,
      And--then--that midnight! you did dare remain
      Though all my limbs were bloody with your mouth
      That tore their flesh to satiate its drouth,
      That was not thereby satisfied! And now
      A pallid coward, with sly, skulking brow,
      You must leave Sodom for your spouse's sake.
      Coward and coward and coward; who would take
      The best flower of my life and leave me so,
      Still loving you--Ah! weak--and turn to go
      For fear of such a God! O blind! O fool!
      To heed these strangers and to be the tool
      Of their smooth lies and monstrous miracles.
      O break this bondage and cast off their spells!
      Five righteous! Thou a righteous man! A jest!
      A righteous man--you always loved me best,
      And even when lured by lips of wanton girls
      Would turn away and sigh and touch my curls,
      And slip half-conscious to the old embrace.
      And now you will not let me see your face
      Or hear your voice or touch you. Ah! the hour!
      He moves. Come back, come back, my life's one flower!
      Come back. One kiss before you leave me. So!
      Stop--turn--one little kiss before you go;
      It is my right--you must. Oh no! Oh no!

"Lot" is reprinted from The Soul of Osiris. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co., 1911.




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