The Hedonist's SongStill lovelier thou art, o Life, when flushed with gladness,
And unblemished with pale strife, nor girt with sadness,
For these do not become thy brow. Much rather would I let
Thy face be washed with dew than stinging labour-sweat,
And fain would I to see thee clothed in raiment of the Moon and Sun
Than see thee idly reposed in vestments that are crude and badly spun;
The modest are the meager or those bent in sanctimonious pride,
Who are all too glad and eager to display their goodly side.
Thou art not such. Fain to surrender to whatever whim, thou sayest:
"Let the splendid show their splendour, let them come forth who are best,
Let them revel, drink sweet wines, and lose themselves to every lust,
For they are not yet dead --- but mine, to do that which the living must."
Ah Life, thou turnest at leisure, wing from hill to barren plain,
Thou canst quicken hearts with pleasure, and divide and cleave with pain.
Those who curse thee when thou dost them wrong are merely cowards, or the mee
Demon'Tis in the night, that mourning-garb doth wear
And solemn stars the only witness bear,
The weary eyelid of the moon rests closed,
In grace its pallid contour lies reposed
And guardeth which it hath no strength to share,
His gentle step I hear, and then I know
Why to the day he durst not let his face to show:
It is for charity, for he, by kindness won,
With his visage doth not wish to blind the Sun
And turn all men to ice and fields to snow...
The rays which reach for Heaven at the hour of dawn
Have little to compare with how his eyes have shone ---
With the bitter flame of that which hath no light,
Unbearable and frightening to the sight,
Yet whose magnificence surpasseth hell alone...
With such a grace it pained my eyes to see,
He swift came closer by my side to be,
...Faithface of divine suspended in stilled motion
inside the horizon's vertical
and in purity: of shrieks
with eyes: Quid?
in mutable stability
in transparent immensity
it is carved into this starry flesh
with the Serpent's tongue a portent of blessing.
with inky waters in a rain of falling stars.
and a dream invincible by the words of a Beast,
all aflame with a microcosmic expansion
let Sunlight bend upon its knees
eternal in an infinitesimal grain
Born on the cusp of an icy sea
of legs and of arms and of heads, Heads
prostrate to comprehension of infinity
and in this is their infirmity
Untitled 18come to me, stained-scarlet heart of wrath
descend from Heaven collapsing
under the weight of blessèd disgust
? sanctify the wordless prayer
which is tied with the tongues of many birds
and let !stand beneath the mountain
with ! inversion torn from the curse of an era
spill life through bone-dry fingers of the final Dawn
? and take the end
to be an end, not a beckoning start
why refuse ?the inescapable rays
that burn ---
scalding silver, with a song
Untitled 17How hideously burns the yoke of envy!
In my bosom I cache a virulent snake
Whose fangs embedded in my heart command me,
Infuse me with a thirst I ne'er may slake...
Marvellous is the song this serpent sings,
Sweet is its venom, pleasant is its coil,
Of wond'rous vindication thoughts it brings,
And this fresh potence hardly seems like toil...
And yet, in tortuous agony I writhe
That I may ne'er achieve which I desire,
Past is the time when I was slight and blithe,
And my goodwill has been consumed by fire...
The flowers of revenge shall wilt and die,
--- The poison spreads, my friend! --- and thus will I.
Untitled 16coiled in fury dissolute I await your prophesy
and sin deepens with every breath I take,
in daydreams snatched from eyes of Ishtar
thirst unable to be slaked
I sleep in the cradle of blasphemy
and my shrine is sacrilegious piety,
lone priest of a forbidden faith
I drown in ecstasy...
beneath the blackened sun I wake,
the harlot underneath the ikon
Let us crush the flower of purity,
scatter it unto the Devil's winds,
wound the sapling of chastity,
touch the amber sap of bestial lust
and let your fingers sink to its core, such
shamelessness and sinful, vile desire,
slide them forth, push past mirrors of revulsion,
pierce my heart with a blissful contraction --
such joy I find in desecration,
in every blasphemous conception
a blinding, infinite attraction,
when minds are drunken with deception...
Untitled 15In the heart of an infant I am born
In blackness, eyes, unravelling,
With fire and gold my brow adorned,
Through eternity travelling...
I speak with the seas in my mouth
I crumble mountains with a breath
I dismantle the world,
I let it bleed and let it weep.
Let its fibres be undone,
Non serviam, sine qua non.
Taller than the Babylon tower I stand
I crush kings between my fingers.
The People bow --- I mock them, laughing
slaves shall serve while the master sleeps.
And the Star shall melt into glass
the oceans seep into the skies,
Untitled 14As dusk and dawn pass an infinite cycle,
the faces of God wheel before my eyes ---
Since the Prince I follow fell from Heaven,
I cling to the gentle fingers of this sapling,
hidden among frail emerald leaves.
A myriad of lustful hands has reached for me,
their starving eyes scarlet with desire ---
if only you knew what frenzied, cruel joy I find
in watching their bitter salivation...!
In clarity of the starry night I scream with laughter:
I awair your hand to caress my ardour,
Come, take me, pluck me from the vine!
I am yours --- if you can keep me;
I will stay --- if you restrain me.
Do not let me free, you hear?
Don't cut the cords that bind my wings!
Paint me with the blood of your passion,
Pierce me with glazed shards of impurity,
Come to me! Always to me!
Until the crescent moon falls to the earth
Torment me! Twist my wings! ---
and I'll be yours forevermore;
yet if you loose the living chain,
if its end escapes your fingers ---
my Prince will call me back, and I return to Sheol..
Untitled 13Embrace me with Thy endless crimson cloak,
the deepest pits of Sheol let me pass.
Deliver me from false and treacherous light,
into the faithful, constant black of night.
I come freely to Thee, earthly Prince,
Thou, the double-tempered eye,
I ask only for the blessing of Thy hand.
Be Thou the never-sleeping serpent, guard my Heart,
for we two are none but one,
All human laws are now undone.
Of the forbidden fruit I eat my fill,
My will is Sin, and, hear, I Sin by will.
Call out, my lover, will the echo answer?
Fervently I pray in temple of my being,
this church we've built with our combinèd hands ---
Aeons pass, and 'tis the only shrine that stands.