Aleister Crowley

(12 October 1875 - 1 December 1947 / Warwickshire, England)

At Sea


As night hath stars, more rare than ships
In ocean, faint from pole to pole,
So all the wonder of her lips
Hints her innavigable soul.

Such lights she gives as guide my barque;
But I am swallowed in the swell
Of her heart's ocean, sagely dark,
That holds my heaven and holds my hell.

In her I live, a mote minute
Dancing a moment in the sun:
In her I die, a sterile shoot
Of nightshade in oblivion.

In her my elf dissolves, a grain
Of salt cast careless in the sea;
My passion purifies my pain
To peace past personality.

Love of my life, God grant the years
Confirm the chrism - rose to rood!
Anointing loves, asperging tears
In sanctifying solitude!

Man is so infinitely small
In all these stars, determinate.
Maker and moulder of them all,
Man is so infinitely great!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003
Edited: Tuesday, July 08, 2014

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  • Akhu al-Ashavan (4/25/2012 7:17:00 PM)

    Bark should probably be barque, since it refers to a ship and bark is a lesser-known US spelling of that word... If there is an existing published copy with bark, though, it's still a possibility. Next, I'm certain that elf should be self, and this can be heard in any recording of Crowley reciting this poem.

    This is a beautiful poem. Despite what Plague Rose may say, more than a cursory glance at Crowley and his works is necessary to truly comprehend such a man - especially a man so entrenched in controversy and biased misinformation, both for and against him. If nothing else, surely poems such as this should be evidence against having an evil character. (Report) Reply

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