HEAR me, Lord of the Stars!
            For thee I have worshipped ever
          With stains and sorrows and scars,
            With joyful, joyful endeavour.
          Hear me, O lily-white goat!
            O crisp as a thicket of thorns,
          With a collar of gold for Thy throat,
            A scarlet bow for Thy horns!

          Here, in the dusty air,
            I build Thee a shrine of yew.
          All green is the garland I wear,
            But I feed it with blood for dew!
          After the orange bars
            That ribbed the green west dying
          Are dead, O Lord of the Stars,
            I come to Thee, come to Thee crying.

          The ambrosial moon that arose
            With breasts slow heaving in splendour
          Drops wine from her infinite snows.
            Ineffably, utterly, tender.    


          O moon! ambrosial moon!
            Arise on my desert of sorrow
          That the Magical eyes of me swoon
            With lust of rain to-morrow!

          Ages and ages ago
            I stood on the bank of a river
          Holy and Holy and holy, I know,
            For ever and ever and ever!
          A priest in the mystical shrine,
            I muttered a redeless rune,
          Till the waters were redder than wine
            In the blush of the harlot moon.

          I and my brother priests
            Worshipped a wonderful woman
          With a body lithe as a beast's
            Subtly, horribly human.
          Deep in the pit of her eyes
            I saw the image of death,
          And I drew the water of sighs
            From the well of her lullaby breath.

          She sitteth veiled for ever
            Brooding over the waste.
          She hath stirred or spoken never.
            She is fiercely, manly chaste!
          What madness made me awake
            From the silence of utmost eld
          The grey cold slime of the snake
            That her poisonous body held?      


          By night I ravished a maid
            From her father's camp to the cave.
          I bared the beautiful blade;
            I dipped her thrice i' the wave;
          I slit her throat as a lamb's,
            That the fount of blood leapt high
          With my clamorous dithyrambs
            Like a stain on the shield of the sky.

          With blood and censer and song
            I rent the mysterious veil:
          My eyes gaze long and long
            On the deep of that blissful bale.
          My cold grey kisses awake
            From the silence of utmost eld
          The grey cold slime of the snake
            That her beautiful body held.

          But --- God!  I was not content
            With the blasphemous secret of years;
          The veil is hardly rent
            While the eyes rain stones for tears.
          So I clung to the lips and laughed
            As the storms of death abated,
          The storms of the grevious graft
            By the swing of her soul unsated.

          Wherefore reborn as I am
            By a stream profane and foul
          In the reign of a Tortured Lamb,
            In the realm of a sexless Owl,     


          I am set apart from the rest
            By meed of the mystic rune
          That reads in peril and pest
            The ambrosial moon --- the moon!

          For under the tawny star
            That shines in the Bull above
          I can rein the riotous car
            Of galloping, galloping Love;
          And straight to the steady ray
            Of the Lion-heart Lord I career,
          Pointing my flaming way
            With the spasm of night for a spear!

          O moon! O secret sweet!
            Chalcedony clouds of caresses
          About the flame of our feet,
            The night of our terrible tresses!
          Is it a wonder, then,
            If the people are mad with blindness,
          And nothing is stranger to men
            Than silence, and wisdom, and kindness?

          Nay! let him fashion an arrow
            Whose heart is sober and stout!
          Let him pierce his God to the marrow!
            Let the soul of his God flow out!
          Whether a snake or a sun
            In his horoscope Heaven hath cast,
          It is nothing; every one
            Shall win to the moon at last.     


          The mage hath wrought by his art
            A billion shapes in the sun.
          Look through to the heart of his heart,
            And the many are shapes of one!
          An end to the art of the mage,
            And the cold grey blank of the prison!
          An end to the adamant age!
            The ambrosial moon is arisen.

          I have bought a lily-white goat
            For the price of a crown of thorns,
          A collar of gold for its throat,
            A scarlet bow for its horns.
          I have bought a lark in the lift
            For the price of a butt of sherry:
          With these, and God for a gift,
            It needs no wine to be merry!

          I have bought for a wafer of bread
            A garden of poppies and clover;
          For a water bitter and dead
            A foam of fire flowing over.
          From the Lamb and his prison fare
            And the owl's blind stupor, arise!
          Be ye wise, and strong, and fair,
            And the nectar afloat in your eyes!

          Arise, O ambrosial moon
            By the strong immemorial spell,
          By the subtle veridical rune
            That is mighty in heaven and hell!      


          Drip thy mystical dews
            On the tongues of the tender fauns
          In the shade of initiate yews
            Remote from the desert dawns!

          Satyrs and Fauns, I call.
            Bring your beauty to man!
          I am the mate for ye all'
            I am the passionate Pan.
          Come, O come to the dance
            Leaping with wonderful whips,
          Life on the stroke of a glance,
            Death in the stroke of the lips!

          I am hidden beyond,
            Shed in a secret sinew
          Smitten through by the fond
            Folly of wisdom in you!
          Come, while the moon (the moon!)
            Sheds her ambrosial splendour,
          Reels in the redeless rune
            Ineffably, utterly, tender!

          Hark! the appealing cry
            Of deadly hurt in the hollow: ---
          Hyacinth! Hyacinth! Ay!
            Smitten to death by Apollo.
          Swift, O maiden moon,
            Send thy ray-dews after;
          Turn the dolorous tune
            To soft ambiguous laughter!   


          Mourn, O Maenads, mourn!
            Surely your comfort is over:
          All we laugh at you lorn.
            Ours are the poppies and clover!
          O that mouth and eyes,
            Mischevious, male, alluring!
          O that twitch of the thighs
            Dorian past enduring!

          Where is wisdom now?
            Where the sage and his doubt?
          Surely the sweat of the brow
            Hath driven the demon out.
          Surely the scented sleep
            That crowns the equal war
          Is wiser than only to weep ---
            To weep for evermore!

          Now, at the crown of the year,
            The decadent days of October,
          I come to thee, God, without fear;
            Pious, chaste, and sober.
          I solemnly sacrifice
            This first-fruit flower of wine
          For a vehicle of thy vice
            As I am Thine to be mine.

          For five in the year gone by
            I pray Thee give to me one;
          A love stronger than I,
            A moon to swallow the sun!      


          May he be like a lily-white goat
            Crisp as a thicket of thorns,
          With a collar of gold for his throat,
            A scarlet bow for his horns!



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