Concerning certain sins, by Aleister Crowley

William-Adolphe Bouguereau - En pénitence
William-Adolphe Bouguereau – En pénitence (1895) – from Art Renewal Center

The debauched poet reminds us that some sins are not only pleasurable, but beautiful. The heavenly bliss promised by religion, and its winged angels, pale in comparison to the rapture of love and the delights of the flesh. Hence the Church calls them deadly sins.

CONCERNING CERTAIN SINS
by Aleister Crowley

SOME sins assume a garb so fine and white
That the blue veil of Heaven seems to shade
Their purity. They are winged so wide and bright
That even angels’ pinions seem to fade,
And the archangel’s wing recedes in night:—
Ay! even God seems perturbed and afraid
Because it wears so holy a garb of light
Of perfumed fire immaculately made.

These sins are deadly. God is merciless
For Love that joins Man’s passion with His power,
And makes to bloom on earth a fairer flower
Than heaven bears. Our token of success
Is that displeasure toward our sin unnamed
Of a fierce demon jealous and ashamed.

Source: Jezebel, and Other Tragic Poems, in The Collected Works of Aleister Crowley, Volume I (1905). See the digitisation of the original on the IAPSOP site, and the simple text online version by The Hermetic Library.

Previously published on Agapeta, 2017/05/26.

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