L’amour qui passe, by Aleister Crowley

Cathy Delanssay - L'amie intime
Cathy Delanssay – L’amie intime

Crowley’s collection of verses Rodin in Rime was published in 1907. After an author’s note “Auguste Rodin and the Nomenclature of his Works,” subtitled “A Study in Spite,” which looks like an incomprehensible polemic against unnamed persons, the first poem “Rodin” is presented as “Frontispice.” Then follow two groups of poems, of variable length in “Various Measures,” then with 14 lines each in “Sonnets and Quatorzains.” Most of them have a French title.

My first choice from this collection is a short poem from “Various Measures.” Its French title translates as “Love that passes.” Its theme, that love and youth do not last, that one should thus enjoy the pleasures of life now, is recurring in Crowley’s poetry.

L’AMOUR QUI PASSE.

LOVE comes to flit, a spark of steel
Struck on the flint of youth and wit;
Ay, little maid, for woe or weal,
Love comes to flit.

Hermes one whisper thrills. Admit!
Kupris one smile aims—do you feel?
Eros one arrow—has he hit?

Why do you sit there immobile?
A spark extinct is not relit.
Beyond resource, above appeal,
Love comes to flit.

Source: Rodin in Rime (1907), in The Collected Works of Aleister Crowley, Volume III (1907). See the digitisation of the original on David Moews’s home page.

This is a revised version of a post previously published on Agapeta, 2018/08/20.

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