L’éternel printemps, by Aleister Crowley

Todd Webb - LaSalle Street and Amsterdam Avenue, Harlem
Todd Webb – LaSalle Street and Amsterdam Avenue, Harlem (1946) – Museum of the City of New York / Todd Webb Archive

I present today a second poem from the section “Various Measures” in the collection of verses Rodin in Rime. Youth directly feel the truth of love and life by dancing and holding each other, while old people try to reach it by pondering. The poet says: roll back the wheel of time and rejoin youth. Yielding to the ecstasy of love and dance, all ages can be one with eternity.

L’ÉTERNEL PRINTEMPS.

I.
THE eternal spring is in the heart of youth.
They are nearest to the secret of the world,
These lovers with their lithe white bodies curled
Into the rhythm of a dance; the truth
Is theirs that feel, not ours that idly see;
Theirs that inhabit, and not ours that flee
The intimate touch of love and think to sleuth
By intellect all the scent of being, whirled
In the wheel of time—roll back, slow years, and be
A monument, a memory for me;
That I may in their passion have a part,
And feel their glory glow within my heart!

II.
This holy rapture is the eternal spring.
Here in the love that tunes the untrammelled feet,
Here in the ardour of the arms that cling,
The alluring amber-touch of sweet to sweet,
The ageless awe of the new love revealed,
The reverence of the new love hovering nigh;
These things are mazes flowery on the field,
Measures to trace a-dancing by-and-by.
Here in the statued pose the rhythm is sealed
That all who are human dance to evermore.
Before this ecstasy all ages yield:
Eternity breaks foamless on time’s shore.
And I, because of this delight in me,
Am one in substance with eternity.

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.

Previously published on Agapeta, 2018/05/19.

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