The Hasheesh Eater

“The happiness of the drop is to die in the river.”
– Abu Hamid al-Ghazali

So…. This entry is formed around the release of “The Hasheesh Eater & Other Writings”. I hope you enjoy this edition… the first in a couple of months, I have to say that I have been busy with this project and others.
On the main (except the Hare logo) all art comes from this “The Hasheesh Eater & Other Writings”
Bright Blessings,
Gwyllm

On The Menu:
The Hasheesh Eater & Other Writings Released!
On Video: Gwyllm Llwydd: Fitz Hugh Ludlow’s “The Hasheesh Eater”
The Quotes
New Logo!
Bill Laswell: Morning High
Fitz Hugh Ludlow – The Apocalypse Of Hasheesh
Poetry: The Hashish Eater -or- the Apocalypse of Evil
Bill Laswell: The Old Man Of The Mountain
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The Hasheesh Eater & Other Writings Released!:
As previously said… I have been, busy.  Not only with work, but publishing 4 versions of Fitz Hugh Ludlows’  “The Hasheesh Eater” There is the original softbound version, the softbound extended edition (extra articles & illustrations) The hard bound extended version & the folio version, a boxed set with either the hardbound or softbound extended edition along with a limited edition set sign and numbered prints from the book.  Great care and thought were taken in the design … There is some 30+ original illustrations that I put together, as well as designing the layout, cover, etc.  I believe such a work as Ludlow’s wondrous volume deserves beauty… over and above.

With an introduction by Mike Crowley, (thanks Mike!) and art commentary by Martina Hoffmann, A.Andrew Gonzalez Liba Stambollion & Dan Hillier, I think you will find this book one to cherish.

I have worked some 2 years on this project and I am very happy about it.  I hope you take the time to check it out, and to consider supporting this effort.

I want to thank all who have supported the project so far!  Your feedback brings me joy! Your praise of it is wonderful validation of the efforts put in to it.

Here is the cover:


So, please visit the site, I would be honoured!
Cheers,
Gwyllm
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Gwyllm Llwydd: Fitz Hugh Ludlow’s “The Hasheesh Eater”
Here is a  an excerpt of the talk I gave on Fitz Hugh Ludlow at the Ashland Oregon “Exploring Psychedelics’  Conference this past May 24th. This is an abbreviated version, I will be loading up the full talk later on:

For more information on the project:  “The Hasheesh Eater”
Thanks So Much!
Gwyllm
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The Quotes:
“I am about to reveal to you,” I commenced, “something which I would not for my life allow to come to other ears. Do you pledge me your eternal silence?” “I do; what is the matter?” “I have been taking hasheesh—Cannabis Indica, and I fear that I am going to die.” ― Fitz Hugh Ludlow, “The Hasheesh Eater”

There is always a need for intoxication: China has opium, Islam has hashish, the West has woman. – Andre Malraux

“This was my hypothesis: ‘Perhaps hashish is the drug which ‘loosens the girders of the soul,’ but is in itself neither good nor bad. Perhaps, as Baudelaire thinks, it merely exaggerates and distorts the natural man and his mood of the moment.’” – Aleister Crowley  “The Herb Dangerous, pt.II: The Psychology of Hashish”

Hashish will be, indeed, for the impressions and familiar thoughts of the man, a mirror which magnifies, yet no more than a mirror. – Charles Baudelaire

As a young child I wanted to be a writer because writers were rich and famous. They lounged around Singapore and Rangoon smoking opium in a yellow pongee silk suit. They sniffed cocaine in Mayfair and they penetrated forbidden swamps with a faithful native boy and lived in the native quarter of Tangier smoking hashish and languidly caressing a pet gazelle. – William S. Burroughs

“It is this process of symbolization which, in certain hasheesh states, gives every tree and house, every pebble and leaf, every footprint, feature, and gesture, a significance beyond mere matter or form, which possesses an inconceivable force of tortures or of happiness.” ― Fitz Hugh Ludlow, The Hasheesh Eater: Being Passages from the Life of a Pythagorean

There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others. – Harry J. Anslinger

“Unlimited goodwill. Suspension of the compulsive anxiety complex. The beautiful “character” unfolds. All of those present become comically iridescent. At the same time one is pervaded by their aura.” – Walter Benjamin, On Hashish
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New Updated Logo.  Hope You Like:


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Bill Laswell: Morning High
I love this whole Album. Amazing.

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The Apocalypse Of Hasheesh
To be found within the covers of all editions!


BY FITZ HUGH LUDLOW
Dec 1856
Putnam’s Monthly
A Magazine of Literature, Science, and Art
In returning from the world of hasheesh, I bring with me many and diverse memories. The echoes of a sublime rapture which thrilled and vibrated on the very edge of pain; of Promethean agonies which wrapt the soul like a mantle of fire; of voluptuous delirium which suffused the body with a blush of exquisite languor — all are mine. But in value far exceeding these, is the remembrance of my spell-bound life as an apocalyptic experience.
Not, indeed, valuable, when all things are considered. Ah no! The slave of the lamp who comes at the summons of the hasheesh Aladdin will not always cringe in the presence of his master. Presently he grows bold and for his service demands a guerdon as tremendous as the treasures he unlocked. Dismiss him, hurl your lamp into the jaws of some fathomless abyss, or take his place while he reigns over you, a tyrant of Gehenna!

The value of this experience to me consists in its having thrown open to my gaze many of those sublime avenues in the spiritual life, at whose gates the soul in its ordinary state is forever blindly groping, mystified, perplexed, yet earnest to the last in its search for that secret spring which, being touched, shall swing back the colossal barrier. In a single instant I have seen the vexed question of a lifetime settled, the mystery of some grand recondite process of mind laid bare, the last grim doubt that hung persistently on the sky of a sublime truth blown away.

How few facts can we trace up to their original reason! In all human speculations how inevitable is the recurrence of the ultimate “Why?” Our discoveries in this latter age but surpass the old-world philosophy in fanning this impenetrable mist but a few steps further up the path of thought, and deferring the distance of a few syllogisms the unanswerable question.

How is it that all the million drops of memory preserve their insulation, and do not run together in the brain into one fluid chaos of impression? How does the great hand of central force stretch on invisibly through ether till it grasps the last sphere that rolls on the boundaries of light-quickened space? How does spirit communicate with matter, and where is their point of tangency? Such are the mysteries which bristle like a harvest far and wide over the grand field of thought.

Problems like these, which had been the perplexity of all my previous life, have I seen unraveled by hasheesh, as in one breathless moment the rationale of inexplicable phenomena has burst upon me in a torrent of light. It may have puzzled me to account for some strange fact of mind; taking hypothesis after hypothesis, I have labored for a demonstration; at last I have given up the attempt in despair. During the progress of the next fantasia of hasheesh, the subject has again unexpectedly presented itself, and in an instant the solution has lain before me as an intuition, compelling my assent to its truth as imperatively as a mathematical axiom. At such a time I have stood trembling with awe at the sublimity of the apocalypse; for though this be not the legitimate way of reaching the explications of riddles which, if of any true utility at all, are intended to strengthen the argumentative faculty, there is still an unutterable sense of majesty in the view one thus discovers of the unimagined scope of the intuitive, which surpasses the loftiest emotions aroused by material grandeur.

I was once walking in the broad daylight of a summer afternoon in the full possession of hasheesh delirium. For an hour the tremendous expansion of all visible things had been growing toward its height; it now reached it, and to the fullest extent I realized the infinity of space. Vistas no longer converged, sight met no barrier; the world was horizonless, for earth and sky stretched endlessly onward in parallel planes. Above me the heavens were terrible with the glory of a fathomless depth. I looked up, but my eyes, unopposed, every moment penetrated further and further into the immensity, and I turned them downward lest they should presently intrude into the fatal splendors of the Great Presence. Joy itself became terrific, for it seemed the ecstasy of a soul stretching its cords and waiting in intense silence to hear them snap and free it from the enthrallment of the body. Unable to bear visible objects, I shut my eyes. In one moment a colossal music filled the whole hemisphere above me, and I thrilled upward through its environment on visionless wings. It was not song, it was not instruments, but the inexpressible spirit of sublime sound — like nothing I had ever heard-impossible to be symbolized; intense, yet not loud; the ideal of harmony, yet distinguishable into a multiplicity of exquisite parts. I opened my eyes, yet it still continued. I sought around me to detect some natural sound which might be exaggerated into such a semblance, but no, it was of unearthly generation, and it thrilled through the universe an inexplicable, a beautiful yet an awful symphony.

Suddenly my mind grew solemn with the consciousness of a quickened perception. I looked abroad on fields, and water, and sky, and read in them all a most startling meaning. I wondered how I had ever regarded them in the light of dead matter, at the furthest only suggesting lessons. They were now grand symbols of the sublimest spiritual truths, truths never before even feebly grasped, utterly unsuspected.

Like a map, the arcana of the universe lay bare before me. I saw how every created thing not only typifies but springs forth from some mighty spiritual law as its offsping, its necessary external development; not the mere clothing of the essence, but the essence incarnate.

Nor did the view stop here. While that music from horizon to horizon was still filling the concave above me, I became conscious of a numerical order which ran through it, and in marking this order I beheld it transferred from the music to every movement of the universe. Every sphere wheeled on in its orbit, every emotion of the soul rose and fell, every smallest moss and fungus germinated and grew, according to some peculiar property of numbers which severally governed them and which was most admirably typified by them in return. An exquisite harmony of proportion reigned through space, and I seemed to realize that the music which I heard was but this numerical harmony making itself objective through the development of a grand harmony of tones.

The vividness with which this conception revealed itself to me made it a thing terrible to bear alone. An unutterable ecstasy was carrying me away, but I dared not abandon myself to it. I was no seer who could look on the unveiling of such glories face to face.

An irrepressible yearning came over me to impart what I beheld, to share with another soul the weight of this colossal revelation. With this purpose I scrutinized the vision; I sought in it for some characteristic which might make it translatable to another mind. There was none! In absolute incommunicableness it stood apart, a thought, a system of thought which as yet had no symbol in spoken language.

For a time, how long, a hasheesh-eater alone can know, I was in an agony. I searched every pocket for my pencil and note-book, that I might at least set down some representative mark which would afterwards recall to me the lineaments of my apocalypse. They were not with me. Jutting into the water of the brook along which I wandered lay a broad flat stone. “Glory in the Highest!” I shouted exultingly, “I will at least grave on this tablet some hieroglyph of what I feel!” Tremblingly I sought for my knife. That, too, was gone! It was then that in a frensy I threw myself prostrate on the stone, and with my nails sought to make some memorial scratch upon it. Hard, hard as flint! In despair I stood up.

Suddenly there came a sense as of some invisible presence walking the dread paths of the vision with me, yet at a distance as if separated from my side by a long flow of time. Taking courage, I cried, “Who has ever been here before me, who in years past has shared with me this unutterable view?” In tones which linger in my soul to this day, a grand, audible voice responded, “Pythagoras!” In an instant I was calm. I heard the footsteps of that sublime sage echoing upward through the ages, and in celestial light I read my vision unterrified, since it had burst upon his sight before me. For years previous I had been perplexed with his mysterious philosophy. I saw in him an isolation from universal contemporary mind for which I could not account. When the Ionic school was at the height of its dominance, he stood forth alone, the originator of a system as distinct from it as the antipodes of mind. The doctrine of Thales was built up by the uncertain processes of an obscure logic, that of Pythagoras seemed informed by intuition. In his assertions there had always appeared to me a grave conviction of truth, a consciousness of sincerity, which gave them a great weight with me, though seeing them through the dim refracting medium of tradition and grasping their meaning imperfectly. I now saw the truths which he set forth, in their own light. I also saw, as to this day I firmly believe, the source whence their revelation flowed. Tell me not that from Phoenicia he received the wand at whose signal the cohorts of the spheres came trooping up before him in review, unveiling the eternal law and itineracy of their evolutions, and pouring on his spiritual ear that tremendous music to which they marched through space. No! During half a lifetime spent in Egypt and in India, both motherlands of this nepenths, doubt not that he quaffed its apocalyptic draught, and awoke, through its terrific quickening, into the consciousness of that ever-present and all-pervading harmony “which we hear not always, because the coarseness of the daily life hath dulled our ear.” The dim penetralia of the Theban Memnonium, or the silent spice groves of the upper Indua may have been the gymnasium of his wrestling with the mighty revealer; a priest or a gymnospohist may have been the first to annoint him with the palæstric oil, but he conquered alone. On the strange intuitive characteristics of his system, on the spheral music, on the government of all created things and their development according to the laws of number, yes, on the very use of symbols which could alone have force to the esoteric disciple, (and a terrible significancy, indeed, has the simplest form, to a mind hasheesh-quickened to read its meaning) — on all these is the legible stamp of the hasheesh inspiration.

It would be no hard task to prove, to a strong probability, at least, that the initiation into the Pythagorean mysteries and the progressive instruction that succeeded it, to a considerable extent, consisted in the employment, judiciously, if we may use the word, of hasheesh, as giving a critical and analytic power to the mind which enabled the neophyte to roll up the murk and mist from beclouded truths, till they stood distinctly seen in the splendor of their own harmonious beauty as an intuition.

One thing related of Pythagoras and his friends has seemed very striking to me. There is a legend that, as he was passing over a river, its waters called up to him, in the presence of his followers, “Hail, Pythagoras!” Frequently, while in the power of the hasheesh delirium, have I heard inanimate things sonorous with such voices. On every side they have saluted me; from rocks, and trees, and waters, and sky; in my happiness, filling me with intense exultation, as I heard them welcoming their master; in my agony, heaping nameless curses on my head, as I went away into an eternal exile from all sympathy. Of this tradition on Iamblichus, I feel an appreciation which almost convinces me that the voice of the river was, indeed, heard, though only in the quickened mind of some hasheesh-glorified esoteric. Again, it may be that the doctrine of the Metempsychosis was first communicated to Pythagoras by Theban priests; but the astonishing illustration, which hasheesh would contribute to this tenet, should not be overlooked in our attempt to assign its first suggestion and succeeding spread to their proper causes.

A modern critic, in defending the hypothesis, that Pythagoras was an impostor, has triumphantly asked, “Why did he assume the character of Apollo at the Olympic games? why did he boast that his soul had lived in former bodies, and that he had been first Acthalides, the son of Mercury, then Euphorbus, then Pyrrhus of Delos, and at last Pythagoras, but that he might more easily impose upon the credulity of an ignorant and superstitious people!” To us these facts seem rather an evidence of his sincerity. Had he made these assertions without proof, it is difficult to see how they would not have had a precisely contrary effect from that of paving the way to a more complete imposition upon the credulity of the people. Upon our hypothesis, it may be easily shown, not only how he could fully have believed these assertions himself, but, also, have given them a deep significance to the minds of his disciples.

Let us see. We will consider, for example, his assumption of the character of Phoebus at the Olympic games. Let us suppose that Pythagoras, animated with a desire of alluring to the study of his philosophy a choice and enthusiastic number out of that host who, along all the radii of the civilized world, had come up to the solemn festival at Elis, had, by the talisman of hasheesh, called to his aid the magic of a preternatural eloquence; that, while he addressed the throng whoin he had charmed into breathless attention by the weird brilliancy of his eyes, the unearthly imagery of his style, and the oracular insight of his thought, the grand impression flashed upon him from the very honor he was receiving, that he was the incarnation of some sublime deity. What wonder that he burst into the acknowledgment of his godship as a secret too majestic to be hoarded up; what wonder that this sudden revelation of himself, darting forth in burning words and amid such colossal surroundings, wend down with the accessories of time and place along the stream of perpetual tradition?

If I may illustrate great things by small, I well remember many hallucinations of my own which would be exactly parallel to such a fancy in the mind of Pythagoras. There is no impression more deeply stamped upon my past life than one of a walk along the brook which had frequently witnessed my wrestlings with the hasheesh-afreet, and which now beheld me, the immortal Zeus, descended among men to grant them the sublime benediction of renovated life. For this cause I had abandoned the serene seats of Olympus, the convocation of the gods, and the glory of an immortal kingship, while, by my side, Hermes trod the earth with radiant feet, the companion and dispenser of the beneficence of deity. Across lakes and seas, from continent to continent, we strode; the snows of Hæimus and the Himmalehs crunched beneath our sandals; our foreheads were bathed with the upper light, our breasts glowed with the exultant inspiration of the golden ether. Now resting on Chimborazo, I poured forth a majestic blessing upon all my creatures, and in an instant, with one omniscient glance, I beheld every human dwelling-place on the whole sphere irradiated with an unspeakable joy.

I saw the king rule more wisely, the laborer return from his toil to a happier home, the park grow green with an intenser culture, the harvest-field groan under the sheaves of a more prudent and prosperous husbandry; adown blue slopes came new and more populous flocks, led by unvexed and gladsome shepherds, a thousand healthy vineyards sprang up above their new-raised sunny terraces, every smallest heart glowed with an added thrill of exaltation, and the universal rebound of joy came pouring up into my own spirit with an intensity that lit my deity with rapture.

And this was only a poor hasheesh-eater, who, with his friend, walked out into the fields to enjoy his delirium among the beauties of a clear summer afternoon! What, then, of Pythagoras?

The tendency of the hasheesh-hallucination is almost always toward the supernatural or the sublimest forms of the natural. As the millennial Christ, I have put an end to all the jars of the world; by a word I have bound all humanity in etern alligaments of brotherhood; from the depths of the grand untrodden forest I have called the tiger, and with bloodless jaws he came mildly forth to fawn upon his king, a partaker in the universal amnesty. As Rienzi hurling fiery invective against the usurpations of Colonna, I have seen the broad space below the tribune grow populous with a multitude of intense faces, and within myself felt a sense of towering into sublimity, with the consciousness that it was my eloquence which swayed that great host with a storm of indignation, like the sirocco passing over reeds. Or, uplifted mightily by an irresistible impulse, I have risen through the ethereal infinitudes till I stood on the very cope of heaven, with the spheres below me. Suddenly, by an instantaneous revealing, I became aware of a mighty harp, which lay athwart the celestial hemisphere, and filled the whole sweep of vision before me. The lambent flame of myriad stars was burning in the azure spaces between its string, and glorious suns gemmed with unimaginable lustre all its colossal frame-work. While I stood overwhelmed by the visions, a voice spoke clearly from the depths of the surrounding ether, “Behold the harp of the universe!” Again I realized the typefaction of the same grand harmony of creation, which glorified the former vision to which I have referred; for every influence, from that which nerves the wing of Ithuriel down to the humblest force of growth, had there its beautiful and peculiar representative string. As yet the music slept, when the voice spake to me again — “Stretch forth thine hand and wake the harmonies!” Trembling yet daring, I swept the harp, and in an instant all heaven thrilled with an unutterable music. My arm strangely lengthened, I grew bolder, and my hand took a wider range. The symphony grew more intense; overpowered, I ceased, and heard tremendous echoes coming back from the infinitudes. Again I smote the chords; but, unable to endure the sublimity of the sound, I sank into an ecstatic trance, and was thus borne off unconsciously to the portals of some new vision.

But, if I found the supernatural an element of happiness, I also found it many times an agent of most bitter pain. If I once exulted in the thought that I was the millennial Christ, so, also, through a long agony, have I felt myself the crucified. In dim horror, I perceived the nails piercing my hands and feet; but it was not that which seemed the burden of my suffering. Upon my head, in a tremendous and ever-thickening cloud, came slowly down the guilt of all the ages past, and all the world to come; by a dreadful quickening, I beheld every atrocity and nameless crime coming up from all time on lines that centred in myself. The thorns clung to my brow, and bloody drops stood like dew upon my hair, yet, these were not the instruments of my agony. I was withered like a leaf in the breath of a righteous vengeance. The curtain of a lurid blackness hung between me and heaven, mercy was dumb forever, and I bore the anger of Omnipotence alone. Out of a fiery distance, demon chants of triumphant blasphemy came surging on my ear, and whispers of ferocious wickedness ruffled the leaden air about my cross. How long I bore this vicarious agony, I have never known; hours are no measure of time in hasheesh. I only know that, during the whole period, I sat perfectly awake among objects which I recognized as familiar; friends were passing and repassing before me, yet. I sat in speechless horror, convinced that to supplicate their pity, to ask their help in the tortures of my dual existence, would be a demand that men in time should reach out and grasp one in eternity, that mortality should succor immortality.

In my experience of hasheesh there has been one pervading characteristic — the conviction that, encumbered with a mortal body, I was suffering that which the untrammeled immortal soul could alone endure. The spirit seemed to be learning its franchise and, whether in joy or pain, shook the bars of flesh mightily, as if determined to escape from its cage. Many a time, in my sublimest ecstasy, have I asked myself, “Is this experience happiness or torture?” for soul and body gave different verdicts.

Hasheesh is no thing to be played with as a bauble. At its revealing, too-dread paths of spiritual life are flung open, too tremendous views disclosed of what the soul is capable of doing, and being, and suffering, for that soul to contemplate, till, relieved of the body, it can behold them alone.

Up to the time that I read in the September number of this Magazine the paper entitled “The Hasheesh-eater,” I had long walked among the visions of “the weed of insanity.” The recital given there seemed written out of my own soul. In outline and detail it was the counterpart of my own suffering. From that day, I shut the book of hasheesh experience, warned with a warning for which I cannot express myself sufficiently grateful. And now, as utterly escaped, I look back upon the world of visionary yet awful realities, and see the fountains of its Elysium and the flames of its Tartarus growing dimmer and still dimmer in the mists of distance, I hold the remembrance of its apocalypse as something which I shall behold again, when the spirit, looking no longer through windows of sense, shall realize its majesty unterrified, and face to face gaze on its infinite though now unseen surroundings.
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The Hashish Eater -or- the Apocalypse of Evil
Clark Ashton Smith

Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;
I crown me with the million-colored sun
Of secret worlds incredible, and take
Their trailing skies for vestment when I soar,
Throned on the mounting zenith, and illume
The spaceward-flown horizons infinite.
Like rampant monsters roaring for their glut,
The fiery-crested oceans rise and rise,
By jealous moons maleficently urged
To follow me for ever; mountains horned
With peaks of sharpest adamant, and mawed
With sulphur-lit volcanoes lava-langued,
Usurp the skies with thunder, but in vain;
And continents of serpent-shapen trees,
With slimy trunks that lengthen league by league,
Pursue my light through ages spurned to fire
By that supreme ascendance; sorcerers,
And evil kings, predominanthly armed
With scrolls of fulvous dragon-skin whereon
Are worm-like runes of ever-twisting flame,
Would stay me; and the sirens of the stars,
With foam-like songs from silver fragrance wrought,
Would lure me to their crystal reefs; and moons
Where viper-eyed, senescent devils dwell,
With antic gnomes abominably wise,
Heave up their icy horns across my way.
But naught deters me from the goal ordained
By suns and eons and immortal wars,
And sung by moons and motes; the goal whose name
Is all the secret of forgotten glyphs
By sinful gods in torrid rubies writ
For ending of a brazen book; the goal
Whereat my soaring ecstasy may stand
In amplest heavens multiplied to hold
My hordes of thunder-vested avatars,
And Promethèan armies of my thought,
That brandish claspèd levins. There I call
My memories, intolerably clad
In light the peaks of paradise may wear,
And lead the Armageddon of my dreams
Whose instant shout of triumph is become
Immensity’s own music: for their feet
Are founded on innumerable worlds,
Remote in alien epochs, and their arms
Upraised, are columns potent to exalt
With ease ineffable the countless thrones
Of all the gods that are or gods to be,
And bear the seats of Asmodai and Set
Above the seventh paradise.

Supreme
In culminant omniscience manifold,
And served by senses multitudinous,
Far-posted on the shifting walls of time,
With eyes that roam the star-unwinnowed fields
Of utter night and chaos, I convoke
The Babel of their visions, and attend
At once their myriad witness. I behold
In Ombos, where the fallen Titans dwell,
With mountain-builded walls, and gulfs for moat,
The secret cleft that cunning dwarves have dug
Beneath an alp-like buttress; and I list,
Too late, the clam of adamantine gongs
Dinned by their drowsy guardians, whose feet
Have fell the wasp-like sting of little knives
Embrued With slobber of the basilisk
Or the pail Juice of wounded upas. In
Some red Antarean garden-world, I see
The sacred flower with lips of purple flesh,
And silver-Lashed, vermilion-lidded eyes
Of torpid azure; whom his furtive priests
At moonless eve in terror seek to slay
With bubbling grails of sacrificial blood
That hide a hueless poison. And I read
Upon the tongue of a forgotten sphinx,
The annulling word a spiteful demon wrote
In gall of slain chimeras; and I know
What pentacles the lunar wizards use,
That once allured the gulf-returning roc,
With ten great wings of furlèd storm, to pause
Midmost an alabaster mount; and there,
With boulder-weighted webs of dragons’ gut
Uplift by cranes a captive giant built,
They wound the monstrous, moonquake-throbbing bird,
And plucked from off his saber-taloned feet
Uranian sapphires fast in frozen blood,
And amethysts from Mars. I lean to read
With slant-lipped mages, in an evil star,
The monstrous archives of a war that ran
Through wasted eons, and the prophecy
Of wars renewed, which shall commemorate
Some enmity of wivern-headed kings
Even to the brink of time. I know the blooms
Of bluish fungus, freaked with mercury,
That bloat within the creators of the moon,
And in one still, selenic and fetor; and I know
What clammy blossoms, blanched and cavern-grown,
Are proffered to their gods in Uranus
By mole-eyed peoples; and the livid seed
Of some black fruit a king in Saturn ate,
Which, cast upon his tinkling palace-floor,
Took root between the burnished flags, and now
Hath mounted and become a hellish tree,
Whose lithe and hairy branches, lined with mouths,
Net like a hundred ropes his lurching throne,
And strain at starting pillars. I behold
The slowly-thronging corals that usurp
Some harbour of a million-masted sea,
And sun them on the league-long wharves of gold—
Bulks of enormous crimson, kraken-limbed
And kraken-headed, lifting up as crowns
The octiremes of perished emperors,
And galleys fraught with royal gems, that sailed
From a sea-fled haven.

Swifter and stranger grow
The visions: now a mighty city looms,
Hewn from a hill of purest cinnabar
To domes and turrets like a sunrise thronged
With tier on tier of captive moons, half-drowned
In shifting erubescence. But whose hands
Were sculptors of its doors, and columns wrought
To semblance of prodigious blooms of old,
No eremite hath lingered there to say,
And no man comes to learn: for long ago
A prophet came, warning its timid king
Against the plague of lichens that had crept
Across subverted empires, and the sand
Of wastes that cyclopean mountains ward;
Which, slow and ineluctable, would come
To take his fiery bastions and his fanes,
And quench his domes with greenish tetter. Now
I see a host of naked gents, armed
With horns of behemoth and unicorn,
Who wander, blinded by the clinging spells
O hostile wizardry, and stagger on
To forests where the very leaves have eyes,
And ebonies like wrathful dragons roar
To teaks a-chuckle in the loathly gloom;
Where coiled lianas lean, with serried fangs,
From writhing palms with swollen boles that moan;
Where leeches of a scarlet moss have sucked
The eyes of some dead monster, and have crawled
To bask upon his azure-spotted spine;
Where hydra-throated blossoms hiss and sing,
Or yawn with mouths that drip a sluggish dew
Whose touch is death and slow corrosion. Then
I watch a war of pygmies, met by night,
With pitter of their drums of parrot’s hide,
On plains with no horizon, where a god
Might lose his way for centuries; and there,
In wreathèd light and fulgors all convolved,
A rout of green, enormous moons ascend,
With rays that like a shivering venom run
On inch-long swords of lizard-fang.

Surveyed
From this my throne, as from a central sun,
The pageantries of worlds and cycles pass;
Forgotten splendors, dream by dream, unfold
Like tapestry, and vanish; violet suns,
Or suns of changeful iridescence, bring
Their rays about me like the colored lights
Imploring priests might lift to glorify
The face of some averted god; the songs
Of mystic poets in a purple world
Ascend to me in music that is made
From unconceivèd perfumes and the pulse
Of love ineffable; the lute-players
Whose lutes are strung with gold of the utmost moon,
Call forth delicious languors, never known
Save to their golden kings; the sorcerers
Of hooded stars inscrutable to God,
Surrender me their demon-wrested scrolls,
lnscribed with lore of monstrous alchemies
And awful transformations.

If I will
I am at once the vision and the seer,
And mingle with my ever-streaming pomps,
And still abide their suzerain: I am
The neophyte who serves a nameless god,
Within whose fane the fanes of Hecatompylos
Were arks the Titan worshippers might bear,
Or flags to pave the threshold; or I am
The god himself, who calls the fleeing clouds
Into the nave where suns might congregate
And veils the darkling mountain of his face
With fold on solemn fold; for whom the priests
Amass their monthly hecatomb of gems
Opals that are a camel-cumbering load,
And monstrous alabraundines, won from war
With realms of hostile serpents; which arise,
Combustible, in vapors many-hued
And myrrh-excelling perfumes. It is I,
The king, who holds with scepter-dropping hand
The helm of some great barge of orichalchum,
Sailing upon an amethystine sea
To isles of timeless summer: for the snows
Of Hyperborean winter, and their winds,
Sleep in his jewel-builded capital,
Nor any charm of flame-wrought wizardry,
Nor conjured suns may rout them; so he fees,
With captive kings to urge his serried oars,
Hopeful of dales where amaranthine dawn
Hath never left the faintly sighing lote
And lisping moly. Firm of heart, I fare
Impanoplied with azure diamond,
As hero of a quest Achernar lights,
To deserts filled with ever-wandering flames
That feed upon the sullen marl, and soar
To wrap the slopes of mountains, and to leap
With tongues intolerably lengthening
That lick the blenchèd heavens. But there lives
(Secure as in a garden walled from wind)
A lonely flower by a placid well,
Midmost the flaring tumult of the flames,
That roar as roars a storm-possessed sea,
Impacable for ever; and within
That simple grail the blossom lifts, there lies
One drop of an incomparable dew
Which heals the parchèd weariness of kings,
And cures the wound of wisdom. I am page
To an emperor who reigns ten thousand years,
And through his labyrinthine palace-rooms,
Through courts and colonnades and balconies
Wherein immensity itself is mazed,
I seek the golden gorget he hath lost,
On which, in sapphires fine as orris-seed,
Are writ the names of his conniving stars
And friendly planets. Roaming thus, I hear
Like demon tears incessant, through dark ages,
The drip of sullen clepsydrae; and once
In every lustrum, hear the brazen clocks
Innumerably clang with such a sound
As brazen hammers make, by devils dinned
On tombs of all the dead; and nevermore
I find the gorget, but at length I find
A sealèd room whose nameless prisoner
Moans with a nameless torture, and would turn
To hell’s red rack as to a lilied couch
From that whereon they stretched him; and I find,
Prostrate upon a lotus-painted floor,
The loveliest of all beloved slaves
My emperor hath, and from her pulseless side
A serpent rises, whiter than the root
Of some venefic bloom in darkness grown,
And gazes up with green-lit eyes that seem
Like drops of cold, congealing poison.

Hark!
What word was whispered in a tongue unknown,
In crypts of some impenetrable world?
Whose is the dark, dethroning secrecy
I cannot share, though I am king of suns,
And king therewith of strong eternity,
Whose gnomons with their swords of shadow guard
My gates, and slay the intruder? Silence loads
The wind of ether, and the worlds are still
To hear the word that flees mine audience.
In simultaneous ruin, al my dreams
Fall like a rack of fuming vapors raised
To semblance by a necromant, and leave
Spirit and sense unthinkably alone
Above a universe of shrouded stars
And suns that wander, cowled with sullen gloom,
Like witches to a Sabbath. . . . Fear is born
In crypts below the nadir, and hath crawled
Reaching the floor of space, and waits for wings
To lift it upward like a hellish worm
Fain for the flesh of cherubim. Red orbs
And eyes that gleam remotely as the stars,
But are not eyes of suns or galaxies,
Gather and throng to the base of darkness; flame
Behind some black, abysmal curtain burns,
Implacable, and fanned to whitest wrath
By raisèd wings that flail the whiffled gloom,
And make a brief and broken wind that moans
As one who rides a throbbing rack. There is
A Thing that crouches, worlds and years remote,
Whose horns a demon sharpens, rasping forth
A note to shatter the donjon-keeps of time,
Or crack the sphere of crystal. All is dark
For ages, and my toiling heart-suspends
Its clamor as within the clutch of death
Tightening with tense, hermetic rigors. Then,
In one enormous, million-flashing flame,
The stars unveil, the suns remove their cowls,
And beam to their responding planets; time
Is mine once more, and armies of its dreams
Rally to that insuperable throne
Firmed on the zenith.

Once again I seek
The meads of shining moly I had found
In some anterior vision, by a stream
No cloud hath ever tarnished; where the sun,
A gold Narcissus, loiters evermore
Above his golden image. But I find
A corpse the ebbing water will not keep,
With eyes like sapphires that have lain in hell|
And felt the hissing coals; and all the flowers
About me turn to hooded serpents, swayed
By flutes of devils in lascivious dance
Meet for the nod of Satan, when he reigns
Above the raging Sabbath, and is wooed
By sarabands of witches. But I turn
To mountains guarding with their horns of snow
The source of that befoulèd rill, and seek
A pinnacle where none but eagles climb,
And they with failing pennons. But in vain
I flee, for on that pylon of the sky
Some curse hath turned the unprinted snow to flame—
Red fires that curl and cluster to my tread,
Trying the summit’s narrow cirque. And now
I see a silver python far beneath-
Vast as a river that a fiend hath witched
And forced to flow reverted in its course
To mountains whence it issued. Rapidly
It winds from slope to crumbling slope, and fills
Ravines and chasmal gorges, till the crags
Totter with coil on coil incumbent. Soon
It hath entwined the pinnacle I keep,
And gapes with a fanged, unfathomable maw
Wherein Great Typhon and Enceladus
Were orts of daily glut. But I am gone,
For at my call a hippogriff hath come,
And firm between his thunder-beating wings
I mount the sheer cerulean walls of noon
And see the earth, a spurnèd pebble, fall—
Lost in the fields of nether stars—and seek
A planet where the outwearied wings of time
Might pause and furl for respite, or the plumes
Of death be stayed, and loiter in reprieve
Above some deathless lily: for therein
Beauty hath found an avatar of flowers-
Blossoms that clothe it as a colored flame
From peak to peak, from pole to sullen pole,
And turn the skies to perfume. There I find
A lonely castle, calm, and unbeset
Save by the purple spears of amaranth,
And leafing iris tender-sworded. Walls
Of flushèd marble, wonderful with rose,
And domes like golden bubbles, and minarets
That take the clouds as coronal-these are mine,
For voiceless looms the peaceful barbican,
And the heavy-teethed portcullis hangs aloft
To grin a welcome. So I leave awhile
My hippogriff to crop the magic meads,
And pass into a court the lilies hold,
And tread them to a fragrance that pursues
To win the portico, whose columns, carved
Of lazuli and amber, mock the palms
Of bright Aidennic forests-capitalled
With fronds of stone fretted to airy lace,
Enfolding drupes that seem as tawny clusters
Of breasts of unknown houris; and convolved
With vines of shut and shadowy-leavèd flowers
Like the dropt lids of women that endure
Some loin-dissolving ecstasy. Through doors
Enlaid with lilies twined luxuriously,
I enter, dazed and blinded with the sun,
And hear, in gloom that changing colors cloud,
A chuckle sharp as crepitating ice
Upheaved and cloven by shoulders of the damned
Who strive in Antenora. When my eyes
Undazzle, and the cloud of color fades,
I find me in a monster-guarded room,
Where marble apes with wings of griffins crowd
On walls an evil sculptor wrought, and beasts
Wherein the sloth and vampire-bat unite,
Pendulous by their toes of tarnished bronze,
Usurp the shadowy interval of lamps
That hang from ebon arches. Like a ripple
Borne by the wind from pool to sluggish pool
In fields where wide Cocytus flows his bound,
A crackling smile around that circle runs,
And all the stone-wrought gibbons stare at me
With eyes that turn to glowing coals. A fear
That found no name in Babel, flings me on,
Breathless and faint with horror, to a hall
Within whose weary, self-reverting round,
The languid curtains, heavier than palls,
Unnumerably depict a weary king
Who fain would cool his jewel-crusted hands
In lakes of emerald evening, or the field
Of dreamless poppies pure with rain. I flee
Onward, and all the shadowy curtains shake
With tremors of a silken-sighing mirth,
And whispers of the innumerable king,
Breathing a tale of ancient pestilence
Whose very words are vile contagion. Then
I reach a room where caryatids,
Carved in the form of voluptuous Titan women,
Surround a throne flowering ebony
Where creeps a vine of crystal. On the throne
There lolls a wan, enormous Worm, whose bulk,
Tumid with all the rottenness of kings,
Overflows its arms with fold on creasèd fold
Obscenely bloating. Open-mouthed he leans,
And from his fulvous throat a score of tongues,
Depending like to wreaths of torpid vipers,
Drivel with phosphorescent slime, that runs
Down all his length of soft and monstrous folds,
And creeping among the flowers of ebony,
Lends them the life of tiny serpents. Now,
Ere the Horror ope those red and lashless slits
Of eyes that draw the gnat and midge, I turn
And follow down a dusty hall, whose gloom,
Lined by the statues with their mighty limbs,
Ends in golden-roofèd balcony
Sphering the flowered horizon.

Ere my heart
Hath hushed the panic tumult of its pulses,
I listen, from beyond the horizon’s rim,
A mutter faint as when the far simoom,
Mounting from unknown deserts, opens forth,
Wide as the waste, those wings of torrid night
That shake the doom of cities from their folds,
And musters in its van a thousand winds
That, with disrooted palms for besoms, rise,
And sweep the sands to fury. As the storm,
Approaching, mounts and loudens to the ears
Of them that toil in fields of sesame,
So grows the mutter, and a shadow creeps
Above the gold horizon like a dawn
Of darkness climbing zenith-ward. They come,
The Sabaoth of retribution, drawn
From all dread spheres that knew my trespassing,
And led by vengeful fiends and dire alastors
That owned my sway aforetime! Cockatrice,
Chimera, martichoras, behemoth,
Geryon, and sphinx, and hydra, on my ken
Arise as might some Afrit-builded city
Consummate in the lifting of a lash
With thunderous domes and sounding obelisks
And towers of night and fire alternate! Wings
Of white-hot stone along the hissing wind
Bear up the huge and furnace-hearted beasts
Of hells beyond Rutilicus; and things
Whose lightless length would mete the gyre of moons—
Born from the caverns of a dying sun
Uncoil to the very zenith, half-disclosed
From gulfs below the horizon; octopi
Like blazing moons with countless arms of fire,
Climb from the seas of ever-surging flame
That roll and roar through planets unconsumed,
Beating on coasts of unknown metals; beasts
That range the mighty worlds of Alioth rise,
Afforesting the heavens with mulitudinous horns
Amid whose maze the winds are lost; and borne
On cliff-like brows of plunging scolopendras,
The shell-wrought towers of ocean-witches loom;
And griffin-mounted gods, and demons throned
On-sable dragons, and the cockodrills
That bear the spleenful pygmies on their backs;
And blue-faced wizards from the worlds of Saiph,
On whom Titanic scorpions fawn; and armies
That move with fronts reverted from the foe,
And strike athwart their shoulders at the shapes
The shields reflect in crystal; and eidola
Fashioned within unfathomable caves
By hands of eyeless peoples; and the blind
Worm-shapen monsters of a sunless world,
With krakens from the ultimate abyss,
And Demogorgons of the outer dark,
Arising, shout with dire multisonous clamors,
And threatening me with dooms ineffable
In words whereat the heavens leap to flame,
Advance upon the enchanted palace. Falling
For league on league before, their shadows light
And eat like fire the arnaranthine meads,
Leaving an ashen desert. In the palace
I hear the apes of marble shriek and howl,
And all the women-shapen columns moan,
Babbling with terror. In my tenfold fear,
A monstrous dread unnamed in any hall,
I rise, and flee with the fleeing wind for wings,
And in a trice the wizard palace reefs,
And spring to a single tower of flame,
Goes out, and leaves nor shard nor ember! Flown
Beyond the world upon that fleeing wind
I reach the gulf’s irrespirable verge,
Where fads the strongest storm for breath, and fall,
Supportless, through the nadir-plungèd gloom,
Beyond the scope and vision of the sun,
To other skies and systems.

In a world
Deep-wooded with the multi-colored fungi
That soar to semblance of fantastic palms,
I fall as falls the meteor-stone, and break
A score of trunks to atom powder. Unharmed
I rise, and through the illimitable woods,
Among the trees of flimsy opal, roam,
And see their tops that clamber hour by hour
To touch the suns of iris. Things unseen,
Whose charnel breath informs the tideless air
With spreading pools of fetor, follow me,
Elusive past the ever-changing palms;
And pittering moths with wide and ashen wings
Flit on before, and insects ember-hued,
Descending, hurtle through the gorgeous gloom
And quench themselves in crumbling thickets. Heard
Far off, the gong-like roar of beasts unknown
Resounds at measured intervals of time,
Shaking the riper trees to dust, that falls
In clouds of acrid perfume, stifling me
Beneath an irised pall.

Now the palmettoes
Grow far apart, and lessen momently
To shrubs a dwarf might topple. Over them
I see an empty desert, all ablaze
With ametrysts and rubies, and the dust
Of garnets or carnelians. On I roam,
Treading the gorgeous grit, that dazzles me
With leaping waves of endless rutilance,
Whereby the air is turned to a crimson gloom
Through which I wander blind as any Kobold;
Till underfoot the grinding sands give place
To stone or metal, with a massive ring
More welcome to mine ears than golden bells
Or tinkle of silver fountains. When the gloom
Of crimson lifts, I stand upon the edge
Of a broad black plain of adamant that reaches,
Level as windless water, to the verge
Of all the world; and through the sable plain
A hundred streams of shattered marble run,
And streams of broken steel, and streams of bronze,
Like to the ruin of all the wars of time,
To plunge with clangor of timeless cataracts
Adown the gulfs eternal.

So I follow
Between a river of steel and a river of bronze,
With ripples loud and tuneless as the clash
Of a million lutes; and come to the precipice
From which they fall, and make the mighty sound
Of a million swords that meet a million shields,
Or din of spears and armour in the wars
Of half the worlds and eons. Far beneath
They fall, through gulfs and cycles of the void,
And vanish like a stream of broken stars
into the nether darkness; nor the gods
Of any sun, nor demons of the gulf,
Will dare to know what everlasting sea
Is fed thereby, and mounts forevermore
In one unebbing tide.

What nimbus-cloud
Or night of sudden and supreme eclipse,
Is on the suns opal? At my side
The rivers run with a wan and ghostly gleam
Through darkness falling as the night that falls
From spheres extinguished. Turning, I behold
Betwixt the sable desert and the suns,
The poisèd wings of all the dragon-rout,
Far-flown in black occlusion thousand-fold
Through stars, and deeps, and devastated worlds,
Upon my trail of terror! Griffins, rocs,
And sluggish, dark chimeras, heavy-winged
After the ravin of dispeopled lands,
And harpies, and the vulture-birds of hell,
Hot from abominable feasts, and fain
To cool their beaks and talons in my blood—
All, all have gathered, and the wingless rear,
With rank on rank of foul, colossal Worms,
Makes horrent now the horizon. From the wan
I hear the shriek of wyvers, loud and shrill
As tempests in a broken fane, and roar
Of sphinxes, like relentless toll of bells
From towers infernal. Cloud on hellish cloud
They arch the zenith, and a dreadful wind
Falls from them like the wind before the storm,
And in the wind my riven garment streams
And flutters in the face of all the void,
Even as flows a flaffing spirit, lost
On the pit s undying tempest. Louder grows
The thunder of the streams of stone and bronze—
Redoubled with the roar of torrent wings
Inseparable mingled. Scarce I keep
My footing in the gulfward winds of fear,
And mighty thunders beating to the void
In sea-like waves incessant; and would flee
With them, and prove the nadir-founded night
Where fall the streams of ruin. But when I reach
The verge, and seek through sun-defeating gloom
To measure with my gaze the dread descent,
I see a tiny star within the depths-
A light that stays me while the wings of doom
Convene their thickening thousands: for the star
increases, taking to its hueless orb,
With all the speed of horror-changèd dreams,
The light as of a million million moons;
And floating up through gulfs and glooms eclipsed
It grows and grows, a huge white eyeless Face
That fills the void and fills the universe,
And bloats against the limits of the world
With lips of flame that open . . .
___________________________
Bill Laswell: The End Of Law – The Old Man Of The Mountain

___________________________

All Illustrations Gwyllm Llwydd From “The Hasheesh Eater & Other Writings” available at “The Hasheesh Eater”

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