Aleister Crowley: Concerning certain sins

William-Adolphe Bouguereau – In penitence (1895) – from Wikimedia Commons

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.


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), published online by The Hermetic Library. I took the indentation of the verses and the decomposition of the poem into two stanzas from the digitisation of the original on the IAPSOP site.


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