THE roses of the world are sad,
The water-lilies pale,
Because my lover takes her lad
Beneath the moonlight veil.
No flower may bloom this happy hour—
Unless my Alice be the flower.
The stars are hidden in dark and mist,
The moon and sun are dead,
Because my love has caught and kissed
My body in her bed.
No light may shine this happy night—
Unless my Alice be the light.
So silent are the thrush, the lark!
The nightingale’s at rest,
Because my love loves the dark,
And has me in her breast.
No song this happy night be heard!—
Unless my Alice be the bird.
The sea that roared around the house
Is fallen from alarms,
Because my lover calls me spouse,
And takes me to her arms.
This night no sound of breakers be!—
Unless my Alice be the sea.
Of man and maid in all the world
Is stilled the swift caress,
Because my lover has me curled
In her own loveliness.
No kiss be such a night as this!—
Unless by Alice be the kiss.
No blade of grass awaiting takes
The dew fresh-fallen above,
Because my lover swoons, and slakes
Her body’s thirst of love.
This night no dewfall from the blue!—
Unless my Alice be the dew.
This night—O never dawn shall crest
The world of wakening,
Because my lover has my breast
On hers for dawn and spring.
This night shall never be withdrawn—
Unless my Alice be the dawn.
Source: Alice: an Adultery, in The Collected Works of Aleister Crowley, Volume II (1906), published online by The Hermetic Library. The indentation of verses follows the digitisation of the original on David Moews’s home page.