The Rosicrucian

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein


The tripod flared with a purple spark,
And the mist hung emerald in the dark:
Now he stooped to the lilac flame
Over the glare of the amber embers,
Thrice to utter no earthly name;
Thrice, like a mind that half remembers;
Bathing his face in the magic mist
Where the brilliance burned like an amethyst.


"Sylph, whose soul was born of mine,
Born of the love that made me thine,
Once more flash on my eyes! Again
Be the loved caresses taken!
Lip to lip let our forms remain! -
Here in the circle sense, awaken!
Ere spirit meet spirit, the flesh laid by,
Let me touch thee, and let me die."


Sunset heavens may burn, but never
Know such splendor! There bloomed an ever
Opaline orb, where the sylphid rose
A shape of luminous white; diviner
White than the essence of light that sows
The moons and suns through space; and finer
Than radiance born of a shooting-star,
Or the wild Aurora that streams afar.


"Look on the face of the soul to whom
Thou givest thy soul like added perfume!
Thou, who heard'st me, who long had prayed,
Waiting alone at morning's portal! -
Thus on thy lips let my lips be laid,
Love, who hast made me all immortal!
Give me thine arms now! Come and rest
Weariness out on my beaming breast!"


Was it her soul? or the sapphire fire
That sang like the note of a seraph's lyre?
Out of her mouth there fell no word -
She spake with her soul, as a flower speaketh.

Fragrant messages none hath heard,
Which the sense divines when the spirit seeketh....
And he seemed alone in a place so dim
That the spirit's face, who was gazing at him,
For its burning eyes he could not see:
Then he knew he had died; that she and he
Were one; and he saw that this was she.

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