Verses from `The Gates Of Paradise'

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Circa 1810


Mutual Forgiveness of each vice,
Such are the Gates of Paradise,
Against the Accuser's chief desire,
Who walk'd among the stones of fire.
Jehovah's Finger wrote the Law;
Then wept; then rose in zeal and awe,
And the dead corpse, from Sinai's heat,
Buried beneath His Mercy-seat.
O Christians! Christians! tell me why
You rear it on your altars high?

The Keys

The Caterpillar on the leaf
Reminds thee of thy Mother's grief

Of the Gates

1. My Eternal Man set in repose,
The Female from his darkness rose;
And she found me beneath a Tree,
A Mandrake, and in her Veil hid me.
Serpent Reasonings us entice
Of good and evil, virtue and vice,
2. Doubt self-jealous, Watery folly;
3. Struggling thro' Earth's melancholy;
4. Naked in Air, in shame and fear;
5. Blind in Fire, with shield and spear;
Two-horn'd Reasoning, cloven fiction,
In doubt, which is self-contradiction,
A dark Hermaphrodite we stood --

Rational truth, root of evil and good.
Round me flew the Flaming Sword;
Round her snowy Whirlwinds roar'd,
Freezing her Veil, the Mundane Shell.
6. I rent the Veil where the Dead dwell:
When weary Man enters his Cave,
He meets his Saviour in the grave.
Some find a Female Garment there,
And some a Male, woven with care;
Lest the Sexual Garments sweet
Should grow a devouring Winding-sheet.
7. One dies! Alas! the Living and Dead!
One is slain! and One is fled!
8. In Vain-glory hatcht and nurst,
By double Spectres, self-accurst.
My Son! my Son! thou treatest me
But as I have instructed thee.
9. On the shadows of the Moon,
Climbing thro' Night's highest noon;
10. In Time's Ocean falling, drown'd;
11 In Aged Ignorance profound,
Holy and cold, I clipp'd the wings
Of all sublunary things,
12. And in depths of my dungeons
Closed the Father and the Sons.
13. But when once I did descry
The Immortal Man that cannot die,
14. Thro' evening shades I haste away
To close the labours of my day.
15. The Door of Death I open found,
And the Worm weaving in the ground:
16. Thou'rt my Mother, from the womb;
Wife, Sister, Daughter, to the tomb;
Weaving to dreams the Sexual strife,
And weeping over the Web of Life.


To the Accuser who is The God of this World
Truly, my Satan, thou art but a dunce,
And dost not know the garment from the man;
Every harlot was a virgin once,
Nor canst thou ever change Kate into Nan.

Tho' thou art worship'd by the names divine
Of Jesus and Jehovah, thou art still
The Son of Morn in weary Night's decline,
The lost traveller's dream under the hill.

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