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The Wife-Beater
poetry [ ]
from Konx Om Pax

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
by [Aleister_Crowley ]

2009-05-08  |     |  Submited by Constantin Delca



I BRUISED your body with the whip
Its wheals stand out in ridgéd azure.
The savage blood upon your lip
Images hurt, and hurt’s erasure.

The pain transmuted into passion;
And passion’s ruin was not pain;
But my pain wears another fashion;
My dead men do not rise again.

You hurt me, and the silent skin
Whispers no word of bleeding bruises;
Your subtle hate, your cunning skin
Brands and corrodes me where it chooses

I fear not them that kill the body,
But rather them that hurt the soul:
My soul with your disdain is bloody;
Your stripes are none to make me whole.

Could you but see my vitals torn,
My nerves on rack, my tortured spirit—
Of all the ills to mortals born
This is the sorest to inherit.

If you could see the branded token
Of your invisible whip, the scars
Of your intangible knife, the unspoken
Agonies, silent as the stars!

Then you should count the agéd lines
That wrinkle up my boy’s blithe beauty:—
The Judge of all the Earth divines
My wrongs and yours, and does his duty.

For you in heaven shall bloom and burgeon,
And I in hell shall howl and groan.
Ah! God is an unskilful surgeon;
We both shall weep to be alone!

For we are one and may not part;
And though we hurt, we love, believe me!
Nor would I in my inmost heart
Of one of all your stabs bereave me.

No man can hurt the indifferent stranger,
No woman wound the casual friend.
There is a glory born of danger;
What anger gat, desire may end.

Give me the phrenzy of your lip!
My heart accepts your usurpature.
Your body leaps beneath the whip;
Our pain is in love’s very nature.

It is enough. The woe is over,
The woe begins; the vial brims,
And all the anguish of your lover
And you is hidden in wrestling limbs.

Drain the black cup of bruiséd blood!
Its bitter shall beget devotion,
And Bacchus sweep its frenzied flood
Into the Eleusinian ocean!

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