'In a flowery grove the hermaphrodite sleeps a deep, heavy sleep, drenched in his tears. The moon's disc has come clear of the mass of clouds, and with its pale beams caresses his gentle adolescent face. His features express the most virile energy as well as the grace of a celestial virgin. Nothing about him seems natural, not even the muscles of his body, which clear their way across the harmonious contours of a feminine form. He has one arm around his head and another around his breast, as if to restrain the beating of a heart which can make no confidences, laden with the heavy burden of an eternal secret.'

(Maldoror 1868)

Lord Summerisle

'I think I could turn and live with animals. They are so placid and self contained. They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins. For they do not make me sick discussing their duty to god. Not one of them kneels to another, or to his own kind that lived thousands of years ago. Not one of them is respectable. Or unhappy. All over the Earth.'

(The Wicker Man 1973)

Aleister Crowley

"I love you!

I yearn to you!

Pale or purple, veiled or voluptuous,

I who am all pleasure and purple, and drunkenness of the innermost sense, desire you.

Put on the wings, and arouse the coiled splendour within you:

Come Unto Me!

To me! To me!

Sing the raptuous love-song unto me!

Burn to me perfumes!

Wear to me jewels!

Drink to me, for I love you!

I love you.

I am the blue-lidded daughter of sunset

I am the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night-sky.

To me! To me!"

(Book of the Law ,1904)

Omar Khayyám

'Ah love! Could thou and I with Fate conspire,

To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,

Would not we shatter it to bits - and then,

Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire!'

(verse 73,)

The moving finger writes; and, having


Moves on; nor all thy Piety nor Wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,

Nor all they Tears wash out a Word of it.

(verse 51 )

But leave the Wise to wrangle, and with


The quarrel of the Universe let be :

And, in some corner of the Hubbub


Make Game of that which makes as

much of Thee.

(verse 45)

For in the Market-place, one Dusk of


I watch'd the Potter thumping his wet

Clay :

And with its all obliterated Tongue,

It murmer'd - "Gently, Brother, gently,


(verse 36)

And if the Wine you drink, the lip you


End in the Nothing all Things end in


Then fancy while Thou art, Thou art

but what

Thou shalt be - Nothing - Thou shalt

not be less.


(The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám - done into English by Edward Fitzgerald, first edition 1859)

Kenneth Grahame

'Then suddenly the Mole felt a great Awe fall upon him, an awe that turned his muscles to water, bowed his head, and rooted his feet to the ground. It was no panic terror—indeed he felt wonderfully at peace and happy—but it was an awe that smote and held him and, without seeing, he knew it could only mean that some august Presence was very, very near. With difficulty he turned to look for his friend and saw him at his side cowed, stricken, and trembling violently. And still there was utter silence in the populous bird-haunted branches around them; and still the light grew and grew.

Perhaps he would never have dared to raise his eyes, but that, though the piping was now hushed, the call and the summons seemed still dominant and imperious. He might not refuse, were Death himself waiting to strike him instantly, once he had looked with mortal eye on things rightly kept hidden. Trembling he obeyed, and raised his humble head; and then, in that utter clearness of the imminent dawn, while Nature, flushed with fullness of incredible colour, seemed to hold her breath for the event, he looked in the very eyes of the Friend and Helper; saw the backward sweep of the curved horns, gleaming in the growing daylight; saw the stern, hooked nose between the kindly eyes that were looking down on them humourously, while the bearded mouth broke into a half-smile at the corners; saw the rippling muscles on the arm that lay across the broad chest, the long supple hand still holding the pan-pipes only just fallen away from the parted lips; saw the splendid curves of the shaggy limbs disposed in majestic ease on the sward; saw, last of all, nestling between his very hooves, sleeping soundly in entire peace and contentment, the little, round, podgy, childish form of the baby otter. All this he saw, for one moment breathless and intense, vivid on the morning sky; and still, as he looked, he lived; and still, as he lived, he wondered.

'Rat!' he found breath to whisper, shaking. 'Are you afraid?'

'Afraid?' murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love. 'Afraid! Of HIM? O, never, never! And yet—and yet—O, Mole, I am afraid!'

Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.

Sudden and magnificent, the sun's broad golden disc showed itself over the horizon facing them; and the first rays, shooting across the level water-meadows, took the animals full in the eyes and dazzled them. When they were able to look once more, the Vision had vanished, and the air was full of the carol of birds that hailed the dawn.'

The Wind in the Willows