(S 1)
190 For terrible agencies the Spirit allows
And there are subtle and enormous Powers
That shield themselves with the covering Ignorance.
(S 2)
Offspring of the gulfs, agents of the shadowy Force,
Haters of light, intolerant of peace,
195 Aping to the thought the shining Friend and Guide,
Opposing in the heart the eternal Will,
They veil the occult uplifting Harmonist.
(S 3)
His wisdom’s oracles are made our bonds;
The doors of God they have locked with keys of creed
200 And shut out by the Law his tireless Grace.
(S 4)
Along all Nature’s lines they have set their posts
And intercept the caravans of Light;
Wherever the Gods act, they intervene.
(S 5)
A yoke is laid upon the world’s dim heart;
205 Masked are its beats from the supernal Bliss,
And the closed peripheries of brilliant Mind
Block the fine entries of celestial Fire.
(S 6)
Always the dark Adventurers seem to win;
Nature they fill with evil’s institutes,
210 Turn into defeats the victories of Truth,
Proclaim as falsehoods the eternal laws,
And load the dice of Doom with wizard lies;
The world’s shrines they have occupied, usurped its thrones.
(S 7)
In scorn of the dwindling chances of the Gods
215 They claim creation as their conquered fief
And crown themselves the iron Lords of Time.
(S 8)
Adepts of the illusion and the mask,
The artificers of Nature’s fall and pain
Have built their altars of triumphant Night
220 In the clay temple of terrestrial life.
(S 9)
In the vacant precincts of the sacred Fire,
In front of the reredos in the mystic rite
Facing the dim velamen none can pierce,
Intones his solemn hymn the mitred priest
225 Invoking their dreadful presence in his breast:
Attributing to them the awful Name
He chants the syllables of the magic text
And summons the unseen communion’s act,
While twixt the incense and the muttered prayer
230 All the fierce bale with which the world is racked
Is mixed in the foaming chalice of man’s heart
And poured to them like sacramental wine.
(S 10)
Assuming names divine they guide and rule.
(S 11)
Opponents of the Highest they have come
235 Out of their world of soulless thought and power
To serve by enmity the cosmic scheme.
(S 12)
Night is their refuge and strategic base.
(S 13)
Against the sword of Flame, the luminous Eye,
Bastioned they live in massive forts of gloom,
240 Calm and secure in sunless privacy:
No wandering ray of Heaven can enter there.
(S 14)
Armoured, protected by their lethal masks,
As in a studio of creative Death
The giant sons of Darkness sit and plan
245 The drama of the earth, their tragic stage.
(S 15)
All who would raise the fallen world must come
Under the dangerous arches of their power;
For even the radiant children of the gods
To darken their privilege is and dreadful right.
(S 16)
250 None can reach heaven who has not passed through hell.