Alchemical Poem by Ainsworth
From Chapter XIII 'The Magic Ring' in William Harrison Ainsworth's novel Crichton, London 1837.
[It appears to be based upon the writings of Jean d'Espagnet's Hermetic Arcanum.]
Within the golden portal
of the garden of the Wise,
Watching by the seven sprayed fountain,
the Hesperian Dragon lies.
Like the ever-burning Branches
In the dream of holy seer;
Like the types of Asia's churches,
Those glorious jets appear.
Three times the magic waters
Must the Winged Dragon drain,
Then his scales shall burst asunder
And his heart be reft in twain.
Forth shall flow an emanation,
Forth shall spring a shape divine,
And if Sol and Cynthia aid thee,
Shall the charmed Key be thine.
In the solemn groves of Wisdom,
Where black pines their shadows fling
Near the haunted cell of Hermes
Three lovely flowerets spring:
The Violet damask tinted
In scent all flowers above;
The milk white vestal Lily,
And the purple flower of Love,
Red Sol a sign shall give thee
Where the sapphire violets gleam,
Watered by the rills that wander
From the viewless golden stream;
One Violet shalt thou gather, -
But Ah - beware - beware! -
The Lily and the Amaranth
Demand thy chiefest care.
Within the lake of crystal,
Roseate as Sol's first ray,
With eyes of diamond lustre,
A thousand fireflies play.
A net within that water,
A net with web of gold,
If cast where air bells glitter
One shining fish shall hold.
Amid the oldest mountains
Whose tops are nest the Sun,
The everlasting rivers
Through glowing channels run;
Those mountains are of silver,
Those channels are of gold,
And thence the countless treasures
Of the Kings of Earth are rolled.
But far, far must we wander
O'er realms and seas unknown
Who seeks the Ancient Mountains
Where shines the Wondrous Stone.
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