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the Goldene Booke of Venus

A Discourse of the Communion of Soules,
and of the Uses of Love between Creature and Creature:
being Part of
the Goldene Booke of Venus

Dreamed March 15-16, 1881 by Anna Kingsford

Printed as read (in sleep, on the night of March 15, 1881) in a book in German text [Gothic font], found in a chamber purporting to be the laboratory of William Lilly, the astrologer (17th century), to which the seeress [Kingsford] had been introduced by her genius [spirit-guide] in sleep for the purpose of having her horoscope told. Failing to recover the whole of the poem on the first attempt to write it down, she sought and obtained access to the book again on the next night.
--Edward Maitland, Kingsford's biographer

1. Herein is Love's Secret, and the Mysterie of the Communion of Saintes.
2. Love redeemeth, Love lifteth up, Love enlighteneth, Love advanceth Soules.
3. Love dissolveth not, neither forgetteth; for she is of the Soule and hath everlasting Remembrance.
4. Verilie Love is doubly blessed; for She enricheth both Giver and Receiver.
5. Thou who lovest givest of thyself to thy Beloved, and he is dowered withal.
6. And if any Creature whom thou lovest suffereth Death and departeth from thee;
7. Fain wouldst thou give of thine Heartes Blood to have him live always; to sweeten the Changes before him, or to lift him to some happie Place.
8. Thou droppest teares on the broken Body of thy Beloved; thy Desire goeth after him, and thou criest unto his Ghoste,
9. "O Dearest! would God that I might be with thee where now thou art, and know what now thou doest!
10. "Would God that I might still guard and protect thee; that I might defend thee from all Pain, and Wrong, and Affliction!
11. "But what Manner of Change is before thee I know not; neither can mine Eyes follow thy Steppes.
12. " Many are the Lives set before thee, and the Yeares, O Beloved, are long and weary that shall part us!
13. "Shall I knowe thee again when I see thee, and will the Spirit of God say to thee in that day, "This is thy Beloved'?
14. "O Soule of my Soule! would God I were one with thee, even though it were in death!
15. "Thou hast all of my Love, my Desire, and my Sorrowe; yea, my Life is mingled with thine, and is gone forth with thee!
16. "Visit me in Dreames; comfort me in the Night-watches; let my Ghoste meet thine in the Land of Shadows and of Sleep!
17. "Every nighte with fervent Longing will I seek thee; Persephone and Slumber shall give me back the Past.
18. "Yea, Death shall not take thee wholly from me; for Part of me is in thee, and where thou goest, Dearest, there my Hearte followeth!"
19. So weepest thou and lamentest, because the Soul thou lovest is taken from thy Sight.
20. And Life seemeth to thee a Bitter Thing; yea, thou cursest the Destiny of all living Creatures.
21. And thou deemest thy Love of no Avail, and thy Teares as idle Droppes.
22. Behold, Love is a Ransome, and the Teares thereof are Prayeres.
23. And if thou have lived purely, thy fervent Desire shall be counted Grace to the Soule of thy Dead.
24. For the burning and continual Prayere of the juste availeth much.
25. Yea, thy Love shall enfold the Soule which thou lovest; it shall be unto him a wedding Garment and a Vesture of Blessing.
26. The Baptisme of thy Sorrowe shall baptize thy Dead, and he shall rise because of it.
27. Thy Prayeres shall lift him up, and thy Teares shall encompasse his Steppes; thy Love shall be to him a Light shining upon the upward Waye.
28. And the Angels of God shall say unto him, "O happie Soule, that art so well beloved; that art made so strong with all these Teares and Sighs.
29. "Praise the Father of Spirits therefor, for this great Love shall save thee many Incarnations.
30. "Thou art advanced thereby; thou art drawn aloft and carried upward by Cordes of Grace."
31. For in such wise do Soules profit one another and have Communion, and receive and give Blessing, the Departed of the Living, and the Living of the Departed.
32. And so much the more as the Hearte within them is clean, and the Waye of their Intention is innocent in the Sight of God.
33. Yea, the Saint is a strong Redeemer; the Spirit of God striveth within him.
34. And God withstandeth not God; for Love and God are One.
35. As the Love of Christ hath Power with the Elect, so hath Power in its degree the Love of a Man for his Friend.
36. Yea, though the Soule beloved be little and mean, a Creature not made in the Likenesse of Men.
37. For in the eyes of Love there is nothing little nor poor, nor unworthy of Prayere.
38. O little Soule, thou art mighty if a Child of God love thee--, yea, poor and simple Soule, thou art possessed of great Riches.
39. Better is thy Portion than the Portion of Kings whom the Curse of the Oppressed pursueth.
40. For as Love is strong to redeem and to advance a Soule, so is Hatred strong to torment and to detain.
41. Blessed is the Soule whom the juste commemorate before God; for whom the Poor and the Orphan and the dumb Creature weep.
42. And thou, O Righteous Man, that with burning Love bewailest the Death of the Innocent, whom thou canst not save from the Hands of the Unjuste;
43. Thou who wouldst freely give of thine own Blood to redeem thy Brother and to loosen the Bonds of his Paine;
44. Know that in the Hour of thy supreme Desire, God accepteth thine Oblation.
45. And thy Love shall not return unto thee empty; according to the Greatnesse of her Degree, she shall accomplish thy Will.
46. And thy Sorrowe and Teares, and the Travaile of thy Spirit, shall be Grace and Blessing to the Soule thou wouldst redeem.
47. Count not as lost thy Suffering on behalf of other Soules; for every Cry is a Prayere, and all Prayere is Power.
48. That thou willest to do is done; thine Intention is united to the Will of Divine Love.
49. Nothing is lost of that which thou layest out for God and for thy Brother.
50. And it is Love alone who redeemeth, and Love hath nothing of her own.

EDITOR'S NOTE

I posted this odd dream for three reasons:

  1. It's the longest complete dreamt poem I know. Most dream-poetry is written later, awake, about the dream; Coleridge and a few others have dreamt whole poems, but typically wake recalling just part. Anna has that problem too, but is unique in having gone back to get the end of it!
  2. As a feat of dream-reading: Stephen La Berge, the lucid-dream pioneer, claims the act of reading is a stretch for the dreaming brain--you can read text in a dream, but it won't read the same if you look again. Unstable! He recommends (re)reading as a way to find out if you're dreaming, and induce lucidity. This is untrue of books in my dreams; they can change, to make a point, but they can just as easily be stable. True for Kingsford too: she goes back the next night to get the remainder of her fifty-line text, and succeeds. This isn't a dream; it's two dreams. Can you spot the seam? I can't! Stable style and content.
  3. The message corrects an earlier dream of Kingsford's, Vicarious Atonement--she dreams a girl brands herself to prevent a boy from being branded, taking on his punishment out of love...and protest. Kingsford calls the girl a fool, and rants at her "You can't take on another's suffering, how will they learn? Punishment is needed!" I felt Kingsford, usually just as humane in her dreams as in real life, blew it as a dream-shaman, blew it big time--ranting at a kid with second-degree burns? This later dream seems to concur. Self-mutilation "for others" does go too far, but our grief, love and sympathetic suffering can ease others' burdens.
    Although... me, I'd rather give (and get) practical help, not dramatic teary love. But then I'm a poore dumb Creature.
--Chris Wayan



LISTS AND LINKS: dreams of books, writers and reading - love - souls - sadness and grief - empathy - help and giving - more practical rescues - more Anna Kingsford

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