(04/28/1941) The Voyage Home

The Voyage Home
When I had played my role as fool,
I stood beside an inky pool
Of jet, which on its surface bore
A phantom fleet, each knew one oar
To guide its course. And as I stood
I saw the curtains of each hood
Were black and wet, and this seemed strange.
For though I looked, within the range
Of sight there was no storm, no foam
To slash and drench; the darkened dome
Was still. A gentle wind breathed through
The lofty sail, yet of the crew
I saw not one to man the sweeps,
And yet we moved across the deeps
To where a darkened funnel led
Beneath the curving overhead.

The current moves more swiftly here,
It feeds the treadmills of a weir
Of jagged rocks beneath the lashed
Foam of the water, bubble splashed
The cavern wall stands to the tides
That sluice its worn, eroded sides
And candles gutter in their wicks
As ever faster rolls the Styx.
It beats the shadowed air to whirl
Above the frightened dead, its purl
Becomes a raging, snarling stream
Through which the boats are shot, the scream
Of those who hoped for peace in Hell
Is drowned beneath the rushing swell
Of sound that thunders through this cave
Beyond the portals of the grave.

In clusters drift the sodden boats
Upon the bay, wet sluggish motes
They bob and dance among the waves,
To wind and tide they are as slaves
That know no motive of their own
But lie within the fluid zone
Of force that moves them as it wills
To where the rushing water stills
And spreads into a placid sea.
The pilgrims sag on bended knee
In thankfulness unto that form Who
held them through the mortal storm;
For there, beyond the torrent’s roar,
In swinging tiers above the shore
Where Lethe’s rolling combers break
Lies, coil on coil, our Mother Snake.

— Grady L. McMurtry
4/28/41 e.v.

Originally published in Thelema Lodge Calendar, March 1989