CROWLEY, ALEISTER (1875-1947)
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF A 'RO[U]NDEL FOR THE INTRODUCTION TO THE GREEN HOUR', 12 lines, signed at the end ('Aleister Crowley') with a note to Kelly [of Kegan Paul] at the head, 1 page, octavo, on headed notepaper of the Hotel Mont Rose in Zermatt, not dated [?1917]
The slow Green Hour,
when haggard faces meet,
Drawn by strong craving to the humble bower
That separates all from the noisy street
The slow Green Hour!
Strange lips & langours, like the lotus-flower;
A haze of fragrance, infamously sweet;
A mist of green, like woods in summer shower...
Absinthe, variously the 'green fairy', 'green lady' and 'green muse', was the archetypal fin de siècle drink, which became so popular that the hour between 5 pm and 7 pm became known as 'l'heure verte', or 'The Green Hour'. Crowley, a great imbiber of absinthe, published an article on it in The International in October 1917 which began 'Keep always this dim corner for me, that I may sit while the Green Hour glides, a proud pavine of Time...'
Publication of this poem has not been traced.
REFERENCE: The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An Autobiography, edited by John Symonds and Kenneth Grant, 1986.