I: Luna

Honour to virgins! Of the elements, all but five are lustful, and possessed; but these, nobly inert, viewless, ethereal, even in heat repel the valencies of baser fabric (base because erect with double gender). Such virginities, the lunar hand of pearl of the elect, gas-goddesses, are counted soon indeed: what of those other vestals, to perfect whose indivisible maidenheads there breed no parent figures? - and from whose power descends ipse alone? Like unpredictable seed, they flower still where number itself extends: other, and hybrid, rabble-integers reach beyond themselves (Aleph begins, not ends): these are as many, though; for each to each - as facing mirrors double and recede - must correspond. Not so the forms of speech: honour to those for whom there are decreed no proper mates, whom charts of rhyme reject. For months of iron may be paired at need; never the iceberg plinth, or insurrect sistrum of wyvern dogma: silver keys that open mirrored nothing, nor connect with any ward. Here fertile numbers freeze as well as primes: few that are cardinal; most, that name place or that assign degrees. And, all being virgin, honour to them all!

II: Venus

The Song of Solomon 2:5 (Authorised Version) With flagons of what metal? In the bloom of copper, transubstantiate wines must bleed thin as the milk of garnets - knowing whom, oh Cyprian, their shell is named for. Feed on apples of what colour? On the bough all gold and flame; but lusted for, untreed, of bitter emerald. The lover now eats without comfort, drinks and never slakes - your goblets too turned-green. Oh Cyprian, how flourish on fables when your power breaks? - on paradox and horror and nightmare bride: testes of toadstools, hag-sperm, hair of snakes, or sweat of beetles? Yet your power died from hope withheld: not like a dish let fall, but like a priapism unsatisfied. Rare in your transits, have you thought at all by hidden sunlight your albedo wakes, that riding past His face grows dark and small? - all the long shining while the lover aches, ends in a blemish on Apollo's brow? Ancient your empire, narrow your mistakes, but you have no more damsels to endow; the hands that flattered once are hooked in greed; the wells are poisoned, and the steeples bow. Dry nipples are the grapes your kisses knead; Hesperides, as withered as your womb, upraise the maggot in the cups of seed: rose, you are sour: let the sweet nightshade bloom.

III. Sol

How is it with you, around Helicon, deserted poet? Are they to your mind, these groves and streams, the Muses being gone? - all but the lying Clio and the blind Urania. Forget those golden wires that no more shiver and spell within your vined academy, nor kindle from your fires. Apollo, neither prophet nor who sings, poor little shrewmouse of abandoned choirs, your vatic hymns gnawn into mutterings, your topaz chariot in the deep and cone of annular eclipse: the chords and springs of the fine fountain are no more your own, your dawning dwindled to a corposant, and your new-public Daphne a dry crone. After its nuptial flight, the fallen ant walks tunnelled earth, has loved its last of wings: thus with your aery horse; now he must pant - gone in the wind, spavined and thrushed - on strings twisted or shrunk: for shame to his dead sires, a gelding, glandered. Ride him now? That brings no more Aeolian madness in the gyres of middle-aether, bird-and-blaze-entwined: true laureates are mounted on entires. God of the broken music, the dead rind of manhood, have you wreaths to rest upon? Bowman-avenger paled, oh light declined, dark be your comfort around Helicon.