The Burning Wheel - Aldous Huxley - E-Book

The Burning Wheel E-Book

Aldous Huxley

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Though Aldous Huxley is primarily remembered for his novels, and to a lesser extent his essays, he began his writing career as a poet. While a student at Balliol College at Oxford, having been exempted from military service due to extremely poor eyesight, he was involved in several student poetry magazines. In September 1916 his first book of poetry, "The Burning Wheel", appeared.

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THE BURNING WHEEL

Aldous Huxley

ENDYMION PRESS

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All rights reserved. Aside from brief quotations for media coverage and reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced or distributed in any form without the author’s permission. Thank you for supporting authors and a diverse, creative culture by purchasing this book and complying with copyright laws.

Copyright © 2017 by Aldous Huxley

Published by Endymion Press

Interior design by Pronoun

Distribution by Pronoun

ISBN: 9781537825298

TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE BURNING WHEEL.

DOORS OF THE TEMPLE.

VILLIERS DE L’ISLE-ADAM.

DARKNESS.

MOLE.

THE TWO SEASONS.

TWO REALITIES.

QUOTIDIAN VISION.

VISION.

THE MIRROR.

VARIATIONS ON A THEME OF LAFORGUE.

PHILOSOPHY.

PHILOCLEA IN THE FOREST.

BOOKS AND THOUGHTS.

“CONTRARY TO NATURE AND ARISTOTLE.”

ESCAPE.

THE GARDEN.

THE CANAL.

THE IDEAL FOUND WANTING.

MISPLACED LOVE.

SONNET.

SENTIMENTAL SUMMER.

THE CHOICE.

THE HIGHER SENSUALISM.

SONNET.

FORMAL VERSES.

PERILS OF THE SMALL HOURS.

COMPLAINT.

RETURN TO AN OLD HOME.

FRAGMENT.

THE WALK.

THE BURNING WHEEL.

~

Wearied of its own turning,

Distressed with its own busy restlessness,

Yearning to draw the circumferent pain—

The rim that is dizzy with speed—

To the motionless centre, there to rest,

The wheel must strain through agony

On agony contracting, returning

Into the core of steel.

And at last the wheel has rest, is still,

Shrunk to an adamant core:

Fulfilling its will in fixity.

But the yearning atoms, as they grind

Closer and closer, more and more

Fiercely together, beget

A flaming fire upward leaping,

Billowing out in a burning,

Passionate, fierce desire to find

The infinite calm of the mother’s breast.

And there the flame is a Christ-child sleeping,

Bright, tenderly radiant;

All bitterness lost in the infinite

Peace of the mother’s bosom.

But death comes creeping in a tide

Of slow oblivion, till the flame in fear

Wakes from the sleep of its quiet brightness

And burns with a darkening passion and pain,

Lest, all forgetting in quiet, it perish.

And as it burns and anguishes it quickens,

Begetting once again the wheel that yearns—

Sick with its speed—for the terrible stillness

Of the adamant core and the steel-hard chain.

And so once more

Shall the wheel revolve till its anguish cease

In the iron anguish of fixity;

Till once again

Flame billows out to infinity,

Sinking to a sleep of brightness

In that vast oblivious peace.

DOORS OF THE TEMPLE.

~

Many are the doors of the spirit that lead

Into the inmost shrine:

And I count the gates of the temple divine,

Since the god of the place is God indeed.

And these are the gates that God decreed

Should lead to his house:—kisses and wine,

Cool depths of thought, youth without rest,

And calm old age, prayer and desire,

The lover’s and mother’s breast,

The fire of sense and the poet’s fire.

But he that worships the gates alone,

Forgetting the shrine beyond, shall see

The great valves open suddenly,

Revealing, not God’s radiant throne,

But the fires of wrath and agony.

VILLIERS DE L’ISLE-ADAM.

~

Up from the darkness on the laughing stage

A sudden trap-door shot you unawares,

Incarnate Tragedy, with your strange airs

Of courteous sadness. Nothing could assuage

The secular grief that was your heritage,

Passed down the long line to the last that bears

The name, a gift of yearnings and despairs

Too greatly noble for this iron age.

Time moved for you not in quotidian beats,

But in the long slow rhythm the ages keep

In their immortal symphony. You taught

That not in the harsh turmoil of the streets

Does life consist; you bade the soul drink deep

Of infinite things, saying: “The rest is naught.”