Poem to Péladan: From Bucharest with Love

Joseph-Aimé (Joséphin) Péladan (1858 -1918) was a French novelist and Martinist. He was an artist, an eccentric and claimed to be the successor to a Toulouse branch of the Rose-Croix. At the end of 1887, Péladan, Stanislas de Guaïta (1861-1897) and Papus (Gérard Encausse, 1865-1916) founded an ‘Ordre Kabbalistique de la Rose-Croix’. Directed by six known and six unknown members, Péladan, later quit the Rose-Croix Kabbalistique (1890-1891) to create a branch more ‘devoutly’ universalist and aesthetically focussed – thel’Ordre de la Rose+Croix Catholique et esthétique du Temple et du Graal (R+C). Browsing through the pages of Péladan’s personal sketchbook (Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal: Ms-13412), we find the following poem dedicated to the Grand Monarque himself. Written by Alexandru Macedonski (1854 – 1920), a Romanian poet, novelist, dramatist and literary critic, the poem exalts Péladan, as well as his marvellous claims that a Babylonian king left his family the honorific title of ‘Sâr’. Below is a barbarous attempt at a translation that soils an otherwise wonderful example of belle époque occultism. The poem was written on Christmas Eve, 1907 – the year of the Romanian Peasants’ Revolt.

 Péladan
 
 Master, who was the winged word of mystic times,
 Who was indeed a Sâr in Paris-Babilou,
 Dirty Dour-Atktar, Dour-Yakin or Kalou
 Yet, whose heart pours out to hymn-like rhymes.
 
 And so you remained Ilou’s great chosen light,
 A Lighthouse that in vain the chaotic waves barricades,
 And who today takes bets on higher colonnades? 
 Deliver a peaceful brow to the kisses of the night.
 
 For, master, you are realising your supreme victory 
 When your pride was the offering expiatory,
 Darkness from which all is now free, 
 
 And here it stands in calm and pure image 
 Forever intangible, immortal forever, 
 He who was the Sâr becomes the arch-mage.

Alexandre Macedonski
 
 24 December 1907 
 Bucharest 
 14 Popa-Russu
1878 photograph of Alexandru Macedonski

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