Our Green Lion: The First Metal Of The Wise

original pen and ink on parchment paper, by susanne iles

original pen and ink on parchment paper, by susanne iles

In alchemy the image of the Green Lion represents the second operation,Dissolution.  Although imperfect during this stage, the soul burns with desire to ascend and grow, leaving the dross behind. While exploring the writing of Dylan Thomas, I came across a poem that exemplifies the fierce beauty of this alchemical process.

 

THE FORCE THAT THROUGH THE GREEN FUSE DRIVES THE FLOWER

BY DYLAN THOMAS

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower   

Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees   

Is my destroyer.

And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose

My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

 

The force that drives the water through the rocks   

Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams   

Turns mine to wax.

And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins

How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

 

The hand that whirls the water in the pool

Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind   

Hauls my shroud sail.

And I am dumb to tell the hanging man

How of my clay is made the hangman’s lime.

 

The lips of time leech to the fountain head;   

Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood   

Shall calm her sores.

And I am dumb to tell a weather’s wind

How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

 

And I am dumb to tell the lover’s tomb

How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.