"Nekam, Adonai! The Preceptor's address to his Templars" An early 4-page typescript of this long poem with several manuscript corrections. Aleister CROWLEY.
"Nekam, Adonai! The Preceptor's address to his Templars" An early 4-page typescript of this long poem with several manuscript corrections.

"Nekam, Adonai! The Preceptor's address to his Templars" An early 4-page typescript of this long poem with several manuscript corrections.

ND ( ca. 1914). Text typed in blue on the rectos only of four sheets of white quarto (10 1/4 x 8 inch) typing paper water-marked "Excelsior / Superfine / British Make." Headed "Nekam, Adonai! The Preceptor's address to his Templars" [all in caps] beneath which "To Sir James Windram." Crowley has evidently corrected the typescript - there are three instances where words have been struck through and pencilled alternatives given above them, and the word "gonfalon" has been pencilled into a blank space at the end of the second line of the twelfth verse (presumably the typist had been unable to read the word in the manuscript). The poem is a romantic call to arms addressed to brother (and sister) Templars, specifically those of the Ordo Templi Orientis, of whom the dedicatee, James Thomas Windram (1877-1939) Mercurius X°, National Grand Master of South Africa, was a prominent member. The final two stanzas give some idea of its general thrust.

Every knight unbare the brand!
Fling aloft the gonfalon!
By the oath and ordeal, stand!
By the bitter cup, set on!

Is Beauseant forward flung?
Is Vexillium Belli set?
Onward, Templars, old and young,
In the name of Baphomet!

Crowley intended to include "Nekam, Adonai" in his collection, "The Giant's Thumb" but although it reached proof stage in 1915, it was not actually published until well after his death. Instead the poem was first published in "The Equinox, Vol. III. No. 1" (1919), the so-called "Blue Equinox". The text printed therein (and in "The Giant's Thumb" follows the text of this typescript exactly, including taking up the manuscript corrections, so it seems highly likely that this is the final draft that Crowley received back from the typist, which he then corrected (very carefully - making sure that the corrections were legible) and gave to the typesetter for use in preparing the printing plates. It is not known when the poem was written, but it was probably in 1913 or 1914. Crowley did not become acquainted with Windram - to whom it is dedicated - until late 1910, when the latter joined the A.'. A.'. and after a rather meteoric rise Crowley and Theodur Reuss had jointly chartered Windram as the O.T.O.'s official representative in South Africa on March 19, 1913, and it is likely it was written after this.
There are rust marks from an old paper clip on the first and last leaves, and a couple of small pin holes in the upper right margin where they were presumably once secured together. The pages are a little dusty and darkened, and one or two have light, partial finger-prints in what looks like printer's ink, which would fit with their use by typesetters. A few small creases to the corners, but overall VG+ condition. Item #67529

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