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Would you believe that only yesterday in a Preston bookshop, I found
to my great surprise one of the few extant copies of 'Fungoids' by E. Soames; 
A tattered and faded volume inscribed in what must be Soames's own hand
to 'My Beloved'.  Of course I would have paid a great deal for this treasure,
but the dolt of a bookseller had it on the 'To clear-20p' table---beneath it, 
actually, propping up the short leg. 

Upon hearing of this find scholars from ESI (Enoch Soames Institute) 
descended upon the Preston bookshop and finely combed for Soames's 
other works.  To everyone's amazement they also found some pages from
'Negations'---lining the shelves that held works of Shakespeare and Shelly.

From these yellow and tattered pages I share with you the treasures of
Enoch Soames.

From ‘Fungoids’…


La Sorciere Glauque

I met a lady all of green
Whose eyes were all a-mock
And from Berkeley Square to Paddington Green
We danc'd and we danc'd till six of the clock

A gavotte we span, a macabre reel
Until my head was all a-whirl
And I passed through realms where dreams were real
With my laughing green-eyed girl

She shew'd me visions wond'rous
And fancies passing bold
And all the world flowed under us
In a shimm'ring haze of gold

'Fair maid,' quoth I, 'pray who are you
With eyes of languid fire?'
'I am she to whom you must ever be true
Though I be your funeral pyre!

'I am your mistress, and you are my man
We two are a hellborn match!'

And with a scream and a laugh away she ran -
And I awoke, and found me in Colney Hatch


{Note: One supposes this could have been named "Ode to Absinthe'. But his
penchant for the French language must have led him to give it the more romantic
French name.  They say the line between genius and madness is a fine one.  This
poem certainly attests to that.}



Midst faded blooms
In a rented bower
Midst jaded rooms of hollow mirth - a perfect flower
I wouldst follow far from earth...

Incense-scented certainties evanesce
My pagan painted unburthens me
Incubus and succubus coalesce -
Maddened by madness, urged by urgencies

Miltonic fall and paradise found
In a damask-coloured dell
Many-squalored halls of joy unbound
In nights of rupture at the gates of hell


{Note:  This poem might give a clue to Soames’s love life,
about which little has hitherto been known.

‘Incense-scented certainties evanesce’ may refer to his break from the 
church and becoming a Catholic Diabolist.

'Nights of rupture’ may be a misprint for ‘nights of rapture’.  On the
other hand, I am not so sure.  It is like Soames to come up with an
unexpected word.  The rupture in question may be a break with his past.
Unless of course—one hates to be indelicate—he sustained a hernia during his
activities.   Personally, I like to think he is suggesting that his amorous exertions
were  so cathartic they seemed to affect some rupture of the space-time continuum,
but then that’s just the old romantic in me. }



Excerpts from 'Negations'…



(The curtain rises on a limitless forest. PAN leans against a tree playing
his pipe. From the waist upwards he is dressed as a swell.
SAINT URSULA wanders through in confusion. She is dressed in a Salvation
Army uniform and carries a rolled-up umbrella.)

ST. URSULA: What country, sir, is this?
PAN: This is Attica, lady.
URSULA: I seem to have wandered in these woods for hours.
PAN:    These are the woods where all paths cross, where shadow may be
        substance and substance shadow. Many have lost themselves
        within - and not a few have found themselves.
PAN:    This forest has existed since the beginning of time. It will
        always be here. Whenever you return, the forest will be the
        same but you will have changed. The converse is also true.
URSULA: There are a lot of trees.
PAN:    Yes.
URSULA: Your leggings are rather hairy.
PAN:    I am not wearing leggings, Madam.
URSULA: Oh!...Perhaps we should introduce ourselves. I am Ursula,
        a virgin.
PAN:    I am Pan. I am not a virgin.
URSULA: I see. And does your wife let you go about without trousers?
PAN:    I have no wife, Madam - and yet I have many brides.
URSULA (frostily): Oh. One of those.
PAN:    Perhaps you would care to join my merry band?
URSULA: I think not. I am a bride of God.
PAN:    A rather distant and inattentive husband, surely?
     (Ursula clubs him with her umbrella.)
URSULA: On the contrary. He is always with me.
PAN:    A pity. I prefer that husbands should spend time at the
        office. (Tootles on his pipe.) Is your virtue so important
        to you?
URSULA: It is my ticket to eternal bliss.
PAN:    Surrender it to me, and I will show you bliss.
URSULA: A tawdry dalliance in your bower of carnality?
PAN:    Well, what else did you have planned for this afternoon?
URSULA: You are incorrigible!
PAN:    Your religion requires you to show love to all, does it not?
URSULA: Most certainly.
PAN:    Well, so does mine.
URSULA: You are confusing love and lust.
PAN:    And you are no fun. Come, at least vouchsafe me a kiss.
URSULA: Certainly not!
PAN:    Please.
PAN:    I'd be very grateful.
URSULA: Be off with you, you hirsute masher!
PAN (slyly): Of course, it is known that the love of a good woman
        can reform even the most wicked...Would you give me a kiss if       
  I promised to build a temple to the Lord and lead a virtuous life
from this day forward?
URSULA: ...I might.
PAN:    Would you give me a kiss if I promised to give you sixpence?
URSULA: What sort of woman do you take me for?
PAN:    I already know what sort of woman you are, Madam, I'm
        merely haggling about the price.
URSULA (hitting him with the umbrella again): Brute!
PAN:    We are not so very different, you and I. Two sides of the
        same coin, perhaps.
URSULA: I don't quite see that.
PAN:    Then let us just say - you go to your church, and I will go
        to mine.
URSULA: I shall say no such thing!
  (Ursula strikes Pan on the head with her umbrella once more
      and strides off. Pan disconsolately fingers his pipe.)




It is better to arrive in despair than to travel.

Man cannot live on dread alone.

The salons of transitory fame are always overcrowded: the halls of
the immortals are a lonely place.

A prophet will always turn a loss.

There are two types of people: the smooth man and the hairy man. The smooth
man may pass for a hairy man: the hairy may not pass for the smooth. The man
with the waxed moustache is neither one nor the other. It was ever so.

If I throw a brick out of a window and it does not fall, I have broken a
If I throw my grandmother out of a window and she plummets to her doom, I
have broken only a convention.
If I throw my grandmother out of a window and she does not fall - what then?

My soul is my own: my toast-rack is in the pawn-shop.

May we postulate that the artist, like Perseus, holds a mirror up to the
Gorgon in order to do battle with her?
You may do so if you wish. As for myself, I prefer to treat the Gorgon as
a stern but cherished aunt. Every so often I take her out for tea and cakes.
We are the best of companions, the Gorgon and I. She is not such a fearsome
lady. I would trade her snarling for all the facile pleasantries in the
True, now and again one of her snakes will lash out and bite you,
leaving a festering, venomous wound that will never heal. But once you
become used to this it is really not so bad.

If I have seen further than other men, it is that I was looking over the
heads of pygmies.