Verse > George William Russell > Collected Poems by A.E.
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George William (“A. E.”) Russell (1867–1935).  Collected Poems by A.E.  1913.
 
140. The Feast of Age
 
 
SEE where the light streams over Connla’s fountain
      Starward aspire!
The sacred sign upon the holy mountain
      Shines in white fire:
Wavering and flaming yonder o’er the snows        5
      The diamond light
Melts into silver or to sapphire glows,
      Night beyond night:
And from the heaven of heaven descends on earth
      A dew divine.        10
Come, let us mingle in the starry mirth
      Around the shrine.
O earth, enchantress, mother, to our home
      In thee we press,
Thrilled by thy fiery breath and wrapt in some        15
      Vast tenderness.
The homeward birds, uncertain o’er their nest
      Wheel in the dome,
Fraught with dim dreams of more enraptured rest,
      Another home.        20
But gather ye, to whose undarkened eyes
      Night is as day,
Leap forth, immortals, birds of paradise,
      In bright array,
Robed like the shining tresses of the sun,        25
      And by his name
Call from his haunt divine the ancient one,
      Our father flame.
Aye, from the wonder light, heart of our star,
      Come now, come now.        30
Sun-breathing spirit, ray thy lights afar:
      Thy children bow,
Hush with more awe the heart; the bright-browed races
      Are nothing worth,
By those dread gods from out whose awful faces        35
      The earth looks forth
Infinite pity set in calm, whose vision cast
      Adown the years
Beholds how beauty burns away at last
      Their children’s tears.        40
Now while our hearts the ancient quietness
      Floods with its tide,
The things of air and fire and height no less
      In it abide;
And from their wanderings over sea and shore        45
      They rise as one
Unto the vastness, and with us adore
      The midnight sun,
And enter the innumerable All
      And shine like gold,        50
And starlike gleam in the immortal’s hall,
      The heavenly fold,
And drink the sun-breaths from the mother’s lips
      Awhile, and then
Fail from the light and drop in dark eclipse        55
      To earth again,
Roaming along by heaven-hid promontory
      And valley dim,
Weaving a phantom image of the glory
      They knew in Him.        60
Out of the fulness flow the winds, their song
      Is heard no more,
Or hardly breathes a mystic sound along
      The dreamy shore,
Blindly they move, unknowing as in trance;        65
      Their wandering
Is half with us, and half an inner dance,
      Led by the King.
 

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