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.
 
146. The Child of Destiny
 
 
THIS is the hero-heart of the enchanted isle,
Whom now the twilight children tenderly enfold,
Pat with their pearly palms and crown with elfin gold,
While in the mountain’s breast his brothers watch and smile.
Who now of Dana’s host may guide these dancing feet?        5
What bright immortal hides and through a child’s light breath
Laughs an immortal joy—Angus of love and death
Returned to make our hearts with dream and music beat?
Or Lu leaves heavenly wars to free his ancient land;
Not on the fiery steed maned with tumultuous flame        10
As in the Fomor days the sunbright chieftain came,
But in this dreaming boy, more subtle conquest planned.
Or does the Mother brood some deed of sacrifice?
Her heart in his laid bare to hosts of wounding spears,
Till love immortal melt the cruel eyes to tears,        15
Or on his brow be set the heroes’ thorny prize.
See! as some shadows of a darker race draw near,
How he compels their feet, with what a proud command!
What is it waves and gleams? Is that a Silver Hand
Whose light through delicate lifted fingers shines so clear?        20
Night like a glowing seraph o’er the kingly boy
Watches with ardent eyes from his own ancient home;
And far away, rocking in living foam
The three great waves leap up exulting in their joy,
Remembering the past, the immemorial deeds        25
The Danaan gods had wrought in guise of mortal men,
Their elemental hearts madden with life again,
And shaking foamy heads toss the great ocean steeds.
 

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