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.
 
21. The Dawn of Darkness
 
 
COME earth’s little children pit-pat from their burrows on the hill;
Hangs within the gloom its weary head the shining daffodil.
In the valley underneath us through the fragrance flit along
Over fields and over hedgerows little quivering drops of song.
All adown the pale blue mantle of the mountains far away        5
Stream the tresses of the twilight flying in the wake of day.
Night comes; soon alone shall fancy follow sadly in her flight
Where the fiery dust of evening, shaken from the feet of light,
Thrusts its monstrous barriers between the pure, the good, the true,
That our weeping eyes may strain for, but shall never after view.        10
Only yester eve I watched with heart at rest the nebulæ
Looming far within the shadowy shining of the Milky Way;
Finding in the stillness joy and hope for all the sons of men;
Now what silent anguish fills a night more beautiful than then:
For earth’s age of pain has come, and all her sister planets weep,        15
Thinking of her fires of morning passing into dreamless sleep.
In this cycle of great sorrow for the moments that we last
We too shall be linked by weeping to the greatness of her past:
But the coming race shall know not, and the fount of tears shall dry,
And the arid heart of man be arid as the desert sky.        20
So within my mind the darkness dawned, and round me everywhere
Hope departed with the twilight, leaving only dumb despair.
 

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