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.
 
96. Inheritance
 
 
AS flow the rivers to the sea
Adown from rocky hill or plain,
A thousand ages toiled for thee
And gave thee harvest of their gain;
And weary myriads of yore        5
Dug out for thee earth’s buried ore.
 
The shadowy toilers for thee fought
In chaos of primeval day
Blind battles with they knew not what;
And each before he passed away        10
Gave clear articulate cries of woe:
Your pain is theirs of long ago.
 
And all the old heart sweetness sung,
The joyous life of man and maid
In forests when the earth was young,        15
In rumours round your childhood strayed:
The careless sweetness of your mind
Comes from the buried years behind.
 
And not alone unto your birth
Their gifts the weeping ages bore,        20
The old descents of God on earth
Have dowered thee with celestial lore:
So, wise, and filled with sad and gay
You pass unto the further day.
 

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