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Title: The Divine Vision and Other Poems
Author: A.E.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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THE DIVINE VISION

AND OTHER POEMS


BY A. E.

[Transcriber's note: "A.E." is a pseudonym of George William Russell]



London

MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED

NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

1904



  _BY THE SAME WRITER_

  HOMEWARD, SONGS BY THE WAY.
  THE EARTH BREATH.



_Copyright in the United States of America._



  TO

  S. M.     T. K.
  S. V.     G. R.
  E. Y.     J. S.

  COMRADES IN THE CRAFT



  _When twilight flutters the mountains over,
  The faery lights from the earth unfold:
  And over the caves enchanted hover
  The giant heroes and gods of old.
  The bird of æther its flaming pinions
  Waves over earth the whole night long:
  The stars drop down in their blue dominions
  To hymn together their choral song.
  The child of earth in his heart grows burning,
  Mad for the night and the deep unknown;
  His alien flame in a dream returning
  Seats itself on the ancient throne.
  When twilight over the mountains fluttered,
  And night with its starry millions came,
  I too had dreams: the songs I have uttered
  Come from this heart that was touched by the flame._



CONTENTS


  The Divine Vision
  The Gates of Dreamland
  Freedom
  The Master Singer
  Remembrance
  Dana
  The Grey Eros
  Rest
  The Nuts of Knowledge
  The Burning Glass
  The Twilight of Earth
  Night
  The Morning Star
  A Farewell
  The Message
  At One
  The Well of All Healing
  A New Being
  A Call of the Sidhe
  Love from Afar
  Babylon
  The Silence of Love
  Aphrodite
  Refuge
  The Faces of Memory
  The Secret Love
  The Weaver of Souls
  Transformation
  Children of Lir
  Light and Dark
  Twilight by the Cabin
  Beauty
  The Vision of Love
  A Memory
  A Summer Night
  Whom We Worship
  Mistrust
  The Dream
  The Feast of Age
  A Way Of Escape
  Recall
  The Voice of the Waters
  In Connemara
  An Irish Face
  Hope in Failure
  The Crown
  The Everlasting Battle
  Ordeal
  The Child of Destiny
  A Farewell
  The Parting of Ways
  A Midnight Meditation
  Age And Youth
  The Joy of Earth
  Reconciliation

  NOTE



  THE DIVINE VISION

  This mood hath known all beauty, for it sees
  O'erwhelmed majesties
  In these pale forms, and kingly crowns of gold
  On brows no longer bold,
  And through the shadowy terrors of their hell
  The love for which they fell.
  And how desire which cast them in the deep
  Called God too from His sleep.
  Oh, pity, only seer, who looking through
  A heart melted like dew,
  Seest the long perished in the present thus,
  For ever dwell in us.
  Whatever time thy golden eyelids ope
  They travel to a hope;
  Not only backward from these low degrees
  To starry dynasties,
  But, looking far where now the silence owns
  And rules from empty thrones,
  Thou seest the enchanted hills of heaven burn
  For joy at our return.
  Thy tender kiss hath memory we are kings
  For all our wanderings.
  Thy shining eyes already see the after
  In hidden light and laughter.



  THE GATES OF DREAMLAND

  It's a lonely road through bogland to the lake at Carrowmore,
  And a sleeper there lies dreaming where the water laps the shore;
  Though the moth-wings of the twilight in their purples are unfurled,
  Yet his sleep is filled with music by the masters of the world.

  There's a hand is white as silver that is fondling with his hair:
  There are glimmering feet of sunshine that are dancing by him there:
  And half-open lips of faery that were dyed a faery red
  In their revels where the Hazel Tree its holy clusters shed.

  "Come away," the red lips whisper, "all the world is weary now;
  'Tis the twilight of the ages and it's time to quit the plough.
  Oh, the very sunlight's weary ere it lightens up the dew,
  And its gold is changed and faded before it falls to you.

  "Though your colleen's heart be tender, a tenderer heart is near.
  What's the starlight in her glances when the stars are shining clear?
  Who would kiss the fading shadow when the flower-face glows above?
  'Tis the Beauty of all Beauty that is calling for your love."

  Oh, the great gates of the mountain have opened once again,
  And the sound of song and dancing falls upon the ears of men,
  And the Land of Youth lies gleaming flushed with rainbow light and mirth,
  And the old enchantment lingers in the honey-heart of earth.



  FREEDOM

  I will not follow you, my bird,
    I will not follow you.
  I would not breathe a word, my bird,
    To bring thee here anew.

  I love the free in thee, my bird,
    The lure of freedom drew;
  The light you fly toward, my bird,
    I fly with thee unto.

  And there we yet will meet, my bird,
    Though far I go from you,
  Where in the light outpoured, my bird,
    Are love and freedom too.



  THE MASTER SINGER

  A laughter in the diamond air, a music in the trembling grass;
  And one by one the words of light as joydrops through my being pass:
  "I am the sunlight in the heart, the silver moon-glow in the mind;
  My laughter runs and ripples through the wavy tresses of the wind.
  I am the fire upon the hills, the dancing flame that leads afar
  Each burning hearted wanderer, and I the dear and homeward star.
  A myriad lovers died for me, and in their latest yielded breath
  I woke in glory giving them immortal life though touched by death.
  They knew me from the dawn of time: if Hermes beats his rainbow wings,
  If Angus shakes his locks of light, or golden-haired Apollo sings,
  It matters not the name, the land: my joy in all the Gods abides:
  Even in the cricket in the grass some dimness of me smiles and hides.
  For joy of me the daystar glows, and in delight and wild desire
  The peacock twilight rays aloft its plumes and blooms of shadowy fire,
  Where in the vastness too I burn through summer nights and ages long,
  And with the fiery-footed watchers shake in myriad dance and song."



  REMEMBRANCE

  There were many burning hours on the heart-sweet tide,
    And we passed away from ourselves, forgetting all
  The immortal moods that faded, the god who died,
    Hastening away to the King on a distant call.

  There were ruby dews were shed when the heart was riven,
    And passionate pleading and prayers to the dead we had wronged;
  And we passed away, unremembering and unforgiven,
    Hastening away to the King for the peace we longed.

  Love unremembered and heart-ache we left behind,
    We forsook them, unheeding, hastening away in our flight;
  We knew the hearts we had wronged of old we would find
    When we came to the fold of the King for rest in the night.



  DANA

  I am the tender voice calling "Away,"
  Whispering between the beatings of the heart,
  And inaccessible in dewy eyes
  I dwell, and all unkissed on lovely lips,
  Lingering between white breasts inviolate,
  And fleeting ever from the passionate touch,
  I shine afar, till men may not divine
  Whether it is the stars or the beloved
  They follow with rapt spirit.  And I weave
  My spells at evening, folding with dim caress,
  Aerial arms and twilight dropping hair,
  The lonely wanderer by wood or shore,
  Till, filled with some deep tenderness, he yields,
  Feeling in dreams for the dear mother heart
  He knew, ere he forsook the starry way,
  And clings there, pillowed far above the smoke
  And the dim murmur from the duns of men.
  I can enchant the trees and rocks, and fill
  The dumb brown lips of earth with mystery,
  Make them reveal or hide the god.  I breathe
  A deeper pity than all love, myself
  Mother of all, but without hands to heal:
  Too vast and vague, they know me not.  But yet,
  I am the heartbreak over fallen things,
  The sudden gentleness that stays the blow,
  And I am in the kiss that foemen give
  Pausing in battle, and in the tears that fall
  Over the vanquished foe, and in the highest,
  Among the Danaan gods, I am the last
  Council of mercy in their hearts where they
  Mete justice from a thousand starry thrones.



  THE GREY EROS

  We are desert leagues apart;
    Time is misty ages now
  Since the warmth of heart to heart
    Chased the shadows from my brow.

  Oh, I am so old, meseems
    I am next of kin to Time,
  The historian of her dreams
    From the long-forgotten prime.

  You have come a path of flowers.
    What a way was mine to roam!
  Many a fallen empire's towers,
    Many a ruined heart my home.

  No, there is no comfort, none.
    All the dewy tender breath
  Idly falls when life is done
    On the starless brow of death.

  Though the dream of love may tire,
    In the ages long agone
  There were ruby hearts of fire--
    Ah, the daughters of the dawn!

  Though I am so feeble now,
    I remember when our pride
  Could not to the Mighty bow;
    We would sweep His stars aside.

  Mix thy youth with thoughts like those--
    It were but to wither thee,
  But to graft the youthful rose
    On the old and flowerless tree.

  Age is no more near than youth
    To the sceptre and the crown.
  Vain the wisdom, vain the truth;
    Do not lay thy rapture down.



  REST

  On me to rest, my bird, my bird:
    The swaying branches of my heart
  Are blown by every wind toward
    The home whereto their wings depart.

  Build not your nest, my bird, on me;
    I know no peace but ever sway:
  O lovely bird, be free, be free,
    On the wild music of the day.

  But sometimes when your wings would rest,
    And winds are laid on quiet eves:
  Come, I will bear you breast to breast,
    And lap you close with loving leaves.



  THE NUTS OF KNOWLEDGE

  A cabin on the mountain side hid in a grassy nook
  Where door and windows open wide that friendly stars may look.
  The rabbit shy can patter in, the winds may enter free,
  Who throng around the mountain throne in living ecstasy.

  And when the sun sets dimmed in eve and purple fills the air,
  I think the sacred Hazel Tree is dropping berries there
  From starry fruitage waved aloft where Connla's Well o'erflows;
  For sure the enchanted waters run through every wind that blows.

  I think when night towers up aloft and shakes the trembling dew,
  How every high and lonely thought that thrills my being through
  Is but a ruddy berry dropped down through the purple air,
  And from the magic tree of life the fruit falls everywhere.



  THE BURNING GLASS

  A shaft of fire that falls like dew,
    And melts and maddens all my blood,
  From out thy spirit flashes through
    The burning glass of womanhood.

  Only so far; here must I stay:
    Nearer I miss the light, the fire;
  I must endure the torturing ray,
    And with all beauty, all desire.

  Ah, time long must the effort be,
    And far the way that I must go
  To bring my spirit unto thee,
    Behind the glass, within the glow.



  THE TWILIGHT OF EARTH

  The wonder of the world is o'er:
    The magic from the sea is gone:
  There is no unimagined shore,
    No islet yet to venture on.
  The Sacred Hazels' blooms are shed,
  The Nuts of Knowledge harvested.

  Oh, what is worth this lore of age
    If time shall never bring us back
  Our battle with the gods to wage
    Reeling along the starry track.
  The battle rapture here goes by
  In warring upon things that die.

  Let be the tale of him whose love
    Was sighed between white Deirdre's breasts,
  It will not lift the heart above
    The sodden clay on which it rests.
  Love once had power the gods to bring
  All rapt on its wild wandering.

  We shiver in the falling dew,
    And seek a shelter from the storm:
  When man these elder brothers knew
    He found the mother nature warm,
  A hearth fire blazing through it all,
  A home without a circling wall.

  We dwindle down beneath the skies,
    And from ourselves we pass away:
  The paradise of memories
    Grows ever fainter day by day.
  The shepherd stars have shrunk within,
  The world's great night will soon begin.

  Will no one, ere it is too late,
    Ere fades the last memorial gleam,
  Recall for us our earlier state?
    For nothing but so vast a dream
  That it would scale the steeps of air
  Could rouse us from so vast despair.

  The power is ours to make or mar
    Our fate as on the earliest morn,
  The Darkness and the Radiance are
    Creatures within the spirit born.
  Yet, bathed in gloom too long, we might
  Forget how we imagined light.

  Not yet are fixed the prison bars;
    The hidden light the spirit owns
  If blown to flame would dim the stars
    And they who rule them from their thrones:
  And the proud sceptred spirits thence
  Would bow to pay us reverence.

  Oh, while the glory sinks within
    Let us not wait on earth behind,
  But follow where it flies, and win
    The glow again, and we may find
  Beyond the Gateways of the Day
  Dominion and ancestral sway.



  NIGHT

  Burning our hearts out with longing
    The daylight passed:
  Millions and millions together,
    The stars at last!

  Purple the woods where the dewdrops,
    Pearly and grey,
  Wash in the cool from our faces
    The flame of day.

  Glory and shadow grow one in
    The hazel wood:
  Laughter and peace in the stillness
    Together brood.

  Hopes all unearthly are thronging
    In hearts of earth:
  Tongues of the starlight are calling
    Our souls to birth.

  Down from the heaven its secrets
    Drop one by one;
  Where time is for ever beginning
    And time is done.

  There light eternal is over
    Chaos and night:
  Singing with dawn lips for ever,
    "Let there be light!"

  There too for ever in twilight
    Time slips away,
  Closing in darkness and rapture
    Its awful day.



  THE MORNING STAR

  In the black pool of the midnight Lugh has slung the Morning Star,
  And its foam in rippling silver whitens into day afar
  Falling on the mountain rampart piled with pearl above our glen,
  Only you and I, beloved, moving in the fields of men.

  In the dark tarn of my spirit, Love, the Morning Star is lit;
  And its halo, ever brightening, lightens into dawn in it.
  Love, a pearl-grey dawn in darkness, breathing peace without desire;
  But I fain would shun the burning terrors of the mid-day fire.

  Through the faint and tender airs of twilight star on star may gaze,
  But the eyes of light are blinded in the white flame of the days,
  From the heat that melts together oft a rarer essence slips,
  And our hearts may still be parted in the meeting of the lips.

  What a darkness would I gaze on when the day had passed the west,
  If my eyes were dazed and blinded by the whiteness of a breast?
  Never through the diamond darkness could I hope to see afar
  Where beyond the pearly rampart burned the purer Evening Star.



  A FAREWELL

  I go down from the hills half in gladness, and half with
      a pain I depart,
  Where the Mother with gentlest breathing made music on lip
      and in heart;
  For I know that my childhood is over: a call comes out of the vast,
  And the love that I had in the old time like beauty in
      twilight is past.

  I am fired by a Danaan whisper of battles afar in the world,
  And my thought is no longer of peace, for the banners in dream
      are unfurled,
  And I pass from the council of stars and of hills to a life that is new:
  And I bid to you stars and you mountains a tremulous long adieu.

  I will come once again as a master, who played here as child in my dawn
  I will enter the heart of the hills where the gods of the old
      world are gone.
  And will war like the bright Hound of Ulla with princes of earth
      and of sky.
  For my dream is to conquer the heavens and battle for kingship on high.



  THE MESSAGE

  Do you not feel the white glow in your breast, my bird?
    That is the flame of love I send to you from afar:
  Not a wafted kiss, hardly a whispered word,
    But love itself that flies as a white-winged star.

  Let it dwell there, let it rest there, at home in your heart:
    Wafted on winds of gold, it is Love itself, the Dove.
  Not the god whose arrows wounded with bitter smart,
    Nor the purple-fiery birds of death and love.

  Do not ask for the hands of love or love's soft eyes:
    They give less than love who give all, giving what wanes.
  I give you the star-fire, the heart-way to Paradise,
    With no death after, no arrow with stinging pains.



  AT ONE

  Sometimes a sudden fount of tears jets in my heart
  And oft-times golden gleams will through my being dart:
  Your cry or laugh, my sweet, though we are far apart.

  Above this hidden fount I bend and whisper clear
  More words of fonder love than if your heart were near,
  More tenderly than if my arms were round you, dear.

  I feel your gay love lights such love in me afar,
  I would not have you near, for eyes and lips might mar
  The silence where we meet and star is lost in star.

  I think of you in peace though under alien skies:
    Though death itself bereft, your love in me would rise
  In rainbow ripples borne from your heart in Paradise.



  THE WELL OF ALL HEALING

  There's a cure for all things in the well at Ballylee
  Where the scarlet cressets hang over the trembling pool:
  And joyful winds are blowing from the Land of Youth to me,
  And the heart of the earth is full.

  Many and many a sunbright maiden saw the enchanted land
  With star faces glimmer up from the druid wave:
  Many and many a pain of love was soothed by a faery hand
  Or lost in the love it gave.

  When the quiet with a ring of pearl shall wed the earth,
  And the scarlet berries burn dark by the stars in the pool;
  Oh, it's lost and deep I'll be amid the windy mirth,
  While the heart of the earth is full.



  A NEW BEING

  I know myself no more, my child,
    Since thou art come to me,
  Pity so tender and so wild
    Hath wrapped my thoughts of thee.

  These thoughts a fiery gentle rain
    Are from the Mother shed,
  Where many a broken heart hath lain
    And many a weeping head.



  A CALL OF THE SIDHE

  Tarry thou yet, late lingerer in the twilight's glory;
  Gay are the hills with song: earth's faery children leave
  More dim abodes to roam the primrose-hearted eve,
  Opening their glimmering lips to breathe some wondrous story.
  Hush, not a whisper!  Let your heart alone go dreaming.
  Dream unto dream may pass: deep in the heart alone
  Murmurs the Mighty One his solemn undertone.
  Canst thou not see down the silver cloudland streaming
  Rivers of faery light, dewdrop on dewdrop falling,
  Star-fire of silver flames, lighting the dark beneath?
  And what enraptured hosts burn on the dusky heath!
  Come thou away with them for Heaven to Earth is calling.
  These are Earth's voice--her answer--spirits thronging.
  Come to the Land of Youth: the trees grown heavy there
  Drop on the purple wave the starry fruit they bear.
  Drink: the immortal waters quench the spirit's longing.
  Art thou not now, bright one, all sorrow past, in elation,
  Made young with joy, grown brother-hearted with the vast,
  Whither thy spirit wending flits the dim stars past
  Unto the Light of Lights in burning adoration.



  LOVE FROM AFAR

  A burning fire rose up within me,
    You were away long miles apart;
  You could not wait the day to win me,
    But came a lightning to my heart.

  I call into that flaming centre
    "Spirit, I love you."  Far away
  Fades from the paradise I enter
    The dim unreal land of day.



  BABYLON

  The blue dusk ran between the streets: my love was winged within my mind,
  It left to-day and yesterday and thrice a thousand years behind.
  To-day was past and dead for me, for from to-day my feet had run
  Through thrice a thousand years to walk the ways of ancient Babylon.
  On temple top and palace roof the burnished gold flung back the rays
  Of a red sunset that was dead and lost beyond a million days.
  The tower of heaven turns darker blue, a starry sparkle now begins;
  The mystery and magnificence, the myriad beauty and the sins
  Come back to me.  I walk beneath the shadowy multitude of towers;
  Within the gloom the fountain jets its pallid mist in lily flowers.
  The waters lull me and the scent of many gardens, and I hear
  Familiar voices, and the voice I love is whispering in my ear.
  Oh real as in dream all this; and then a hand on mine is laid:
  The wave of phantom time withdraws; and that young Babylonian maid,
  One drop of beauty left behind from all the flowing of that tide,
  Is looking with the self-same eyes, and here in Ireland by my side.
  Oh light our life in Babylon, but Babylon has taken wings,
  While we are in the calm and proud procession of eternal things.



  THE SILENCE OF LOVE

  I could praise you once with beautiful words ere you came
  And entered my life with love in a wind of flame.
  I could lure with a song from afar my bird to its nest,
  But with pinions drooping together silence is best.

  In the Land of Beautiful Silence the winds are laid,
  And life grows quietly one in the cloudy shade.
  I will not waken the passion that sleeps in the heart,
  For the winds that blew us together may blow us apart.

  Fear not the stillness; for doubt and despair shall cease
  With the gentle voices guiding us into peace.
  Our dreams will change as they pass through the gates of gold,
  And Quiet, the tender shepherd, shall keep the fold.



  APHRODITE

  Not unremembering we pass our exile from the starry ways:
  One timeless hour in time we caught from the long night of endless days.
  With solemn gaiety the stars danced far withdrawn on elfin heights:
  The lilac breathed amid the shade of green and blue and citron lights.
  But yet the close enfolding night seemed on the phantom verge of things,
  For our adoring hearts had turned within from all their wanderings:
  For beauty called to beauty, and there thronged at the enchanter's will
  The vanished hours of love that burn within the Ever-living still.
  And sweet eternal faces put the shadows of the earth to rout,
  And faint and fragile as a moth your white hand fluttered and went out.
  Oh, who am I who tower beside this goddess of the twilight air?
  The burning doves fly from my heart, and melt within her bosom there.
  I know the sacrifice of old they offered to the mighty queen,
  And this adoring love has brought us back the beauty that has been.
  As to her worshippers she came descending from her glowing skies,
  So Aphrodite I have seen with shining eyes look through your eyes:
  One gleam of the ancestral face which lighted up the dawn for me:
  One fiery visitation of the love the gods desire in thee!



  REFUGE

  Twilight, a timid fawn, went glimmering by,
    And Night, the dark-blue hunter, followed fast,
  Ceaseless pursuit and flight were in the sky,
    But the long chase had ceased for us at last.

  We watched together while the driven fawn
    Hid in the golden thicket of the day.
  We, from whose hearts pursuit and flight were gone,
    Knew on the hunter's breast her refuge lay.



  THE FACES OF MEMORY

  Dream faces bloom around your face
    Like flowers upon one stem;
  The heart of many a vanished race
    Sighs as I look on them.

  The sun rich face of Egypt glows,
    The eyes of Eire brood,
  With whom the golden Cyprian shows
    In lovely sisterhood.

  Your tree put forth these phantom flowers
    In ages past away:
  They had the love in other hours
    I give to you to-day.

  One light their eyes have, as may shine
    One star on many a sea,
  They look that tender love on mine
    That lights your glance on me.

  They fade in you; their lips are fain
    To meet the old caress:
  And all their love is mine again
    As lip to lip we press.



  THE SECRET LOVE

  You and I have found the secret way,
  None can bar our love or say us nay:
  All the world may stare and never know
  You and I are twined together so.

  You and I for all his vaunted width
  Know the giant Space is but a myth;
  Over miles and miles of pure deceit
  You and I have found our lips can meet.

  You and I have laughed the leagues apart
  In the soft delight of heart to heart.
  If there's a gulf to meet or limit set,
  You and I have never found it yet.

  You and I have trod the backward way
  To the happy heart of yesterday,
  To the love we felt in ages past.
  You and I have found it still to last.

  You and I have found the joy had birth
  In the angel childhood of the earth,
  Hid within the heart of man and maid.
  You and I of Time are not afraid.

  You and I can mock his fabled wing,
  For a kiss is an immortal thing.
  And the throb wherein those old lips met
  Is a living music in us yet.



  THE WEAVER OF SOULS

  Who is this unseen messenger
  For ever between me and her,
  Who brings love's precious merchandise,
  The golden breath, the dew of sighs,
  And the wild, gentle thoughts that dwell
  Too fragile for the lips to tell,
  Each at their birth, to us before
  A heaving of the heart is o'er.
  Who art thou, unseen messenger?

  I think, O Angel of the Lord,
  You make our hearts to so accord
  That those who hear in after hours
  May sigh for love as deep as ours;
  And seek the magic that can give
  An Eden where the soul may live,
  Nor need to walk a road of clay
  With stumbling feet, nor fall away
  From thee, O Angel of the Lord.



  TRANSFORMATION

  In other climes as the times shall fleet
    You yet may the hero be,
  And a loving heart may beat, my sweet,
    In a woman's breast for thee.

  Your flight shall be in the height above,
    My wings droop low on the lea.
  For the eagle must grow a dove, my love,
    And the dove an eagle be.



  CHILDREN OF LIR

  We woke from our sleep in the bosom where cradled together we lay:
  The love of the Dark Hidden Father went with us upon our way.
  And gay was the breath in our being, and never a sorrow or fear
  Was on us, as singing together, we flew from the infinite Lir.

  Through nights lit with diamond and sapphire we raced with the
        Children of Dawn,
  A chain that was silver and golden linked spirit to spirit, my swan.
  Till day in the heavens passed over, and still grew the beat
        of our wings,
  And the Breath of the Darkness enfolded to teach us unspeakable things.

  Yet lower we fell and for comfort our pinionless spirits had now
  The leaning of bosom to bosom, the lifting of lip unto brow.
  Though chained to the earth yet we mourned not the loss of our
        heaven above,
  But passed from the vision of Beauty to the fathomless being of Love.

  Still gay is the breath in our being, we wait for the Bell
        Branch to ring
  To call us away to the Father, and then we will rise on the wing,
  And fly through the twilights of time till the home lights of
        heaven appear;
  Our spirits through love and through longing made one in the
        infinite Lir.



  LIGHT AND DARK

  Not the soul that's whitest
    Wakens love the sweetest:
  When the heart is lightest
    Oft the charm is fleetest.

  While the snow-frail maiden,
    Waits the time of learning,
  To the passion laden
    Turn with eager yearning.

  While the heart is burning
    Heaven with earth is banded:
  To the stars returning
    Go not empty-handed.

  Ah, the snow-frail maiden!
    Somehow truth has missed her,
  Left the heart unladen
    For its burdened sister.



  TWILIGHT BY THE CABIN

  Dusk, a pearl-grey river, o'er
    Hill and vale puts out the day--
  What do you wonder at, asthore,
    What's away in yonder grey?

  Dark the eyes that linger long--
    Dream-fed heart, awake, come in,
  Warm the hearth and gay the song:
    Love with tender words would win.

  Fades the eve in dreamy fire,
    But the heart of night is lit:
  Ancient beauty, old desire,
    By the cabin doorway flit.

  This is Etain's land and line,
    And the homespun cannot hide
  Kinship with a race divine,
    Thrill of rapture, light of pride.

  There her golden kinsmen are:
    And her heart a moment knew
  Angus like the evening star
    Fleeting through the dusk and dew.

  Throw the woman's mask away:
    Wear the opal glimmering dress;
  Let the feathered starlight ray
    Over every gleaming tress.

  Child of Etain, wherefore leave
    Light and laughter, joyful years,
  For the earth's grey coloured eve
    Ever dropping down with tears?

  Was it for some love of old?
    Ah, reveal thyself.  The bars
  On the gateway would not hold:
    He will follow to the stars.



  BEAUTY

  My spirit would have beauty to build its magic art
  Come hither, star of evening, and dwell within my heart
  Oh, twilight, fall in pearl dew, each healing drop may bring
  Some image of the song the Quiet seems to sing.

  My spirit would have beauty to offer at the shrine,
  And turn dull earth to gold and water into wine,
  And burn in fiery dreams each thought till thrice refined
  It may have power to mirror the mighty Master's mind.

  My spirit would have beauty to draw thee nigh, my bird.
  I seek the lips that spake thee, sung thee, a starry word.
  I'd breathe anew that music, and lure thee from afar,
  And still thy quivering pinions at peace in thy own star.



  THE VISION OF LOVE

  The twilight fleeted away in pearl on the stream,
  And night, like a diamond dome, stood still in our dream.
  Your eyes like burnished stones or as stars were bright
  With the sudden vision that made us one with the night.

  We loved in infinite spaces, forgetting here
  The breasts that were lit with life and the lips so near;
  Till the wizard willows waved in the wind and drew
  Me away from the fulness of love and down to you.

  Our love was so vast that it filled the heavens up:
  But the soft white form I held was an empty cup,
  When the willows called me back to earth with their sigh,
  And we moved as shades through the deep that was you and I.



  A MEMORY

  You remember, dear, together
    Two children, you and I,
  Sat once in the autumn weather,
    Watching the autumn sky.

  There was some one round us straying
    The whole of the long day through,
  Who seemed to say, "I am playing
    At hide and seek with you."

  And one thing after another
    Was whispered out of the air,
  How God was a big, kind brother
    Whose home is in everywhere.

  His light like a smile comes glancing
    Through the cool, cool winds as they pass,
  From the flowers in heaven dancing
    To the stars that shine in the grass.

  From the clouds in deep blue wreathing
    And most from the mountains tall,
  But God like a wind goes breathing
    A dream of Himself in all.

  The heart of the Wise was beating
    Sweet, sweet, in our hearts that day:
  And many a thought came fleeting
    And fancies solemn and gay.

  We were grave in our way divining
    How childhood was taking wings,
  And the wonder world was shining
    With vast eternal things.

  The solemn twilight fluttered
    Like the plumes of seraphim,
  And we felt what things were uttered
    In the sunset voice of Him.

  We lingered long, for dearer
    Than home were the mountain places
  Where God from the stars dropt nearer
    Our pale, dreamy faces.

  Our very hearts from beating
    We stilled in awed delight,
  For spirit and children were meeting
    In the purple, ample night.



  A SUMMER NIGHT

  Her mist of primroses within her breast
  Twilight hath folded up, and o'er the west,
  Seeking remoter valleys long hath gone,
  Not yet hath come her sister of the dawn.
  Silence and coolness now the earth enfold,
  Jewels of glittering green, long mists of gold,
  Hazes of nebulous silver veil the height,
  And shake in tremors through the shadowy night.
  Heard through the stillness, as in whispered words,
  The wandering God-guided wings of birds
  Ruffle the dark.  The little lives that lie
  Deep hid in grass join in a long-drawn sigh
  More softly still; and unheard through the blue
  The falling of innumerable dew,
  Lifts with grey fingers all the leaves that lay
  Burned in the heat of the consuming day.
  The lawns and lakes lie in this night of love,
  Admitted to the majesty above.
  Earth with the starry company hath part;
  The waters hold all heaven within their heart,
  And glimmer o'er with wave-lips everywhere
  Lifted to meet the angel lips of air.
  The many homes of men shine near and far,
  Peace-laden as the tender evening star,
  The late home-coming folk anticipate
  Their rest beyond the passing of the gate,
  And tread with sleep-filled hearts and drowsy feet.
  Oh, far away and wonderful and sweet
  All this, all this.  But far too many things
  Obscuring, as a cloud of seraph wings
  Blinding the seeker for the Lord behind,
  I fall away in weariness of mind.
  And think how far apart are I and you,
  Beloved, from those spirit children who
  Felt but one single Being long ago,
  Whispering in gentleness and leaning low
  Out of its majesty, as child to child.
  I think upon it all with heart grown wild.
  Hearing no voice, howe'er my spirit broods,
  No whisper from the dense infinitudes,
  This world of myriad things whose distance awes.
  Ah me; how innocent our childhood was!



  WHOM WE WORSHIP

  I would not have the love of lips and eyes,
    The ancient ways of love:
  But in my heart I built a Paradise,
    A nest there for the dove.

  I felt the wings of light that fluttered through
    The gate I held apart:
  And all without was shadow, but I knew
    The bird within my heart.

  Then, while the innermost with music beat,
    The voice I loved so long
  Seemed only the dream echo faint and sweet
    Of a far sweeter song.

  I could not even bear the thought I felt
    Of Thee and Me therein;
  And with white heat I strove the veil to melt
    That love to love might win.

  But ah, my dreams within their fountain fell;
    Not to be lost in thee,
  But with the high ancestral love to dwell
    In its lone ecstasy.



  MISTRUST

  You look at me with wan, bright eyes
    When in the deeper world I stray:
  You fear some hidden ambush lies
    In wait to call me, "Come away."

  What if I see behind the veil
    Your starry self beseeching me,
  Or at its stern command grow pale,
    "Let her be free, let her be free?"



  THE DREAM

  I woke to find my pillow wet
    With tears for deeds deep hid in sleep.
  I knew no sorrow here, but yet
    The tears fell softly through the deep.

  Your eyes, your other eyes of dream,
    Looked at me through the veil of blank;
  I saw their joyous, starlit gleam
    Like one who watches rank on rank.

  His victor airy legions wind
    And pass before his awful throne--
  Was there thy loving heart unkind,
    Was I thy captive all o'erthrown?



  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
          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.
  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
          Vast tenderness.
  The homeward birds, uncertain o'er their nest
          Wheel in the dome,
  Fraught with dim dreams of more enraptured rest,
          Another home.
  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,
          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.
  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
          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.
  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
          They rise as one
  Unto the vastness, and with us adore
          The midnight sun,
  And enter the innumerable All
          And shine like gold,
  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
          To earth again,
  Roaming along by heaven-hid promontory
          And valley dim,
  Weaving a phantom image of the glory
          They knew in Him.
  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;
          Their wandering
  Is half with us, and half an inner dance,
          Led by the King.



  A WAY OF ESCAPE

  There's a way of escape through the Gate of Sorrow,
    A light at the end of the Path of Pain:
  But our joy and our love can have no to-morrow,
    And to drink is to sink to the earth again.

  There is death in the breath when our lips draw nigher,
    And we lay waste the plain for a flower to grow;
  And we build up the tower of an hour's desire
    With dust from the pit of its overthrow.



  RECALL

  What call may draw thee back again,
    Lost dove, what art, what charm may please?
  The tender touch, the kiss, are vain,
    For thou wert lured away by these.

  Oh, must we use the iron hand,
    And mask with hate the holy breath,
  With alien voice give love's command,
    As they through love the call of death?



  THE VOICE OF THE WATERS

  Where the Greyhound River windeth through a loneliness so deep,
  Scarce a wild fowl shakes the quiet that the purple boglands keep,
  Only God exults in silence over fields no man may reap.

  Where the silver wave with sweetness fed the tiny lives of grass
  I was bent above, my image mirrored in the fleeting glass,
  And a voice from out the water through my being seemed to pass.

  "Still above the waters brooding, spirit, in thy timeless quest;
  Was the glory of thine image trembling over east and west
  Not divine enough when mirrored in the morning water's breast?"

  With the sighing voice that murmured I was borne to ages dim
  Ere the void was lit with beauty breathed upon by seraphim,
  We were cradled there together folded in the peace in Him.

  One to be the master spirit, one to be the slave awoke,
  One to shape itself obedient to the fiery words we spoke,
  Flame and flood and stars and mountains from the primal waters broke.

  I was huddled in the heather when the vision failed its light,
  Still and blue and vast above me towered aloft the solemn height,
  Where the stars like dewdrops glistened on the mountain slope of night.



  IN CONNEMARA

  With eyes all untroubled she laughs as she passes,
    Bending beneath the creel with the seaweed brown,
  Till evening with pearl-dew dims the shining grasses
    And night lit with dreamlight enfolds the sleepy town.

  Then she will wander, her heart all a laughter,
    Tracking the dream star that lights the purple gloom.
  She follows the proud and golden races after,
    As high as theirs her spirit, as high will be her doom.



  AN IRISH FACE

  Not her own sorrow only that hath place
  Upon yon gentle face.
  Too slight have been her childhood's years to gain
  The imprint of such pain.
  It hid behind her laughing hours, and wrought
  Each curve in saddest thought
  On brow and lips and eyes.  With subtle art
  It made that little heart
  Through its young joyous beatings to prepare
  A quiet shelter there,
  Where the Immortal Sorrows might find a home.
  And many there have come;
  Bowed in a mournful mist of golden hair
  Deirdre hath entered there.
  And shrouded in a fall of pitying dew,
  Weeping the friend he slew,
  The Hound of Ulla lies, with those who shed
  Tears for the Wild Geese fled.
  And all the lovers on whom fate had warred
  Cutting the Silver Cord
  Enter, and softly breath by breath they mould
  The young heart to the old,
  The old protest, the old pity, whose power
  Are gathering to the hour
  When their knit silence shall be mightier far
  Than leagued empires are.
  And dreaming of the sorrow on this face
  We grow of lordlier race,
  Could shake the rooted rampart of the hills
  To shield her from all ills,
  And through a deep adoring pity won
  Grow what we dream upon.



  HOPE IN FAILURE

  Though now thou hast failed and art fallen, despair not because
        of defeat,
  Though lost for a while be thy heaven and weary of earth be thy feet,
  For all will be beauty about thee hereafter through sorrowful years,
  And lovely the dews for thy chilling and ruby thy heart-drip of tears.

  The eyes that had gazed from afar on a beauty that blinded the eyes
  Shall call forth its image for ever, its shadow in alien skies.
  The heart that had striven to beat in the heart of the Mighty too soon
  Shall still of that beating remember some errant and faltering tune.

  For thou hast but fallen to gather the last of the secrets of power;
  The beauty that breathes in thy spirit shall shape of thy sorrow
        a flower,
  The pale bud of pity shall open the bloom of its tenderest rays,
  The heart of whose shining is bright with the light of the Ancient
        of Days.



  THE CROWN

  I wore in joy a radiant star;
    Its rays flew forth into the night;
  It made them glad who watched afar,
    And filled their gloom with happy light.

  Their eyes no more the light may win,
    And all the loves are changed to scorns.
  The rays of light pierce deep within,
    The star is now my crown of thorns.



  THE EVERLASTING BATTLE

  When in my shadowy hours I pierce the hidden heart of hopes and fears,
  They change into immortal joys or end in immemorial tears.
  Moytura's battle still endures and in this human heart of mine
  The golden sun powers with the might of demon darkness intertwine.

  I think that every teardrop shed still flows from Balor's eye of doom,
  And gazing on his ageless grief my heart is filled with ageless gloom:
  I close my ever-weary eyes and in my bitter spirit brood
  And am at one in vast despair with all the demon multitude.

  But in the lightning flash of hope I feel the sun-god's fiery sling
  Has smote the horror in the heart where clouds of demon glooms take wing,
  I shake my heavy fears aside and seize the flaming sword of will
  I am of Dana's race divine and know I am immortal still.



  ORDEAL

  Love and pity are pleading with me this hour.
    What is this voice that stays me forbidding to yield,
  Offering beauty, love, and immortal power,
    Æons away in some far-off heavenly field?

  Though I obey thee, Immortal, my heart is sore.
    Though love be withdrawn for love it bitterly grieves:
  Pity withheld in the breast makes sorrow more.
    Oh that the heart could feel what the mind believes!

  Cease, O love, thy fiery and gentle pleading.
    Soft is thy grief, but in tempest through me it rolls.
  Dreamst thou not whither the path is leading
    Where the Dark Immortal would shepherd our weeping souls?



  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?
  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 Lugh leaves heavenly wars to free his ancient land;
  Not on the fiery steed maned with tumultuous flame
  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,
  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?
  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
  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.



  A FAREWELL

  Only in my deep heart I love you, sweetest heart.
    Many another vesture hath the soul, I pray
  Call me not forth from this.  If from the light I part
    Only with clay I cling unto the clay.

  And ah! my bright companion, you and I must go
    Our ways, unfolding lonely glories, not our own,
  Nor from each other gathered, but an inward glow
    Breathed by the Lone One on the seeker lone.

  If for the heart's own sake we break the heart, we may
    When the last ruby drop dissolves in diamond light
  Meet in a deeper vesture in another day.
    Until that dawn, dear heart, good-night, good-night.



  THE PARTING OF WAYS

  The skies from black to pearly grey
    Had veered without a star or sun;
  Only a burning opal ray
    Fell on your brow when all was done.

  Aye, after victory, the crown;
    Yet through the fight no word of cheer;
  And what would win and what go down
    No word could help, no light make clear.

  A thousand ages onward led
    Their joys and sorrows to that hour;
  No wisdom weighed, no word was said,
    For only what we were had power.

  There was no tender leaning there
    Of brow to brow in loving mood;
  For we were rapt apart, and were
    In elemental solitude.

  We knew not in redeeming day
    Whether our spirits would be found
  Floating along the starry way,
    Or in the earthly vapours drowned.

  Brought by the sunrise-coloured flame
    To earth, uncertain yet, the while
  I looked at you, there slowly came,
    Noble and sisterly, your smile.

  We bade adieu to love the old;
    We heard another lover then,
  Whose forms are myriad and untold,
    Sigh to us from the hearts of men.



  A MIDNIGHT MEDITATION

  How often have I said,
  "We may not grieve for the immortal dead."
  And now, poor blenchèd heart.
  Thy ruddy hues all tremulous depart.
  Why be with fate at strife
  Because one passes on from death to life,
  Who may no more delay
  Rapt from our strange and pitiful dream away
  By One with ancient claim
  Who robes her with the spirit like a flame.
  Not lost this high belief--
  Oh, passionate heart, what is thy cause for grief?
  Is this thy sorrow now,
  She in eternal beauty may not bow
  Thy troubles to efface
  As in old time a head with gentle grace
  All tenderly laid by thine
  Taught thee the nearness of the love divine.
  Her joys no more for thee
  Than the impartial laughter of the sea,
  Her beauty no more fair
  For thee alone, but starry, everywhere.
  Her pity dropped for you
  No more than heaven above with healing dew
  Favours one home of men--
  Ah! grieve not; she becomes herself again,
  And passed beyond thy sight
  She roams along the thought-swept fields of light,
  Moving in dreams until
  She finds again the root of ancient will,
  The old heroic love
  That emptied once the heavenly courts above.
  The angels heard from earth
  A mournful cry which shattered all their mirth,
  Raised by a senseless rout
  Warring in chaos with discordant shout,
  And that the pain might cease
  They grew rebellious in the Master's peace;
  And falling downward then
  The angelic lights were crucified in men;
  Leaving so radiant spheres
  For earth's dim twilight ever wet with tears
  That through those shadows dim
  Might breathe the lovely music brought from Him.
  And now my grief I see
  Was but that ancient shadow part of me,
  Not yet attuned to good,
  Still blind and senseless in its warring mood,
  I turn from it and climb
  To the heroic spirit of the prime,
  The light that well foreknew
  All the dark ways that it must journey through.
  Yet seeing still again,
  A distant glory o'er the hills of pain,
  Through all that chaos wild
  A breath as gentle as a little child,
  Through earth transformed, divine,
  The Christ-soul of the universe to shine.



  AGE AND YOUTH

  We have left our youth behind:
    Earth is in its baby years:
  Void of wisdom cries the wind,
    And the sunlight knows no tears.

  When shall twilight feel the awe,
    All the rapt thought of the sage,
  And the lips of wind give law
    Drawn from out their lore of age?

  When shall earth begin to burn
    With such love as thrills my breast?
  When shall we together turn
    To our long, long home for rest?

  Child and father, we grow old
    While you laugh and play with flowers;
  And life's tale for us is told
    Holding only empty hours.

  Giant child, on you await
    All the hopes and fears of men.
  In thy fulness is our fate--
    What till then, oh, what till then?



  THE JOY OF EARTH

  Oh, the sudden wings arising from the ploughed fields brown
    Showered aloft in spray of song the wildbird twitter floats
  O'er the unseen fount awhile, and then comes dropping down
    Nigh the cool brown earth to hush enraptured notes.

  Far within a dome of trembling opal throbs the fire,
    Mistily its rain of diamond lances shed below
  Touches eyes and brows and faces lit with wild desire
    For the burning silence whither we would go.

  Heart, O heart, once more it is the ancient joy of earth
    Breathes in thee and flings the wild wings sunward to the dome
  To the light where all the Children of the Fire had birth
    Though our hearts and footsteps wander far from home.



  RECONCILIATION

  I begin through the grass once again to be bound to the Lord;
    I can see, through a face that has faded, the face full of rest
  Of the Earth, of the Mother, my heart with her heart in accord,
    As I lie 'mid the cool green tresses that mantle her breast
  I begin with the grass once again to be bound to the Lord.

  By the hand of a child I am led to the throne of the King
    For a touch that now fevers me not is forgotten and far,
  And his infinite sceptred hands that sway us can bring
    Me in dreams from the laugh of a child to the song of a star.
  On the laugh of a child I am borne to the joy of the King.



  _The sweetest song was ever sung
    May soothe you but a little while:
  The gayest music ever rung
    Shall yield you but a fleeting smile._

  _The well I digged you soon shall pass.
    You may but rest with me an hour:
  Yet drink, I offer you the glass,
    A moment of sustaining power,_

  _And give to you, if it be gain,
    Whether in pleasure or annoy,
  To see one elemental pain,
    One light of everlasting joy._



NOTE

As the mythological references made in a few poems may partially
obscure the meaning for those unacquainted with Celtic tradition, I
have appended here a brief commentary on the names mentioned.

_Angus_, the Celtic Eros.  In the bardic stories he is described as a
tall, golden-haired youth playing on a harp and surrounded by singing
birds.  The kisses of these birds created love and also brought death.

_Balor_, the prince of the dark powers.  His eye turned every living
thing it rested on into stone.  He was killed at the battle of Moytura
by Lugh the Sun-god.

_Dana_, the Hibernian mother of the gods who were named from her Tuatha
De Danaan, or the Tribes of the goddess Dana.  They are also sometimes
called the Sidhe.

_Etain_, a Celtic goddess who is the subject of a famous story, "The
Wooing of Etain."  She left the heaven world and became the wife of an
ancient Irish king.

_Lir_, the Oceanus of Celtic mythology.  Probably the Great Deep or
original divinity from whom all sprang.  His son Mananan MacLir was the
most spiritual divinity known to the ancient Gael.  Lir is more
familiar as the father of the children who were changed into swans by
magic, and who lived for long ages on the waters around the Irish
coast.  The story of the fate of the children of Lir was probably in
its earliest form a mythological account of the descent of the spirit
from the Heaven-world to the Earth and its final redemption.

_Lugh_, the great god of light who led the De Danaans at the battle of
Moytura, and who slew Balor of the Evil Eye by a cast from his sling.
He is a Celtic Hermes or Apollo.

_Fomor_, the dark powers who were opposed to the hosts of light, the
Tuatha De Danaan.  They enslaved the latter for a time until the De
Danaans rose, led by Lugh the Sun-god, and defeated the Fomors in the
battle of Moytura.

_Silver Hand_.  Nuada, one of the Danaan divinities, is called Nuada of
the Silver Hand.

_Hound of Ulla_.  Cuculain, the great champion of the Red Branch cycle
of tales.

_Sacred Hazel_, the Celtic tree of life.  It grew over Connla's Well,
and the fruit which fell from it were the Nuts of Knowledge which give
wisdom and inspiration.  Connla's Well is a Celtic equivalent of the
First Fountain of mysticism.  As an old story states, "The folk of many
arts have all drunk from that fountain."

"_The three great waves_" are "the wave of Toth, the wave of Rury, and
the long, slow, white-foaming wave of Cluna."  In the bardic stories
these three mystical waves shout round the coast of Ireland in
recognition of great kings and heroes.

"_The Feast of Age_," the druidic form of the mysteries.  It was
instituted by Mananan MacLir, and whoever partook of the feast became
immortal.



THE END



_Printed by_ R. & R. CLARK, LIMITED, _Edinburgh_.





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