The Feast of Age

by George William Russell

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.

Last updated May 02, 2015