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Best Famous George William Russell Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous George William Russell poems. This is a select list of the best famous George William Russell poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous George William Russell poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of George William Russell poems.

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Written by George William Russell |


 WHO gave thee such a ruby flaming heart
And such a pure cold spirit? Side by side
I know these must eternally abide
In intimate war, and each to each impart
Life from its pain, in every joy a dart
To wound with grief or death the self allied.
Red life within the spirit crucified, The eyes eternal pity thee: thou art Fated with deathless powers at war to be, Not less the martyr of the world than he Whose thorn-crowned brow usurps the due of tears We would pay to thee, ever ruddy life, Whose passionate peace is still to be at strife, O’erthrown but in the unconflicting spheres.

Written by George William Russell |


 THE HERO first thought it
To him ’twas a deed:
To those who retaught it,
A chain on their speed.
The fire that we kindled, A beacon by night, When darkness has dwindled Grows pale in the light.
For life has no glory Stays long in one dwelling, And time has no story That’s true twice in telling.
And only the teaching That never was spoken Is worthy thy reaching, The fountain unbroken.

Written by George William Russell |

A Woman's Voice

 HIS head within my bosom lay,
But yet his spirit slipped not through:
I only felt the burning clay
That withered for the cooling dew.
It was but pity when I spoke And called him to my heart for rest, And half a mother’s love that woke Feeling his head upon my breast: And half the lion’s tenderness To shield her cubs from hurt or death, Which, when the serried hunters press, Makes terrible her wounded breath.
But when the lips I breathed upon Asked for such love as equals claim— I looked where all the stars were gone Burned in the day’s immortal flame.
“Come thou like yon great dawn to me From darkness vanquished, battles done: Flame unto flame shall flow and be Within thy heart and mine as one.

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Written by George William Russell |

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.

Written by George William Russell |

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 Lu 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.

Written by George William Russell |

In As Much …

 WHEN for love it was fain of
The wild heart was chidden,
When the white limbs were clothed
And the beauty was hidden;

For the scorn that was done to
The least of her graces,
The Mother veiled over
And hid from our faces

The high soul of nature,
The deep and the wonder,
Her towers up in heaven,
And the fairyland under.
The Mother then whispered, “The wrong done by thee To the least limb of beauty Was done unto me.

Written by George William Russell |


 My heart was heavy, for its trust had been 
Abused, its kindness answered with foul wrong; 
So, turning gloomily from my fellow-men, 
One summer Sabbath day I strolled among 
The green mounds of the village burial-place; 
Where, pondering how all human love and hate 
Find one sad level; and how, soon or late, 
Wronged and wrongdoer, each with meekened face, 
And cold hands folded over a still heart, 
Pass the green threshold of our common grave, 
Whither all footsteps tend, whence none depart, 
Awed for myself, and pitying my race, 
Our common sorrow, like a mighty wave, 
Swept all my pride away, and trembling I forgave!

Written by George William Russell |

Three Counsellors

 IT was the fairy of the place,
Moving within a little light,
Who touched with dim and shadowy grace
The conflict at its fever height.
It seemed to whisper “Quietness,” Then quietly itself was gone: Yet echoes of its mute caress Were with me as the years went on.
It was the warrior within Who called “Awake, prepare for fight: Yet lose not memory in the din: Make of thy gentleness thy might: “Make of thy silence words to shake The long-enthroned kings of earth: Make of thy will the force to break Their towers of wantonness and mirth.
” It was the wise all-seeing soul Who counselled neither war nor peace: “Only be thou thyself that goal In which the wars of time shall cease.

Written by George William Russell |

Dream Love

 I DID not deem it half so sweet
To feel thy gentle hand,
As in a dream thy soul to greet
Across wide leagues of land.
Untouched more near to draw to you Where, amid radiant skies, Glimmered thy plumes of iris hue, My Bird of Paradise.
Let me dream only with my heart, Love first, and after see: Know thy diviner counterpart Before I kneel to thee.
So in thy motions all expressed Thy angel I may view: I shall not on thy beauty rest, But beauty’s self in you.

Written by George William Russell |

The Message

 Wind of the gentle summer night,
Dwell in the lilac tree,
Sway the blossoms clustered light,
Then blow over to me.
Wind, you are sometimes strong and great, You frighten the ships at sea, Now come floating your delicate freight Out of the lilac tree, Wind you must waver a gossamer sail To ferry a scent so light, Will you carry my love a message as frail Through the hawk-haunted night? For my heart is sometimes strange and wild, Bitter and bold and free, I scare the beautiful timid child, As you frighten the ships at sea; But now when the hawks are piercing the air, With the golden stars above, The only thing that my heart can bear Is a lilac message of love.
Gentle wind, will you carry this Up to her window white Give her a gentle tender kiss; Bid her good-night, good-night.

Written by George William Russell |


 WHEN the soul sought refuge in the place of rest,
Overborne by strife and pain beyond control,
From some secret hollow, whisper soft-confessed,
 Came the legend of the soul.
Some bright one of old time laid his sceptre down So his heart might learn of sweet and bitter truth; Going forth bereft of beauty, throne, and crown, And the sweetness of his youth.
So the old appeal and fierce revolt we make Through the world’s hour dies within our primal will; And we justify the pain and hearts that break, And our lofty doom fulfil.

Written by George William Russell |


 NOW when the spirit in us wakes and broods,
Filled with home yearnings, drowsily it flings
From its deep heart high dreams and mystic moods,
Mixed with the memory of the loved earth things:
Clothing the vast with a familiar face;
Reaching its right hand forth to greet the starry race.
Wondrously near and clear the great warm fires Stare from the blue; so shows the cottage light To the field labourer whose heart desires The old folk by the nook, the welcome bright From the house-wife long parted from at dawn— So the star villages in God’s great depths withdrawn.
Nearer to Thee, not by delusion led, Though there no house fires burn nor bright eyes gaze: We rise, but by the symbol charioted, Through loved things rising up to Love’s own ways: By these the soul unto the vast has wings And sets the seal celestial on all mortal things.

Written by George William Russell |

The Morning Star

 IN the black pool of the midnight Lu 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.

Written by George William Russell |

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.

Written by George William Russell |


 TWILIGHT, a blossom grey in shadowy valleys dwells:
Under the radiant dark the deep blue-tinted bells
In quietness reïmage heaven within their blooms,
Sapphire and gold and mystery.
What strange perfumes, Out of what deeps arising, all the flower-bells fling, Unknowing the enchanted odorous song they sing! Oh, never was an eve so living yet: the wood Stirs not but breathes enraptured quietude.
Here in these shades the ancient knows itself, the soul, And out of slumber waking starts unto the goal.
What bright companions nod and go along with it! Out of the teeming dark what dusky creatures flit, That through the long leagues of the island night above Come by me, wandering, whispering, beseeching love; As in the twilight children gather close and press Nigh and more nigh with shadowy tenderness, Feeling they know not what, with noiseless footsteps glide Seeking familiar lips or hearts to dream beside.
O voices, I would go with you, with you, away, Facing once more the radiant gateways of the day; With you, with you, what memories arise, and nigh Trampling the crowded figures of the dawn go by Dread deities, the giant powers that warred on men Grow tender brothers and gay children once again; Fades every hate away before the Mother’s breast Where all the exiles of the heart return to rest.