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With solemn gaiety the stars danced far withdrawn on elfin heights: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!
by George William Russell
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