A.E. (George William Russell)

Poetry on Peace

A.E. (George William Russell):

Oversoul (1913), Rest (1913)
By the Margin of the Great Deep (1913)

Edited by Peter Y. Chou


        I am Beauty itself among beautiful things. — Bhagavad-Gita

The East was crowned with snow-cold bloom
And hung with veils of pearly fleece:
They died away into the gloom,
Vistas of peace— and deeper peace.

And earth and air and wave and fire
In awe and breathless silence stood;
For One who passed into their choir
Linked them in mystic brotherhood.

Twilight of amethyst, amid
Thy few strange stars that lit the heights,
Where was the secret spirit hid?
Where was Thy place, O Light of Lights?

The flame of Beauty far in space—
Where rose the fire: in Thee? in Me?
Which bowed the elemental race
To adoration silently?

"Oversoul" from Collected Poems (1913)



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.

"Rest" from Collected Poems (1913)



When the breath of twilight blows to flame the misty skies,
All its vaporous sapphire, violet glow and silver gleam,
With their magic flood me through the gateway of the eyes;
    I am one with the twilight's dream.

When the trees and skies and fields are one in dusky mood,
Every heart of man is rapt within the mother's breast:
Full of peace and sleep and dreams in the vasty quietude,
    I am one with their hearts at rest.

From our immemorial joys of hearth and home and love
Stray'd away along the margin of the unknown tide,
All its reach of soundless calm can thrill me far above
    Word or touch from the lips beside.

Aye, and deep and deep and deeper let me drink and draw
From the olden fountain more than light or peace or dream,
Such primaeval being as o'erfills the heart with awe,
    Growing one with its silent stream.

"By the Margin of the Great Deep" from Collected Poems (1913)

A.E. (George William Russell) (1867-1935),
Song and its Fountains, Macmillan, NY (1932),
New Edition: Larson Publications, Burdett, NY (1991), pp. 69-70

AE Resources | Collected Poems | AE in Dublin | AE's "Astral Body" drawing |

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