Wednesday, December 13, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

George William Russell (1867 – 1935)


Irish nationalist, critic, poet, and painter who often wrote under the pseudonym ?.
George William Russell
We cannot for forgetfulness forego the reverence due to them
Who wear at times they do not guess the sceptre and the diadem.
As bright a crown as this was theirs when first they from the Father sped;
Yet look with deeper eyes and still the ancient beauty is not dead.
He mingled with the multitude. I saw their brows were crowned and bright,
A light around the shadowy heads, a shadow round the head of light.
Russell quotes
Let thy young wanderer dream on:
Call him not home.
A door opens, a breath a voice
From the ancient room,
Speaks to him now. Be it dark or bright
He is knit with his doom.
Russell
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.'




Russell George William quotes
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 ray in you.
Russell George William
I needed love no words could say;
She drew me softly nigh her chair,
My head upon her knees to lay,
With cool hands that caressed my hair.
She sat with hands as if to bless,
And looked with grave, ethereal eyes;
Ensouled by ancient quietness,
A gentle priestess of the Wise.
George William Russell quotes
The relation of landlord and tenant is not an ideal one, but any relations in a social order will endure if there is infused into them some of that spirit of human sympathy, which qualifies life for immortality. Despotisms endure while they are benevolent, and aristocracies while noblesse oblige is not a phrase to be referred to with a cynical smile. Even an oligarchy might be permanent if the spirit of human kindness, which harmonises all things otherwise incompatible, is present.
George William Russell
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.
Russell George William quotes
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!
Russell
Here the ancient mystery
Holds its hands out day by day,
Takes a chair and croons with me
By my cabin built of clay.
When the dusky shadow flits,
By the chimney nook I see
Where the old enchanter sits,
Smiles, and waves, and beckons me.
Russell George William
Thy tender kiss hath memory we are kings
For all our wanderings.
Thy shining eyes already see the after
In hidden light and laughter.
George William Russell
If the Gods would only inspire me a little more vigorously I would write no end, but as it is I have to sweat over my work, such as it is, and often groan that I never have a chance to do it properly.




George William Russell quotes
I sometimes think a mighty lover
Takes every burning kiss we give:
His lights are those which round us hover:
For him alone our lives we live.
George William Russell
Heart-hidden from the outer things I rose;
The spirit woke anew in nightly birth
Unto the vastness where forever glows
The star-soul of the earth.
There all alone in primal ecstasy,
Within her depths where revels never tire,
The Olden Beauty shines: each thought of me
Is veined through with its fire.
Russell quotes
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 halls of heaven burn
For joy at our return.
Russell George William
You assumed that no other guarantees than those you asked were possible, and you determined deliberately, in cold anger, to starve out one third of the population of the city, to break the manhood of the men by the sight of the suffering of their wives and the hunger of their children. We read in the Dark Ages of the rack and thumb screw. But these iniquities were hidden and concealed from the knowledge of men in dungeons and torture chambers. Even in the Dark Ages, humanity could not endure the sight of such suffering, and it learnt of such misuse of power by slow degrees, through rumour, and when it was certain it razed its Bastilles to their foundations. It remained for the twentieth century and the capital city of Ireland to see an oligarchy of four hundred masters deciding openly upon starving one hundred thousand people, and refusing to consider any solution except that fixed by their pride. You, masters, asked men to do that which masters of labour in any other city in these islands had not dared to do. You insolently demanded of those men who were members of a trade union that they should resign from that union; and from those who were not members, you insisted on a vow that they would never join it.
Russell George William quotes
Now the quietude of earth
Nestles deep my heart within;
Friendships new and strange have birth
Since I left the city's din.
George William Russell
What is the use of speech? Silence were fitter:
Lest we should still be wishing things unsaid.
Though all the words we ever spake were bitter,
Shall I reproach you, dead?
George William Russell quotes
We are desert leagues apart;
Time is misty ages now
Since the warmth of heart to heart
Chased the shadows from my brow.
George William Russell
The grey road whereupon we trod became as holy ground:
The eve was all one voice that breathed its message with no sound:
And burning multitudes pour through my heart, too bright, too blind,
Too swift and hurried in their flight to leave their tale behind.
Russell George William
Image of beauty, when I gaze on thee,
Trembling I waken to a mystery,
How through one door we go to life or death
By spirit kindled or the sensual breath.


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