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Poem by George William Russell


IN summer time, with high imaginings
Of proud Crusaders and of Paynim kings,
The children crowned themselves with famous names,
And fought there, building up their merry games,
Their mimic war, from old majestic things.

There was no bitter hate then in the fight,
For ancient law ruled victory and flight,
And, victory and defeat alike forgot,
They slept together in the selfsame cot,
With arms about each other through the night.

Ah, did our greatest on the battle-field
See such a love, all magical, revealed,
Pausing in combat? did they recognise
Kinships in Tirnanoge through flashing eyes,
What lovely brotherhood the foe concealed?

And did they know, when all fierce wars were done,
To what high home or dun their feet would run?
What outstretched love would meet them at the gate?
And that the end of the long road of hate
Was adoration when the goal was won?

Could you and I but of each other say
From what a lordly House we took our way,
And to what Hostel of the Gods we wend,
Oh would we not anticipate the end?
Oh would we not have paradise to-day? 

George William Russell

George William Russell's other poems:
  1. Dusk
  2. Symbolism
  3. A New Being
  4. The Great Breath
  5. A Woman's Voice

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Helen Cone Kinship ("A lily grew in the tangle")
  • Madison Cawein Kinship ("There is no flower of wood or lea")

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