Duality

A poem by George William Russell

"From me spring good and evil."
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 their pain, with 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.

--March 15, 1896 (This is unsigned, but in AE's "Collected Poems")

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