The Magi

A poem by George William Russell

"The mountain was filled with the hosts of the Tuatha de Dannan."
--Old Celtic Poem


See where the auras from the olden fountain
Starward aspire;
The sacred sign upon the holy mountain
Shines in white fire:
Waving and flaming yonder o'er the snows
The diamond light
Melts into silver or to sapphire glows
Night beyond night;
And from the heaven of heavens descends on earth
A dew divine.
Come, let us mingle in the starry mirth
Around the shrine!
Enchantress, mighty mother, to our home
In thee we press,
Thrilled by the fiery breath and wrapt in some
Vast tenderness
The homeward birds uncertain o'er their nest
Wheel in the dome,
Fraught with dim dreams of more enraptured rest,
Wheel in the dome,
But gather ye to whose undarkened eyes
The night is day:
Leap forth, Immortals, Birds of Paradise,
In bright array
Robed like the shining tresses of the sun;
And by his name
Call from his haunt divine the ancient one
Our Father Flame.
Aye, from the wonder-light that wraps the star,
Come now, come now;
Sun-breathing Dragon, ray thy lights afar,
Thy children bow;
Hush with more awe the breath; the bright-browed races
Are nothing worth
By those dread gods from out whose awful faces
The earth looks forth
Infinite pity, set in calm; their vision cast
Adown the years
Beholds how beauty burns away at last
Their children's tears.
Now while our hearts the ancient quietness
Floods with its tide,
The things of air and fire and height no less
In it abide;
And from their wanderings over sea and shore
They rise as one
Unto the vastness and with us adore
The midnight sun;
And enter the innumerable All,
And shine like gold,
And starlike gleam in the immortals' hall,
The heavenly fold,
And drink the sun-breaths from the mother's lips
Awhile--and then
Fail from the light and drop in dark eclipse
To earth again,
Roaming along by heaven-hid promontory
And valley dim.
Weaving a phantom image of the glory
They knew in Him.
Out of the fulness flow the winds, their son
Is heard no more,
Or hardly breathes a mystic sound along
The dreamy shore:
Blindly they move unknowing as in trance,
Their wandering
Is half with us, and half an inner dance
Led by the King.

--January 15, 1896

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