W. Q. J. *

A poem by George William Russell

O hero of the iron age,
Upon thy grave we will not weep,
Nor yet consume away in rage
For thee and thy untimely sleep.
Our hearts a burning silence keep.

O martyr, in these iron days
One fate was sure for soul like thine:
Well you foreknew but went your ways.
The crucifixion is the sign,
The meed of all the kingly line.

We may not mourn--though such a night
Has fallen on our earthly spheres
Bereft of love and truth and light
As never since the dawn of years;--
For tears give birth alone to tears.

One wreath upon they grave we lay
(The silence of our bitter thought,
Words that would scorch their hearts of clay),
And turn to learn what thou has taught,
To shape our lives as thine was wrought.

--April 15, 1896

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