The Free

A poem by George William Russell

They bathed in the fire-flooded fountains;
Life girdled them round and about;
They slept in the clefts of the mountains:
The stars called them forth with a shout.

They prayed, but their worship was only
The wonder at nights and at days,
As still as the lips of the lonely
Though burning with dumbness of praise.

No sadness of earth ever captured
Their spirits who bowed at the shrine;
They fled to the Lonely enraptured
And hid in the Darkness Divine.

At twilight as children may gather
They met at the doorway of death,
The smile of the dark hidden Father
The Mother with magical breath.

Untold of in song or in story,
In days long forgotten of men,
Their eyes were yet blind with a glory
Time will not remember again.

--November 15, 1895

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