The King Initiate

A poem by George William Russell

"They took Iesous and scourged him."--St. John

Age after age the world has wept
A joy supreme--I saw the hands
Whose fiery radiations swept
And burned away his earthly bands:
And where they smote the living dyes
Flashed like the plumes of paradise.

Their joys the heavy nations hush--
A form of purple glory rose
Crowned with such rays of light as flush
The white peaks on their towering snows:
It held the magic wand that gave
Rule over earth, air, fire and wave.

What sorrow makes the white cheeks wet:
The mystic cross looms shadowy dim--
There where the fourfold powers have met
And poured their living tides through him,
The Son who hides his radiant crest
To the dark Father's bosom pressed.

--June 15, 1896

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