The Protest of Love

A poem by George William Russell

"Those who there take refuge nevermore return."--Bhagavad Gita


Ere I lose myself in the vastness and drowse myself with the peace,
While I gaze on the light and beauty afar from the dim homes of men,
May I still feel the heart-pang and pity, love-ties that I would not release,
May the voices of sorrow appealing call me back to their succour again.

Ere I storm with the tempest of power the thrones and dominions of old,
Ere the ancient enchantment allures me to roam through the star- misty skies,
I would go forth as one who has reaped well what harvest the earth may unfold:
May my heart be o'erbrimmed with compassion, on my brow be the crown of the wise.

I would go as the dove from the ark sent forth with wishes and prayers
To return with the paradise-blossoms that bloom in the eden of light:
When the deep star-chant of the seraphs I hear in the mystical airs
May I capture one tone of their joy for the sad ones discrowned in the night.

Not alone, not alone would I go to my rest in the Heart of the Love:
Were I tranced in the innermost beauty, the flame of its tenderest breath,
I would still hear the plaint of the fallen recalling me back from above
To go down to the side of the mourners who weep in the shadow of death.

--May 15, 1896

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