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20. Sep 2007

The Twilight of Earth


     The wonder of the world is o'er:	
       The magic from the sea is gone:	
     There is no unimagined shore,	
       No islet yet to venture on.	
     The Sacred Hazels' blooms are shed,	        
     The Nuts of Knowledge harvested.	
     Oh, what is worth this lore of age	
       If time shall never bring us back	
     Our battle with the gods to wage	
       Reeling along the starry track.	        
     The battle rapture here goes by	
     In warring upon things that die.	
     Let be the tale of him whose love	
       Was sighed between white Deirdre's breasts,	
     It will not lift the heart above	        
       The sodden clay on which it rests.	
     Love once had power the gods to bring	
     All rapt on its wild wandering.	
     We shiver in the falling dew,	
       And seek a shelter from the storm:	        
     When man these elder brothers knew	
       He found the mother nature warm,	
     A hearth fire blazing through it all,	
     A home without a circling wall.	
     We dwindle down beneath the skies,	        
       And from ourselves we pass away:	
     The paradise of memories	
       Grows ever fainter day by day.	
     The shepherd stars have shrunk within,	
     The world's great night will soon begin.	        
     Will no one, ere it is too late,	
       Ere fades the last memorial gleam,	
     Recall for us our earlier state?	
       For nothing but so vast a dream	
     That it would scale the steeps of air	        
     Could rouse us from so vast despair.	
     The power is ours to make or mar	
       Our fate as on the earliest morn,	
     The Darkness and the Radiance are	
       Creatures within the spirit born.	        
     Yet, bathed in gloom too long, we might	
     Forget how we imagined light.	
     Not yet are fixed the prison bars;	
       The hidden light the spirit owns	
     If blown to flame would dim the stars	        
       And they who rule them from their thrones:	
     And the proud sceptred spirits thence	
     Would bow to pay us reverence.	
     Oh, while the glory sinks within	
       Let us not wait on earth behind,	        
     But follow where it flies, and win	
       The glow again, and we may find	
     Beyond the Gateways of the Day	
     Dominion and ancestral sway.	
     George William Russell (1867-1935)