Ireland of the Welcomes
Famous and original Irish poetry sit side by side in this issue
George William Russell wrote with the pseudonym AE, and is one of the most famous Irish poets of his time. Born in Armagh, Russell’s family relocated to Dublin when he was a young child and the city would go on to inform much of his work. Russell played a huge role in cultivating the literary scene in Dublin during his era and was an acquaintance of many famous Irish figures, including Michael Collins.
THE VOICE OF THE WATERS GEORGE WILLIAM RUSSELL
Where the Greyhound River windeth through a loneliness so deep, Scarce a wild fowl shakes the quiet that the purple boglands keep, Only God exults in silence over fields no man may reap.
Where the silver wave with sweetness fed the tiny lives of grass I was bent above, my image mirrored in the fleeting glass, And a voice from out the water through my being seemed to pass.
“Still above the waters brooding, spirit, in thy timeless quest; Was the glory of thine image trembling over east and west Not divine enough when mirrored in the morning water’s breast? ”
With the sighing voice that murmured I was borne to ages dim Ere the void was lit with beauty breathed upon by seraphim, We were cradled there together folded in the peace in Him.
One to be the master spirit, one to be the slave awoke, One to shape itself obedient to the fiery words we spoke, Flame and flood and stars and mountains from the primal waters broke.
I was huddled in the heather when the vision failed its light, Still and blue and vast above me towered aloft the solemn height, Where the stars like dewdrops glistened on the mountain slope of night.