When The Unquiet Hours Depart

When the unquiet hours depart
And far away their tumults cease,
Within the twilight of the heart
We bathe in peace, are stilled with peace.

The fire that slew us through the day
For angry deed or sin of sense
Now is the star and homeward ray
To us who bow in penitence.

We kiss the lips of bygone pain
And find a secret sweet in them:
The thorns once dripped with shadowy rain
Are bright upon each diadem.

Ceases the old pathetic strife,
The struggle with the scarlet sin:
The mad enchanted laugh of life
Tempts not the soul that sees within.

No riotous and fairy song
Allures the prodigals who bow
Within the home of law, and throng
Before the mystic Father now,

Where faces of the elder years,
High souls absolved from grief and sin,
Leaning from our ancestral spheres
Beckon the wounded spirit in.

George William Russell (‘A. E.’) 1867-1935

AE may have been a mystic not strictly orthodox in his leanings, but his poetry is beautiful and I would recommend checking it out. One of my favourite lines of his is:

In the fire of love we live, or pass by many ways,
By unnumbered ways of dream to death.

Quotes by AE from Wikiquote – this site has a load of quotes from his letters and poems.

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