The Great Breath
by George William Russell (“Æ”) (1867-1935)
Its edges foam’d with amethyst and rose,
Withers once more the old blue flower of day:
There where the ether like a diamond glows,
Its petals fade away.
A shadowy tumult stirs the dusky air;
Sparkle the delicate dews, the distant snows;
The great deep thrills–for through it everywhere
The breath of Beauty blows.
I saw how all the trembling ages past,
Moulded to her by deep and deeper breath,
Near’d to the hour when Beauty breathes her last
And knows herself in death.