A LAUGHTER in the diamond air, a music in the trembling grass;
And one by one the words of light as joydrops through my being pass:
“I am the sunlight in the heart, the silver moon-glow in the mind;
My laughter runs and ripples through the wavy tresses of the wind.
I am the fire upon the hills, the dancing flame that leads afar
Each burning-hearted wanderer, and I the dear and homeward star.
A myriad lovers died for me, and in their latest yielded breath
I woke in glory giving them immortal life though touched by death.
They knew me from the dawn of time: if Hermes beats his rainbow wings,
If Angus shakes his locks of light, or golden-haired Apollo sings,
It matters not the name, the land: my joy in all the gods abides:
Even in the cricket in the grass some dimness of me smiles and hides.
For joy of me the daystar glows, and in delight and wild desire
The peacock twilight rays aloft its plumes and blooms of shadowy fire,
Where in the vastness too I burn through summer nights and ages long,
And with the fiery-footed watchers shake in myriad dance and song.”
George William Russell signed his poetry “A.E.”
Russell was also a social activist, a publisher, a spiritual teacher, a painter, a novelist, and (in his obituary) an economist. He introduced W. B. Yeats to the world, and Yeats later quipped: “AE – IOU”