Ordeal

by George William Russell

LOVE and pity are pleading with me this hour.
What is this voice that stays me forbidding to yield,
Offering beauty, love, and immortal power,
Æons away in some far-off heavenly field?

Though I obey thee, Immortal, my heart is sore.
Though love be withdrawn for love it bitterly grieves:
Pity withheld in the breast makes sorrow more.
Oh that the heart could feel what the mind believes!

Cease, O love, thy fiery and gentle pleading.
Soft is thy grief, but in tempest through me it rolls.
Dream’st thou not whither the path is leading
Where the Dark Immortal would shepherd our weeping souls?

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