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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

“A. E.” (George William Russell) (1867–1935)

The Great Breath

ITS edges foamed 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,

Molded to her by deep and deeper breath,

Neared to the hour when Beauty breathes her last

And knows herself in death.