A diamond glow of winter o'er the world;
Amid the chilly halo nigh the west
Flickers a phantom violet bloom unfurled
Dim on the twilight's breast.
Only phantasmal blooms but for an hour,
A transient beauty; then the white stars shine
Chilling the heart: I long for thee to flower,
O bud of light divine.
But never visible to sense or thought
The flower of Beauty blooms afar withdrawn;
If in our being then we know it not,
Or, knowing, it is gone.
AE [George William Russell]
from Collected Poems, 1913.
[Poem is public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]