James Stephens

(9 February 1882 - 26 December 1950 / Dublin)

The Ancient Elf Poem by James Stephens


I am the maker,
The builder, the breaker,
The eagle-winged helper,
The speedy forsaker!

The lance and the lyre,
The water, the fire,
The tooth of oppression,
The lip of desire!

The snare and the wing,
They honey, the sting!
When you seek for me--look
For a different thing!

I, careless and gay,
Never mean what I say,
For my thoughts and my eyes
Look the opposite way!

Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004
Edited: Thursday, May 10, 2012

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