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!

Comments about The Ancient Elf by James Stephens

  • Rajeeyah Hasan (3/9/2017 5:09:00 PM)

    This was just fun and delightful. I really enjoyed the pace and light heartedness (Report) Reply

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  • Sylva-onyema Uba (3/9/2017 8:53:00 AM)

    Well written in a quatrain of
    four stanzas embellished in musical
    rhyme and rhythm.
    (Report) Reply

  • Anne Yun (3/9/2017 6:27:00 AM)

    It feels like the elf from ancient time fell into the poet's soul, evrything emerged from the elf's memory, mingled with the poet, felt by us. Ancient is the opposite of 'now', they exchanged perspectives through the river of time. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (3/9/2017 6:03:00 AM)

    My thoughts! Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Tom Allport (3/9/2017 3:08:00 AM)

    a good descriptive poem of a mythical creature? (Report) Reply

  • Alexander Julian (3/9/2017 1:45:00 AM)

    Plenty of tokens here relate to the ancient elf, thus this is an extension on Santa Claus too. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: water, fire

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

Poem Edited: Thursday, May 10, 2012

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