Autumn Stars.

From: Poems (1844)
Author: Christopher Pearse Cranch
Published: Carey and Hart 1844 Philadelphia

Autumn Stars.

A FEW hours since, when Night had just begun
To light her everlasting lamps above,
In the far Northeast the fair Pleiades
Hung like a cluster of ripe golden fruit
Against the dim horizon wall; but now
They have climbed upward far upon their course,
And the whole heavens are changed from what they were.
What a rare jubilee of blessed lights!
Above me spread the vineyards of the sky,
Untrodden save by feet of cherubim;
Wide fields of glittering immensity
Blooming in beauty unapproachable;
Clear, solemn beacon-fires by angels fed,
To fright away bad spirits, and to guard
The Universe from blight;—and stretching through
Long galaxies of star-dust—the highways
Of souls—a tangled wilderness of suns
Crowded into perspective of a length
That tires out the up-labouring wing of thought.
There great Orion striding in his might,
Fast girt with sparkling belt and scimetar,
Facing the Bull’s red eye, Aldebaran;—
Bootes with his dogs;—the Greater Bear
Circling untired around the frozen North; —
Lone Cassiopœia sitting in her chair;—
Dewy Capella trembling all apart,
And changing red and blue her liquid light;—
Majestic Sirius, kingliest of all
That rule the skies;-all these and millions more:
O what a pomp and blazonry is out
Over my head in the deep dome of God!
The uncounted eyes whose spiritual light
Should hush the restless world into a prayer
As pare and noiseless as the thoughts of God.—
Ye blessed Stars! how oft when feverish moods
Born out of earthly fears and hopes were mine,
Hath your meek shining soothed me into peace!
So friendly distant—coming every night,
Yet still so inaccessible.
Fit type ye are, ye blessed Stars, to me,
Of Love and Reason ruling Will and Sense;
Of that true Light which lighteneth every soul,
And still abides with man, and guides his steps;
A friendly, oft a too familiar ray,
Yet born of God, and springing from a fount
As far beyond your light as ye from earth.

Nov. 1842.

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