STAR after star looked glimmering down,
As in the night he sat alone,
And in the firmament of mind
Thought after thought upon him shone.
An inner sky did sometimes seem
To show him truths of deepest worth,
Which custom’s daylight long had dimmed,
Or sense had clouded in their birth.
And well he knew the world was dark,
And few would hear what he could tell,
And fewer still would sit with him,
And watch that sky he loved so well.
One solitary soul he seemed;
And yet he knew that all might see
The orbs that showed to him alone
The fulness of their majesty.
He knew that all the silent scorn
Which now in meekness he must bear,
Would change to worship when his ear
No longer was a listener there;
And, when the cold and rugged clod
Had pressed the brain that toiled for them,
That on his statue men would hang
The unavailing diadem.
All this he felt, and yet his faith
In uncomplaining silence kept
With starry Truth its vigil brave,
While all his brothers round him slept.
They slept,—and would not wake—until
The distant lights that fixed his gaze
Came moving on, and spread abroad
The glory of a noontide blaze.
And then they started from their dreams,
And slowly oped their leaden eyes,
And saw the light whose splendours now
Were darting through the morning skies.
Then turned and sought for him whose name
They in their sleep had mocked and cursed;—
But he had left them long before
The vision on their souls had burst.
And underneath the sod he lay,
Now all bedewed with fruitless tears,
And they could only deck the tomb
That told of his neglected years.
All Sub-Works of Poems (1844):
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