Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE DEAD ASTRONOMER, by CHARLES W. E. CHAPIN JR.



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THE DEAD ASTRONOMER, by            
First Line: Dead beneath the stars he lay
Last Line: In life, in death, may see thy face.
Subject(s): Death; Mourning; Dead, The; Bereavement


DEAD beneath the stars he lay
Who knew and loved them every one.
Procession-like in sad array,
Each star in passing cast its ray
In pity on him as he lay
In peace and rest, his labors done.

Dead he lay mid gloom of night,
While passing breezes kissed him there,
Where last that met his dimming sight
Was Hill and Campus clothed with light
And radiance from the orbs of night,
And all the loved scenes bright and fair.

"The watchful eyes have closed in sleep,
The tired heart has ceased to beat;
No more they nightly vigils keep,
Nor search the starry fathoms deep;
But rest in quiet, rest and sleep:
Rest, tired brain; rest, weary feet."

Thus whispering breezes murmured low,
Thus seemed the singing stars to say,
As night's dark shadows turned to gray;
Then o'er the hill-tops far away,
With hastening footsteps came the day,
And heaven was lit with morning's glow.

Ah, tender power! ah, power sublime!
That holds and keeps each star in place,
That fills all space, that fills all time,
Mid northern snow, mid summer clime,
He who aspires and fain would climb,
In life, in death, may see thy face.





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