Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, STARLIGHT, by CELIA LEIGHTON THAXTER

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

STARLIGHT, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: The chill sad evening wind of winter blows
Last Line: Sad as the breathing of a human sigh.
Subject(s): Death; Snow; Winter; Dead, The

The chill sad evening wind of winter blows
across the headland bleak and bare and high
rustling the thin, dry grass that sparsely grows,
and shivering, whispers like a human sigh.

The sky is thick with stars that sparkle keen,
and great Cappella in the clear northeast
rolls slowly up the cloudless heaven serene,
and the stern uproar of the sea has ceased

a fleeting moment, and the earth seems dead—
So still, so sad, so lonely, and so cold.
Snow-dust beneath me, and above my head
star-dust in blackness, like thick-sprinkled gold.

The stars of fire, the tiny stars of ice.
The awful whirling worlds in space that wheel,
the dainty crystal's delicate device—
One hand has fashioned both. And I, who kneel

here on this winter night twixt stars and snow,
as transient as a snowflake and as weak,
yearning like all my fellow-men to know
His hidden purpose that no voice may speak—

In silent awe I watch His worlds. I see
mighty Cappella's signal, and I know
the steady beam of light that reaches me
left the great orb full seventy years ago.

A human lifetime! Reason strives in vain
to grasp at time and space, and evermore
thought, weary grown and baffled, must again
retrace its slow steps to the humble door

of wistful patience; there to watch and wait
devoutly till at last death's certain hand,
imperious, opens wide the mystic gate
between us and the future He has planned.

Yea, death alone. But shall death conquer all?
Love fights and pleads in anguish of despair.
Sooner shall great Cappella wavering fall
than any voice respond to his wild prayer.

And yet, what fire divine makes hope to glow
through the pale ashes of our earthly fate?
Immortal hope, above all joy, below
all depths of pain wherein we strive, and wait.

Dull is our sense. Hearing we do not hear,
and seeing see not; yet we vaguely feel
somewhere is comfort in the darkness drear.
And hushing doubts and fears, we learn to kneel.

Starlight and silence; dumb are sky and sea.
Silent as death the awful spaces lie.
Speechless, the bitter wind blows over me,
sad as the breathing of a human sigh.

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