The Light of Stars

The night is come, but not too soon;

And sinking silently,

All silently, the little moon

Drops down behind the sky.

There is no light in earth or heaven

But the cold light of stars;

And the first watch of night is given

To the red planet Mars.

Is it the tender star of love?

The star of love and dreams?

O no! from that blue tent above,

A hero's armor gleams.

And earnest thoughts within me rise,

When I behold afar,

Suspended in the evening skies,

The shield of that red star.

O star of strength! I see thee stand

And smile upon my pain;

Thou beckonest with thy mailed hand,

And I am strong again.

Within my breast there is no light

But the cold light of stars;

I give the first watch of the night

To the red planet Mars.

The star of the unconquered will,

He rises in my breast,

Serene, and resolute, and still,

And calm, and self-possessed.

And thou, too, whosoe'er thou art,

That readest this brief psalm,

As one by one thy hopes depart,

Be resolute and calm.

O fear not in a world like this,

And thou shalt know erelong,

Know how sublime a thing it is

To suffer and be strong.

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