Ethel Turner

(24 January 1872 – 8 April 1958 / Doncaster / England)

A Trembling Star


"There is my little trembling star," she said.
   I looked; once more
The tender sea had put the sun to bed,
   And heaven's floor
   Was grey.

And nowhere yet in all that young night sky
   Was any star,
But one that hung above the sea. Not high,
   Nor very far
   Away.

"I watch it every night," she said, and crept
   Within my arm.
"Soft little star, I wish the angels kept
   It safe from harm
   Alway.

"I know it is afraid," she said; her eyes
   Held a sweet tear.
"They send it all alone into the skies,
   No big stars near,
   To stay.

"They push it out before the sweet, kind moon
   Lights up the sea.
They laugh because it fears the dark. `Soon, soon,
   You'll braver be,'
   They say.

"One night I climbed far up that high white tree
   Beside the beach,
And tried to stretch my hand across the sea
   And tried to reach
   The grey.

"For something made me feel my heart would break
   Unless that night
I in my hand my trembling star could take
   And kiss its fright
   Away.

"There only blew a strange wind chillily,
   And clouds were swept.
The angels would not let my own star see
   That someone wept.
   I pray

"To Christ, who hears my little prayers each night,
   That He will seek
Through all His skies for that sweet, frightened light,
   And stoop His cheek
   And say

"`My angels must not send so frail a thing
   To light the West.
Lift up the little trembling star to cling
   About my breast
   Alway.'"

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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