Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(27 February 1807 – 24 March 1882 / Portland, Maine)

Occultation of Orion, The


I saw, as in a dream sublime,
The balance in the hand of Time.
O'er East and West its beam impended;
And day, with all its hours of light,
Was slowly sinking out of sight,
While, opposite, the scale of night
Silently with the stars ascended.

Like the astrologers of eld,
In that bright vision I beheld
Greater and deeper mysteries.
I saw, with its celestial keys,
Its chords of air, its frets of fire,
The Samian's great Aeolian lyre,
Rising through all its sevenfold bars,
From earth unto the fixed stars.
And through the dewy atmosphere,
Not only could I see, but hear,
Its wondrous and harmonious strings,
In sweet vibration, sphere by sphere,
From Dian's circle light and near,
Onward to vaster and wider rings.
Where, chanting through his beard of snows,
Majestic, mournful, Saturn goes,
And down the sunless realms of space
Reverberates the thunder of his bass.

Beneath the sky's triumphal arch
This music sounded like a march,
And with its chorus seemed to be
Preluding some great tragedy.
Sirius was rising in the east;
And, slow ascending one by one,
The kindling constellations shone.
Begirt with many a blazing star,
Stood the great giant Algebar,
Orion, hunter of the beast!
His sword hung gleaming by his side,
And, on his arm, the lion's hide
Scattered across the midnight air
The golden radiance of its hair.

The moon was pallid, but not faint;
And beautiful as some fair saint,
Serenely moving on her way
In hours of trial and dismay.
As if she heard the voice of God,
Unharmed with naked feet she trod
Upon the hot and burning stars,
As on the glowing coals and bars,
That were to prove her strength, and try
Her holiness and her purity.

Thus moving on, with silent pace,
And triumph in her sweet, pale face,
She reached the station of Orion.
Aghast he stood in strange alarm!
And suddenly from his outstretched arm
Down fell the red skin of the lion
Into the river at his feet.
His mighty club no longer beat
The forehead of the bull; but he
Reeled as of yore beside the sea,
When, blinded by Oenopion,
He sought the blacksmith at his forge,
And, climbing up the mountain gorge,
Fixed his blank eyes upon the sun.

Then, through the silence overhead,
An angel with a trumpet said,
"Forevermore, forevermore,
The reign of violence is o'er!"
And, like an instrument that flings
Its music on another's strings,
The trumpet of the angel cast
Upon the heavenly lyre its blast,
And on from sphere to sphere the words
Re-echoed down the burning chords,--
"Forevermore, forevermore,
The reign of violence is o'er!"

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Form:


Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: angel, music, strength, river, star, silence, beautiful, light, moon, hair, red, dream, fire, sea, sky, sun, rose

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Occultation of Orion, The by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. A Red, Red Rose, Robert Burns
  2. Address To A Haggis, Robert Burns
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. A Dream, Robert Burns
  5. To A Mouse, Robert Burns
  6. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  7. Tonight I can write the saddest lines, Pablo Neruda
  8. Who Ever Loved That Loved Not at First S.., Christopher Marlowe
  9. A Man's a Man for A' That, Robert Burns
  10. A Fond Kiss, Robert Burns

Poem of the Day

poet Christopher Marlowe

It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is overruled by fate.
When two are stripped, long ere the course begin,
We wish that one should love, the other win;

...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. Paradise Found 2, Paul Butters
  2. Phyllis, Kim Barney
  3. Twilight, Mario,Lucien,Rene Odekerken
  4. Writer's Block, Paul Butters
  5. Johnny Giles (Clerihew), Paul Butters
  6. Vapour Trail Sky, Paul Gerard Reed
  7. Carrot/Stick Solution, Ima Ryma
  8. electrification, oskar hansen
  9. Love And Respect, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  10. Curtain of Fog, V P Mahur
[Hata Bildir]