Edward Rowland Sill

(1841-1889 / the United States)

A Child And A Star - Poem by Edward Rowland Sill

THE star, so pure in saintly white,
Deep in the solemn soul of night,
With dreams of deathless beauty wed,
And golden ways that seraphs tread:
The child—so mere a thing of earth,
So meek a flower of mortal birth:
A far-off lucent world, so bright,
Stooping to touch with tender light
That little gown at evening prayer:
It seems a condescension rare,—
Heaven round a common child to glow!
Ah! wiser eyes of angels know
The star, a toy but roughly wrought;
The child, God's own most loving thought.
Yon evening planet, wan with moons,
Colossal, 'mid its dim, swift noons,—
What is it but a bulk of stone,
Like this gray globe we dwell upon?
Down hollow spaces, sightless, chill,
Its vibrant beams in darkness thrill,
Till thro' some window drift the rays
Where a pure heart looks up and prays;
And in that silent worshipper,
The waves of feeling stir and stir,
And spread in wider rings above,
To tremble at God's heart of love.
Tho' it be kingliest one of all
His worlds, 't is but a stony ball:
What are they all, from sun to sun,
But dust and stubble, when all's done?
Some heavenly grace it only caught,
When, like a hint from home, it brought
To a child's heart one tender thought:
Itself in that great mystery lost,
As some bright pebble, idly tost
Into the darkling sea at night,
Whose widening ripples, running light,
Go out into the infinite.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 13, 2010



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