Johannes Carsten Hauch

(1790-1872 / Denmark)

The Pleiades At Midnight - Poem by Johannes Carsten Hauch

We are the nightly weavers
who gather the invisible threads
from the Milky Way's outmost ring
where the end of the loom stands.

Hovering apparitions, unwearied, wingless,
whose flight no bird can ever equal.

For us, Time hardly has begun,
although the ephemerae of worlds, newly spawned,
streaming atoms in the immense ether,
dream of aeons and eternities;
and think that the end is come,
though not yet have they completed a single orbit
round the firmly linked Daughters of Atlas, the bright-eyed
whose glance gleams through the veil,
and who carry the weight of innumerable worlds unaware;
and who are like to swelling grapes
from which streams the wine of life.

What you call a thousand years
is hardly a cloven second
too short for the glance of our eyes thereby
to reach the nearest among our daughters
circling in the ring of the Milky Way.

For us your longest sorrow
is barely one beat of an ephemera's wing
before quick death.

Yet we are also the children of Time,
and even the longest courses
in which shining worlds revolve
count as nothing
against the invisible circle of Eternity
which the hours never draw near;
and although we measure them
as millions of years,
they are only a stream
dried by a hot summer's day
compared to the unfathomable Ocean of Infinity
in the realm of the uplifted spirits
released from the weight of Time.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, October 16, 2010



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