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Spirit and Star

Through the bleak cold voids, through the wilds of space,
Trackless and starless, forgotten of grace,—
Through the dusk that is neither day nor night,
Through the grey that is neither dark nor light—
Through thin chill ethers where dieth speech,
Where the pulse of the music of heaven cannot reach,
Unwarmed by the breath of living thing,
And for ever unswept of angel's wing—
Through the cold, through the void, through the wilds of space,
With never a home or a resting-place,
How far must I wander? Oh God, how far?
I have lost my star, I have lost my star!

Once on a time unto me was given
The fairest star in the starry heaven—
A little star, to tend and to guide,
To nourish and cherish and love as a bride.
Far from all great bright orbs, alone,
Even to few of the angels known,
It moved; but a sweet pale light on its face
From the sapphire foot of the throne of grace,
That was better than glory and more than might,
Made it a wonder of quiet delight.
Still must I wander? Oh God, how far?
I have lost my star, I have lost my star!

On the starry brow was the peace of the blest,
And bounteous peace on the starry breast;
All beautiful things were blossoming there,
Sighing their loves to the delicate air:
No creature of God such fragrance breathed,
White-rose girdled and white-rose wreathed;
And its motion was music, an undertone,
With a strange sad sweetness all its own,
Dearer to me than the louder hymn
Of the God-enraptured seraphim.—
How far must I wander? Ah Heaven, how far?
I have lost my star, I have lost my star!

In a round of joy, remote and alone,
Yet ever in sight of the great white throne,
Together we moved, for a love divine
Had blent the life of the star with mine:—
And had all the angels of all the spheres
Forecast my fate and foretold my tears,

The weary wand'ring, the gruesome gloom,
And bruited them forth through the Trump of Doom—
Hiding a smile in my soul, I had moved
Only the nearer to what I loved.
Yet I must wander! Oh God, how far?
I have lost my star, I have lost my star!

Ah, woe the delusive demon-light
That beckoned me, beckoned me, day and night!
The untwining of heartstrings, the backward glance,
The truce with faith, and the severance!
Ah, woe the unfolding of wayward wings
That bore me away from all joyous things,
To realms of space whence the pale sweet gleam
Looked dim as a dimly-remembered dream—
To farther realms where the faint light spent
Vanished at length from my firmament;
And I seek it in vain—Ah God, how far?
I have lost my star, I have lost my star!

On sleepless wings I have followed it
Through the star-sown fields of the Infinite;
And where foot of angel hath never trod
I have threaded the golden mazes of God;
I have pierced where the fire-fount of being runs,
I have dashed myself madly on burning suns,
Then downward have swept with shuddering breath
Through the place of the shadows and shapes of death,
Till sick with sorrow and spent with pain
I float and faint in the dim inane!
Must I yet wander? Ah God, how far?
I have lost my star, I have lost my star!

Oh could I find in uttermost space
A place for hope, and for prayer a place,
Mine were no suit for a glittering prize
In the chosen seats of the upper skies—
No grand ministration, no thronèd height
In the midmost intense of unspeakable light.
What sun-god sphere with all-dazzling beam
Could be unto me as that sweet, sad gleam?
Let me roam through the ages all alone,
If He give me not back my own, my own!
How far must I wander? Oh God, how far?
I have lost my star, I have lost my star!

In the whispers that tremble from sphere to sphere,
Which the ear of a spirit alone can hear,

I have heard it breathed that there cometh a day
When tears from all eyes shall be wiped away,
When faintness of heart and drooping of wings
Shall be told as a tale of olden things,
When toil and trouble and all distress
Shall be lost in the round of Blessedness.
In that day when dividing of loves shall cease,
And all things draw near to the centre of peace,
In the fulness of time, in the ages afar,
God, oh God, shall I find my star?

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

3:55 min read

James Brunton Stephens

James Brunton Stephens was a Scottish-born Australian poet, author of Convict Once. more…

All James Brunton Stephens poems | James Brunton Stephens Books

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