The Lost Pleiad

William Gilmore Simms 1806 (Charleston) – 1870 (Charleston)

NOT in the sky,  
Where it was seen  
So long in eminence of light serene,—  
Nor on the white tops of the glistering wave,  
Nor down in mansions of the hidden deep,   
Though beautiful in green  
And crystal, its great caves of mystery,—  
Shall the bright watcher have  
Her place, and, as of old, high station keep!  
Gone! gone!  
Oh! nevermore, to cheer  
The mariner, who holds his course alone  
On the Atlantic, through the weary night,  
When the stars turn to watchers, and do sleep,  
Shall it again appear,  
With the sweet-loving certainty of light,  
Down shining on the shut eyes of the deep!  
The upward-looking shepherd on the hills  
Of Chaldea, night-returning with his flocks,  
He wonders why his beauty doth not blaze,
Gladding his gaze,—  
And, from his dreary watch along the rocks,  
Guiding him homeward o’er the perilous ways!  
How stands he waiting still, in a sad maze,  
Much wondering, while the drowsy silence fills
The sorrowful vault!—how lingers, in the hope that night  
May yet renew the expected and sweet light,  
So natural to his sight!  
And lone,  
Where, at the first, in smiling love she shone,
Brood the once happy circle of bright stars:  
How should they dream, until her fate was known,  
That they were ever confiscate to death?  
That dark oblivion the pure beauty mars,  
And, like the earth, its common bloom and breath,
That they should fall from high;  
Their lights grow blasted by a touch, and die,  
All their concerted springs of harmony  
Snapt rudely, and the generous music gone!  
Ah! still the strain
Of wailing sweetness fills the saddening sky;  
The sister stars, lamenting in their pain  
That one of the selectest ones must die,—  
Must vanish, when most lovely, from the rest!  
Alas! ’t is ever thus the destiny.   
Even Rapture’s song hath evermore a tone  
Of wailing, as for bliss too quickly gone.  
The hope most precious is the soonest lost,  
The flower most sweet is first to feel the frost.  
Are not all short-lived things the loveliest?  
And, like the pale star, shooting down the sky,  
Look they not ever brightest, as they fly  
From the lone sphere they blest!

Font size:
Collection  PDF     

Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:51 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 2,131
Words 371
Stanzas 5
Stanza Lengths 9, 8, 11, 11, 14

William Gilmore Simms

William Gilmore Simms was a poet, novelist and historian from the American South. more…

All William Gilmore Simms poems | William Gilmore Simms Books

0 fans

Discuss the poem "The Lost Pleiad" with the community...



    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


    "The Lost Pleiad" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 27 Sep. 2023. <>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    September 2023

    Poetry Contest

    Join our monthly contest for an opportunity to win cash prizes and attain global acclaim for your talent.



    Are you a poetry master?

    The pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a poem is called _______.
    • A. verse
    • B. rhythm
    • C. meter
    • D. rhyme