The Light of Stars

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


The night is come, but not too soon;

And sinking silently,

All silently, the little moon

Drops down behind the sky,

There is no light in earth or heaven

But the cold light of stars;

And the first watch of night is given

To the red planet Mars.

Is it the tender star of love,

The star of love and dreams?

O no !     from that blue tent above

A hero's armour gleams.

And earnest thoughts within me rise

When I behold afar,

Suspended in the evening skies,

The shield of that red star.

O star of strength     I see thee stand

And smile upon my pain;

Thou beckonest with thy mailed hand,

And I am strong again.

Within my breast there is no light

But the cold light of stars:

I give the first watch of the night

To the red planet Mars.

The stars of the unconquer'd will:

He rises in my breast,

Serene, and resolute, and still,

And calm, and self-possess'd.

And thou too, whoeso'er thou art,

That readest this brief psalm !

As one by one thy hopes depart,

Be resolute and calm !

O, fear not in a world like this !

And thou shalt know ere long,

Know how sublime a thing it is

To suffer and be strong.