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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 star of the unconquered will,

He rises in my breast, Serene, and resolute, and still,

And calm, and self-possessed.

And thou, too, whosoe'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.


When the hours of Day are numbered,

And the voices of the Night Wake the better soul, that slumbered,

To a holy, calm delight;

Ere the evening lamps are lighted,

And, like phantoms grim and tall, Shadows from the fitful fire-light

Dance upon the parlour wall ;

Then the forms of the departed

Enter at the open door ; The beloved, the true-hearted,

Come to visit me once more ;

He, the young and strong, who cherished

Noble longings for the strife,
By the road-side fell and perished,

Weary with the march of life!

They, the holy ones and weakly,

Who the cross of suffering bore, Folded their pale hands so meekly,

Spake with us on earth no more !

And with them the Being Beauteous,

Who unto my youth was given, More than all things else to love me,

And is now a saint in heaven.

With a slow and noiseless footstep

Comes that messenger divine, Takes the vacant chair beside me,

Lays her gentle hand in mine.

And she sits and gazes at me

With those deep and tender eyes, Like the stars, so still and saint-like,

Looking downward from the skies.

Uttered not, yet comprehended,

Is the spirit's voiceless prayer, Soft rebukes, in blessings ended,

Breathing from her lips of air.

O, though oft depressed and lonely,

All my fears are laid aside, If I but remember only

Such as these have lived and died !

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