Stars

A poem by John Frederick Freeman

The naked stars, deep beyond deep,
Burn purely through the nervèd night.
Over the narrow sleep
Of men tired of light;

Deep within deep, as clouds behind
Huge grey clouds hidden gleaming rise,
Untroubled by sharp wind
In cold desert skies.

Cold deserts now with infinite host
Of gathered spears at watch o'er small
Armies of men lost
In glooms funereal.

O bitter light, all-threatening stars,
O tired ghosts of men that sleep
After stern mortal wars
'Neath skies chill and steep.

These mortal hills, this flickering sea,
This shadowy and thoughtful night,
Throb with infinity,
Burn with immortal light.

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