November Meteors.

A poem by Kate Seymour Maclean

Out of the dread eternities,
The vast abyss of night,
A glorious pageant rose and shone,
And passed from human sight.
We saw the glittering cavalcade,
And heard inwove through all,
Faint and afar from star to star,
The sliding music fall.

With banners and with torches,
And hoofs of glancing flame,
With helm and sword and pennon bright
The long procession came.
And all the starry spaces,
Height above height outshone,
And the bickering clang of their armour rang
Down to the farthest zone.

As if some grand cathedral,
With towers of malachite,
And walls of more than crystal clear,
Rose out of the solid light,
And under its frowning gateway,
Each morioned warrior stept,
And in radiant files down the ringing aisles,
The martial pageant swept.

From out the oriel windows,
From vault, and spire, and dome,
And sparkling up from base to cope,
The light and glory clomb.
They knelt before the altar,
Each mailed and visored knight,
And the censers swung as a voice outrung,--
'Now God defend the right'!

On casque, and brand, and corselet
Fell the red light of Mars,
As forth from the minster gates they passed
To the battle of the stars.
Across moon-lighted depths of space,
And breadths of purple seas,
Their flying squadrons sailed in fleets,
Of fiery argosies:

Down lengths of shining rivers,
Past golded-sanded bars,
And nebulous isles of amethyst,
They dropt like falling stars:
Till on a scarped and wrinkled coast,
Washed by dark waves below,
They came upon the glittering tents--
The city of the foe.

Then rushed they to the battle;
Their bright hair blazed behind,
As deadlier than the bolt they fell,
And swifter than the wind.
And all the stellar continents,
With that fierce hail thick sown,
Recoiled with fear, from sphere to sphere
To Saturn's ancient throne.

The blind old king, in ermine wrapt.
And immemorial cold,
Awoke, and raised his aged hands,
And shook his rings of gold.
Down toppled plume and pennon bright,
In endless ruin hurled,
Their blades of light struck fire from night--
Their splendours lit the world!

And rolling down the hollow spheres,
The mighty chords, the seven,
Clanged on from orb to orb, and smote
Orion in mid-heaven.
Along the ground the white tents lay;
And faint along the fields.
The foe's swart hosts, like glimmering ghosts,
Followed his chariot wheels.

With banners and with torches,
And armour all aflame,
The victors and the vanquished went,
Departing as they came;
With here and there a rocket sent
Up from some lonely barque:
Into the vast abysm they passed,--
Into the final dark.

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