A void is in the sky!
A light has ceased the seaman's path to cheer,
A star has left its ruby throne on high,
A world forsook its sphere.
Thy sisters bright pursue their circling way,
But thou, lone wanderer! thou hast left our vault for aye.
Did Sin invade thy bowers,
And Death with sable pinion sweep thine air,
Blasting the beauty of thy fairest flowers,
And God admit no prayer?
Didst thou, as fable saith, wax faint and dim
With the first mortal breath between thy zone and Him?
Did human love, with all
Its passionate might and meek endurance strong,--
The love that mocks at Time and scorns the pall,
Through conflict fierce and long,--
Live in thy soul, yet know no future's ray?
Then, mystic world! 't was well that thou shouldst pass away.
Perchance a loftier fate
Removed thy radiance from our feeble sight.
Did HE, whose Spirit wills but to create,
Far upward urge thy flight
From this low fraction of expiring time,
To realms where ages roll, as hours, in peace sublime?
E'en there does science soar
With trembling pinion, bright and eager eye,
Striving to reach the still-receding shore
That bounds the vision high:
Immortal longings fill the fettered mind;
Unfathomed glory lies around it, veiled and shrined!
Oh! when the brooding cloud
Shall pass like mist from o'er our straining sight,
And, as the sun-born insect, from its shroud
The soul speed forth in might,
From phase to phase in Being's endless day,
Shall we behold thy light, and learn thy future way?