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Poem by William Gilmore Simms


The Lost Pleiad


                    I 
NOT in the sky,
Where it was seen--
Nor, on the white tops of the glistering wave--
Nor in the mansions of the hidden deep--
However green,
In its enamell'd caves of mystery--
Shall the bright watcher have
A place--nor once again proud station keep!

                    II 
Gone, gone!
O! never more, to cheer
The mariner, who hold his course alone,
On the Atlantic, thro' the weary night,
When the waves turn to watchers, and do sleep--
Shall it appear--
With the sweet fixedness of certain light,
Shining upon the shut eye of the blue deep!

                    III 
O! when the shepherd on Chaldea's hills,
Watching his flocks;
Looks forth, in vain for thy first light to come,
Warning him home--
From his deep sleep, among the sky-kiss'd rocks--
How shall he wake, when dewy silence fills
The scene, to wonder at the weight of night,
Without the one strong beam, whose blessed light,
As to the wandering child, his native rills,
Was natural to his sight!

                    IV 
Vain, vain!
O! less than vain, shall he look forth--
The sailor from his barque--
(Howe'er the North,
Doth raise his certain lamp, when tempests lower)
To catch the light of the lost star again--
The weary hour,
To him, shall be more weary, when the dark
Displays not the lost planet on her tower.

                    V 
And lone
where its first splendor, shone--
Shall be that pleasant company of stars:--
How should they know that death,
The happy glory of the immortal, mars,
When like the Earth, and all its common breath,
Extinguish'd are the pure beams of the sky,
Fallen from on high--
And their concerted springs of harmony
Snapt rudely, and all pleasant music, gone.

                    VI 
A strain--a mellow strain,
Of parting music, fill'd the earth and sky--
The stars lamenting, in unborrowed pain,
That one of the selectest one's, must die--
The brightest of their train!
Alas! it is the destiny--
The dearest hope is that which first is lost,
The tenderest flower is soonest nipt by frost--
Are not the shortest-lived, the loveliest--
And like the wandering orb that leaves the sky,
Look they not brightest, when about to fly,
The desolate spot they blest?



William Gilmore Simms


William Gilmore Simms's other poems:
  1. The Swamp Fox
  2. By the Swanannoa
  3. Blessings on Children
  4. The Decay of a People
  5. The Brooklet


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