Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
Song of the Stars
By William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878)
 
WHEN the radiant morn of creation broke,
And the world in the smile of God awoke,
And the empty realms of darkness and death
Were moved through their depths by his mighty breath,
And orbs of beauty, and spheres of flame,        5
From the void abyss, by myriads came,
In the joy of youth, as they darted away,
Through the widening wastes of space to play,
Their silver voices in chorus rung,
And this was the song the bright ones sung.        10
 
Away, away, through the wide, wide sky,
The fair blue fields that before us lie:
Each sun with the worlds that round us roll,
Each planet poised on her turning pole,
With her isles of green, and her clouds of white,        15
And her waters that lie like fluid light.
 
For the source of glory uncovers his face,
And the brightness o’erflows unbounded space;
And we drink, as we go, the luminous tides
In our ruddy air and our blooming sides;        20
Lo, yonder the living splendors play!
Away, on our joyous path away!
 
Look, look, through our glittering ranks afar,
In the infinite azure, star after star,
How they brighten and bloom as they swiftly pass!        25
How the verdure runs o’er each rolling mass!
And the path of the gentle winds is seen,
Where the small waves dance, and the young woods lean.
 
And see, where the brighter day-beams pour,
How the rainbows hang in the sunny shower;        30
And the morn and the eve, with their pomp of hues,
Shift o’er the bright planets and shed their dews;
And ’twixt them both, o’er the teeming ground,
With her shadowy cone, the night goes round.
 
Away, away!—in our blossoming bowers,        35
In the soft air wrapping these spheres of ours,
In the seas and fountains that shine with morn,
See, love is brooding, and life is born,
And breathing myriads are breaking from night,
To rejoice, like us, in motion and light.        40
 
Glide on in your beauty, ye youthful spheres!
To weave the dance that measures the years.
Glide on in the glory and gladness sent
To the farthest wall of the firmament,
The boundless visible smile of him        45
To the veil of whose brow our lamps are dim.
 
 
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