Tuesday, April 16, 2013



by Ellen Mary Clerke

Who calls me dark ? for do I not display
Wonders that else man's eye would never
Waste in the blank and blinding glare of Day,
The heavens bud forth their glories but to me.

Is it not mine to pile their crystal cup,
Drain'd by the thirsty sun and void by day.
Brimful of living gems, profuse heap'd up.
The bounteous largesse of my royal way ?

Mine to call o'er at dusk the roll of heav'n.
Array its glittering files in order due ?
To beckon forth the lurking star of Even,
And bid the constellations start to view ?

The wandering planets to their paths recall.
And summon to the muster tenant spheres.
Till thronging to my standard one and all,
They crowd the zenith in unfathom'd tiers ?

Do I not lure stray sunbeams from the day.
To hurl them broadcast as wing'd meteors
forth ?
Strew sheaves of fiery arrows on my way.
And blazon my dark spaces in the north ?

Is not a crown of lightnings mine to wear.
When polar flames suffuse my skies with
splendour ?
And mine the homage with the sun to share.
His vagrant vassals rush through space to
render ?

Who calls me secret ? are not hidden things.
Reveal'd to science when with piercing sight
She looks beneath the shadow of my wings.
To fathom space and sound the infinite ?

In plasmic light do I not bid her trace
Germs from creation's dawn maturing slow ?
And in each filmy chaos drown'd in space
See suns and systems yet in embryo ?

(Source: Huggins, 1907)


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