A Song of the Stars

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A Song of the Stars  (1912) 
by Clark Ashton Smith
1912.

From the final reach of the upper night
To the nether darks where the comets die,
From the outmost bourn of the reigns of light
To the central gloom of the midmost sky,
In our mazeful gyres we fly.
And our flight is a choral chant of flame,
That ceaseless fares to the outer void,
With the undersong of the peopled spheres,
The voices of comet and asteroid,
And the wail of the spheres destroyed.
Forever we sing to a god unseen—
In the dark shall our voices fail?
The void is his robe inviolate.
The night is his awful veil—
How our fires grow dim and pale!

From the ordered gyres goes ever afar
Our song of flame o'er the void unknown,
Where circles nor world, nor comet, nor star.
Shall it die ere it reach His throne?

On the shoreless deeps of the seas of gloom
Sailing, we venture afar and wide,
Where ever await the tempests of doom,
Where the silent maelstroms lurk and hide,
And the darkling reefs abide.
And the change and ruin of stars is a song
That rises and ebbs in a tide of fire—
A music whose notes are of dreadful flame,
Whose harmonics ever leap high'r
Where the suns and the worlds expire.
Is such music not fit for a god?
Yet ever the deep is a dark,
And ever the night is a void,
Nor brightens a word nor a mark
To show if our God may hark.

From the gyres of change goes ever afar
Our flaming chant o'er the deep unknown,
The song of the death of planet and star.
Shall it die ere it reach His throne?

In our shadows of light the planets sweep,
And endure for the span of our prime—
Globed atoms that hazard the termless deep
With races that bow to the law of Time,
And yet cherish a dream sublime.
And they cry to the god behind the veil.
Yet how should their voices pass the night,
The silence that waits in the rayless void,
If he hear not our music of light,
And the thundrous song of our might?
And they strive in the gloom for truth—
Yet how should they pierce the veil,
When we, with our splendors of flame,
In the darkness faint and fail,
Our fires how feeble and pale!

From the ordered gyres goes ever afar
Our song of flame o'er the void unknown,
Where circles nor world, nor comet, nor star,
Shall it die ere it reach His throne?

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1961, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.