Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
650. Alcyone
By Frances Laughton Mace

AMONG the thousand, thousand spheres that roll,
Wheel within wheel, through never-ending space,
A mighty and interminable race,
Yet held by some invisible control,
And led as to a sure and shining goal,        5
One star alone, with still, unchanging face,
Looks out from her perpetual dwelling-place,
Of these swift orbs the centre and the soul.
Beyond the moons that beam, the stars that blaze,
Past fields of ether, crimson, violet, rose,        10
The vast star-garden of eternity,
Behold! it shines with white immaculate rays,
The home of peace, the haven of repose,
The lotus-flower of heaven, Alcyone.

It is the place where life’s long dream comes true;
On many another swift and radiant star
Gather the flaming hosts of those who war
With powers of darkness; those stray seraphs, too,
Who hasten forth God’s ministries to do:
But here no sounds of eager trumpets mar        20
The subtler spell which calls the soul from far,
Its wasted springs of gladness to renew.
It is the morning land of the Ideal,
Where smiles, transfigured to the raptured sight,
The joy whose flitting semblance now we see;        25
Where we shall know, as visible and real,
Our life’s deep aspiration, old yet new,
In the sky-splendor of Alcyone.

What lies beyond we ask not. In that hour
When first our feet that shore of beauty press,        30
It is enough of heaven, its sweet success,
To find our own. Not yet we crave the dower
Of grander action and sublimer power;
We are content that life’s long loneliness
Finds in love’s welcoming its rich redress,        35
And hopes, deep hidden, burst in perfect flower.
Wait for me there, O loved of many days!
Though with warm beams some beckoning planet glows,
Its dawning triumphs keep, to share with me:
For soon, far winging through the starry maze,        40
Past fields of ether, crimson, violet, rose,
I follow, follow to Alcyone!


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