Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
By Charles Sangster (1822–1893)
A Legend of the Stars

THE STARS are heaven’s ministers;
  Right royally they teach
God’s glory and omnipotence,
  In wondrous lowly speech.
All eloquent with music as        5
  The tremblings of a lyre,
To him that hath an ear to hear
  They speak in words of fire.
Not to learnèd sages only
  Their whisperings come down;        10
The monarch is not glorified
  Because he wears a crown.
The humblest soldier in the camp
  Can win the smile of Mars,
And ’tis the lowliest spirits hold        15
  Communion with the stars.
Thoughts too refined for utterance,
  Ethereal as the air,
Crowd through the brain’s dim labyrinths,
  And leave their impress there;        20
As far along the gleaming void
  Man’s tender glances roll,
Wonder usurps the throne of speech,
  But vivifies the soul.
Oh, heaven-cradled mysteries,        25
  What sacred paths ye’ve trod—
Bright, jewelled scintillations from
  The chariot-wheels of God!
When in the spirit He rode forth,
  With vast creative aim,        30
These were His footprints left behind,
  To magnify His name!

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