Ten thousand frozen, burning stars now grace
The ephemeral veneer that passes for your face;
Full long, till night and morn, have I looked at you
And found in passing miracles sparkling true –
A clash, a scream made silent by space
As gods and Titans war upon your face –
A heartbeat gone, and there remains
But dust, and spreading stains
Coloured blue, and red, and vermillion gold,
Ochre, and aquamarine, silver sevenfold,
Over shadowed darkness, made bright by suns;
Overwhelming beauty this, that moment by moment stuns -
Hercules there roars, and Orion clings -
A little bear there mewls, and a solitary maiden sings
Couplets suppressed by darkening swirls,
Over a backdrop of a million worlds.
And still not over, this procession, of star and star alike -
Aquarius and Delphinus, each a million miles alive;
Four years hence shall there but stride,
Alpha Centauri himself, whom light but struggles to hide.
So far, and far away, I sit,
And stare but hours long,
Watching gem and gem as they fit
And then, like glittering sparks, are gone
If I could, I would but trace a smile –
On lips, perhaps, spread over a billion miles;
A startling, glimmering flash of life
Alone itself would suffice;
Through glassy eyes I look, and find
Every beast of heaven, every monster kind
Angels born right of fire, God himself buried there:
In ash and dust and teeming swirls, hither and thither and there.
Too small a space I dwell, too tiny a world I love,
Beneath thy immaculate gaze, soft lit from above;
Would not I wish but touch – just once I wish –
But I cannot, and like mortal lover, must perish.
Cruel mistress, this dark vacuum of space –
Full rife with gems, too many to face -
That blinded alone can one but ever last
Beneath the face of ten thousand frozen, burning stars.