When the heavens throb and vibrate
All along their silver veins,
To the mellow storm of music
Sweeping o'er the starry trains,
Heard by few, as erst by shepherds
On the far Chaldean plains:

Not the blazing, torch-like planets,
Not the Pleiads wild and free,
Not Arcturus, Mars, Uranus,
Bring the brightest dreams to me;
But I gaze in rapt devotion
On the central star of three.

Central star of three that tingle
In the balmy southern sky;
One above, and one below it,
Dreamily they pale and die,
As two lesser minds might dwindle,
When some great soul, passing by,

Stops, and reads their cherished secrets,
With a calm and godlike air,
Luring all their radiance from them
Leaving a dim twilight there,
Something vague, and half unreal,
Like the Alpha of despair.

Gazing thus, and holding converse
With the silence of my heart,
I would speak with famed Orion,
I would question it apart,
Wrest her love's strange secret from it,
If there's strength in human art.

And there come to me sweet whispers,
Half in answer, half in thought:-
'Be but strong, impassioned mortal!
Love will come to thee unsought;
Love is the divine Irene,-
It is given, and not bought.

[Transcriber's note: In the original book,
the e's in the 'Irene' in the above verse
were e-macrons, Unicode U+0113.]

Strong of heart. Be wise, be steadfast,
Learn, endeavour, and endure;
Blest with strength and light, in wisdom
Make the higher purpose sure;
Never can her heart receive thee
Till thine own is rendered pure.

I but shone in truth above her;
Psyche-like, she yearned to me,
And her soul, an Aphrodite,
Rose above the ether sea.
Love. Love should and will inherit
The divine Euphrosyne.'

When at night, the gleaming heavens
Throb through all their starry veins,
Oft I ponder on Orion,
And I hear celestial strains
Passing through my soul, and flooding
All its green immortal plains.

Then I pray for strength Promethean,
Pray for power to endure;
Then I say, O soul, be steadfast!
Make the lofty purpose sure;
And that love may be all-worthy,
God of heaven, make me pure!

More verses by Charles Sangster