The Stars.

What are their years ?  The night’s unfathomed deep1
Rings back no answer, gives no glimmering key ;2
And still unknown, and beautiful, they keep3
The silent courses of Eternity.4
What are their memories of Creation’s days,5
When startled Chaos, from its kingdom hurled,6
First knew its Master, and with glad amaze7
They sang the birth-song of our trembling world ?8
What have they looked on since, with patient eyes,9
While million years uncounted rolled away ?10
Who claims antiquity for man that dies,11
Before such records of the Past as they ?12
Can they to man his mystery explain,13
The why, the whence, of his uncertain state ?14
Unlock the riddle that he reads in vain,15
And clear the tangled problem of his fate ?16
Can they a fashion to the future give,17
And tell the whither of man’s anxious quest ?18
Make life a less than weariness to live,19
Or stay the hazard of his wild unrest ?20
Oh Stars ! what midnight message do ye bear21
To minds grown weary with the years’ increase ?22
The wistful eyes that watch you shining there,23
Look out of troubled hearts that know not peace.24