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Poems About Stars

Table of Contents

  1. Behind Each Star by Annette Wynne
  2. The Star by Hannah Flagg Gould
  3. The Heart of Night by Bliss Carman
  4. The Stars Above the Sea by Anonymous
  5. The Light of Stars by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  6. "The Starry Midnight Whispers" by Bliss Carman
  7. The Stars by Madison Cawein
  8. Hymn to the North Star by William Cullen Bryant
  9. LXIX by Bliss Carman
  10. To a Star by Lucretia Maria Davidson
  11. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Jane Taylor
  1. Starlight at Sea by Katharine Lee Bates
  2. Song of the Stars by William Cullen Bryant
  3. Under the Stars by William Stanley Braithwaite
  4. A Spy by John B. Tabb
  5. The Baby's Star by John B. Tabb
  6. The Twelfth Night Star by Bliss Carman
  7. Stars by Sara Teasdale
  8. Arcturus by Sara Teasdale
  9. The Stars and the Falling Dew by Hannah Flagg Gould
  10. The Star and the Water Lily by Oliver Wendell Holmes
  11. Distances by Bliss Carman
  12. Bright Star by John Keats
  13. Stars by Robert Frost
  14. Daisies by Frank Dempster Sherman
  15. Distances by William Stanley Braithwaite
  16. Stars by Emily Brontë
  17. August Night by Elizabeth Madox Roberts
  18. Star Light Star Bright by Anonymous

  1. Behind Each Star

    by Annette Wynne

    Behind each star a small dream hides
    But will not show its head,
    Unless you're very, very good—
    And fast asleep in bed.

  2. The Star

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Ever beaming, still I hang,
    Bright as when my birth I sang
    From chaotic night,
    In the boundless, azure dome
    Where I've made my constant home,
    Till thousand, thousand years have come
    To sweep earth's things from sight!

    Mortals, I unchanging view
    Every change that sports with you
    On your shadowy ball.
    All below my native skies,
    Here I mark how soon it dies;
    How your proudest empires rise,
    Flourish, shake and fall!

    Wealth and splendor, pomp and pride,
    I've beheld you laid aside;
    Love and hate forgot!
    Fame, ambition, glory, power,
    You I've seen enjoy your hour;
    Beauty, withering, as a flower,
    While I altered not!

    Him, whose sceptre swayed the world,
    I have seen aghast, and hurled
    From his holy throne.
    Monarch's form and vassal's clay
    Turned to dust and swept away:
    E'en to tell where once they lay,
    I am left alone!

    When I've been from age to age,
    Questioned by the lettered sage
    What a star might be,
    I've answered not; for soon, I knew,
    He'd have a clearer, nobler view,
    And look the world of mysteries through
    In vast eternity!

    Mortals, since ye pass as dew,
    Seize the promise made for you
    Ere your day is o'er.
    The righteous, says a page divine,
    Are as the firmament to shine;
    And like the stars, when I and mine
    Are quenched to beam no more!

  3. The Heart of Night

    by Bliss Carman

    When all the stars are sown
    Across the night-blue space,
    With the immense unknown,
    In silence face to face.

    We stand in speechless awe
    While Beauty marches by,
    And wonder at the Law
    Which wears such majesty.

    How small a thing is man
    In all that world-sown vast,
    That he should hope or plan
    Or dream his dream could last!

    O doubter of the light,
    Confused by fear and wrong,
    Lean on the heart of night
    And let love make thee strong!

    The Good that is the True
    Is clothed with Beauty still.
    Lo, in their tent of blue,
    The stars above the hill!

  4. The Stars Above the Sea

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Far, far away one mystery greets
    Another vast and high,
    The infinite of waters meets
    The infinite of sky.

    The stars are singing hymns of calm
    Above the sea's unrest;
    Can ever that majestic psalm
    Dwell in the ocean's breast?

    What far horizon dim and low
    The sweet solution finds,
    Where earth's tumultuous yearnings know
    The peace of heavenly minds?

    And still the sky's imperial grace
    The tossing ocean mars;
    We cannot see the meeting place,
    But we can see the stars.

  5. The Light of Stars

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    The night is come, but not too soon;
    And sinking silently,
    All silently, the little moon
    Drops down behind the sky.

    There is no light in earth or heaven
    But the cold light of stars;
    And the first watch of night is given
    To the red planet Mars.

    Is it the tender star of love?
    The star of love and dreams?
    Oh no! from that blue tent above,
    A hero's armour gleams.

    And earnest thoughts within me rise,
    When I behold afar,
    Suspended in the evening skies,
    The shield of that red star.

    Oh star of strength! I see thee stand
    And smile upon my pain;
    Thou beckonest with thy mailed hand,
    And I am strong again.

    Within my breast there is no light
    But the cold light of stars:
    I give the first watch of the night
    To the red planet Mars.

    The star of the unconquer'd will,
    He rises in my breast,
    Serene, and resolute, and still,
    And calm, and self-possess'd.

    And thou, too, whosoe'er thou art,
    That readest this brief psalm,
    As one by one thy hopes depart,
    Be resolute and calm.

    Oh, fear not in a world like this,
    And thou shalt know ere long,
    Know how sublime a thing it is
    To suffer and be strong.

  6. "The Starry Midnight Whispers"

    by Bliss Carman

    The starry midnight whispers,
    As I muse before the fire
    On the ashes of ambition
    And the embers of desire,

    "Life has no other logic,
    And time no other creed,
    Than: 'I for joy will follow.
    Where thou for love dost lead!'"

  7. The Stars

    by Madison Cawein

    These—the bright symbols of man's hope and fame,
    In which he reads his blessing or his curse—
    Are syllables with which God speaks his name
    In the vast utterance of the universe.

  8. Hymn to the North Star

    by William Cullen Bryant

    The sad and solemn night
    Has yet her multitude of cheerful fires;
    The glorious host of light
    Walk the dark hemisphere till she retires;
    All through her silent watches, gliding slow,
    Her constellations come, and climb the heavens, and go.

    Day, too, hath many a star
    To grace his gorgeous reign, as bright as they:
    Through the blue fields afar,
    Unseen, they follow in his flaming way:
    Many a bright lingerer, as the eve grows dim,
    Tells what a radiant troop arose and set with him.

    And thou dost see them rise,
    Star of the Pole! and thou dost see them set.
    Alone, in thy cold skies,
    Thou keep'st thy old unmoving station yet,
    Nor join'st the dances of that glittering train,
    Nor dipp'st thy virgin orb in the blue western main.

    There, at morn's rosy birth,
    Thou lookest meekly through the kindling air,
    And eve, that round the earth
    Chases the day, beholds thee watching there;
    There noontide finds thee, and the hour that calls
    The shapes of polar flame to scale heaven's azure walls.

    Alike, beneath thine eye,
    The deeds of darkness and of light are done;
    High towards the star-lit sky
    Towns blaze—the smoke of battle blots the sun—
    The night-storm on a thousand hills is loud—
    And the strong wind of day doth mingle sea and cloud.

    On thy unaltering blaze
    The half-wrecked mariner, his compass lost,
    Fixes his steady gaze,
    And steers, undoubting, to the friendly coast;
    And they who stray in perilous wastes, by night,
    Are glad when thou dost shine to guide their footsteps right.

    And, therefore, bards of old,
    Sages, and hermits of the solemn wood,
    Did in thy beams behold
    A beauteous type of that unchanging good,
    That bright eternal beacon, by whose ray
    The voyager of time should shape his heedful way.

  9. LXIX

    by Bliss Carman

    In the blue opal of a winter noon,
    When all the world was a white floor
    Lit by the northern sun,
    I saw with naked eyes a midday star
    Burn on like gleaming spar,
    Where all its fellows of the mighty dusk
    Had perished one by one.

    When I shall have put by the vagrant will,
    And down this rover's twilight road
    Emerge into the sun,
    Be thou my only sheer and single star,
    Known, named, and followed far,
    When all these Jack-o'-lantern hopes and fears
    Have perished one by one!

  10. To a Star

    by Lucretia Maria Davidson

    Thou brightly-glittering star of even,
    Thou gem upon the brow of Heaven
    Oh! were this fluttering spirit free,
    How quick 't would spread its wings to thee.

    How calmly, brightly dost thou shine,
    Like the pure lamp in Virtue's shrine!
    Sure the fair world which thou may'st boast
    Was never ransomed, never lost.

    There, beings pure as Heaven's own air,
    Their hopes, their joys together share;
    While hovering angels touch the string,
    And seraphs spread the sheltering wing.

    There cloudless days and brilliant nights,
    Illumed by Heaven's refulgent lights;
    There seasons, years, unnoticed roll,
    And unregretted by the soul.

    Thou little sparkling star of even,
    Thou gem upon an azure Heaven,
    How swiftly will I soar to thee,
    When this imprisoned soul is free!

  11. The Star

    by Jane Taylor

    Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
    How I wonder what you are,
    Up above the world so high,
    Like a diamond in the sky.

    When the blazing sun is set,
    And the grass with dew is wet,
    Then you show your little light,
    Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

    Then the traveler in the dark
    Thanks you for your tiny spark,
    He could not see where to go
    If you did not twinkle so.

    In the dark blue sky you keep,
    And often through my curtains peep,
    For you never shut your eye
    Till the sun is in the sky.

    As your bright and tiny spark
    Lights the traveler in the dark,
    Though I know not what you are,
    Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

  12. Starlight at Sea

    by Katharine Lee Bates

    Over the murmurous choral of dim waves
    The constellations glow against the soft
    Ethereal dusk, —forever fair, aloft,
    Serene, while man climbs painfully from caves
    To cities, clamorous cities, life that raves
    Like surf against the rocks. It is not oft
    Our cities glimpse the stars, their luster scoffed
    Away by low, hard glitter that outbraves
    Night's blessing of the dark. But here upon
    Mid-ocean, all whose muffled voices ring
    A rapture lost to our vexed human wills,
    We see the primal radiance that shone
    On chaos, —see the young God shepherding
    His gleaming flocks on the empurpled hills.

  13. Song of the Stars

    by William Cullen Bryant

    When the radiant morn of creation broke,
    And the world in the smile of God awoke,
    And the empty realms of darkness and death
    Were moved through their depths by his mighty breath,
    And orbs of beauty and spheres of flame
    From the void abyss by myriads came,—
    In the joy of youth as they darted away,
    Through the widening wastes of space to play,
    Their silver voices in chorus rung,
    And this was the song the bright ones sung.

    "Away, away, through the wide, wide sky,—
    The fair blue fields that before us lie,—
    Each sun, with the worlds that round him roll,
    Each planet, poised on her turning pole;
    With her isles of green, and her clouds of white,
    And her waters that lie like fluid light.

    "For the source of glory uncovers his face,
    And the brightness o'erflows unbounded space;
    And we drink, as we go, the luminous tides
    In our ruddy air and our blooming sides:
    Lo, yonder the living splendours play;
    Away, on our joyous path, away!

    "Look, look, through our glittering ranks afar,
    In the infinite azure, star after star,
    How they brighten and bloom as they swiftly pass!
    How the verdure runs o'er each rolling mass!
    And the path of the gentle winds is seen,
    Where the small waves dance, and the young woods lean.

    "And see, where the brighter day-beams pour,
    How the rainbows hang in the sunny shower;
    And the morn and eve, with their pomp of hues,
    Shift o'er the bright planets and shed their dews;
    And 'twixt them both, o'er the teeming ground,
    With her shadowy cone the night goes round!

    "Away, away! in our blossoming bowers,
    In the soft air wrapping these spheres of ours,
    In the seas and fountains that shine with morn,
    See, Love is brooding, and Life is born,
    And breathing myriads are breaking from night,
    To rejoice like us, in motion and light.

    "Glide on in your beauty, ye youthful spheres,
    To weave the dance that measures the years;
    Glide on, in the glory and gladness sent,
    To the farthest wall of the firmament,—
    The boundless visible smile of Him,
    To the veil of whose brow your lamps are dim."

  14. Under the Stars

    by William Stanley Braithwaite

    I take my soul in my hand,
    I give it, a bounding ball
    (Over Love's sea and land),
    For you to toss and let fall
    At command.

    Dear, as we sit here together —
    Silence and alternate speech,
    Dreams that are loose from the tether,
    Stars in an infinite reach
    Of dark ether:

    Over and under and through
    Silence and stars and the dreams,
    How my emotions pursue,
    With a still passion that teems
    Full of you.

    O what can the stars desire,
    And what can the night fulfil,
    Of a thousand thoughts on fire
    That burns on my soul's high hill
    Like a pyre.

    Does the flame leap upward, Where
    God feels — and heat makes human,
    Pity, in His heart —a snare
    To win worship for a woman
    Unaware?

    If He made all Time for this,
    O beloved, shall we not dare
    To crown His dream with a kiss,
    While each new-born star makes fair
    Night's abyss?

  15. A Spy

    by John B. Tabb

    Sighed the languid Moon to the Morning Star:
    "O little maid, how late you are!"
    "I couldn't rise from my couch," quoth she,
    "While the Man-in-the-Moon was looking at me."

  16. The Baby's Star

    by John B. Tabb

    The Star that watched you in your sleep
    Has just put out his light.
    "Good-day, to you on earth," he said,
    "Is here in heaven Good-night.

    "But tell the Baby when he wakes
    To watch for my return;
    For I'll hang out my lamp again
    When his begins to burn."

  17. The Twelfth Night Star

    by Bliss Carman

    It is the bitter time of year
    When iron is the ground,
    With hasp and sheathing of black ice
    The forest lakes are bound,
    The world lies snugly under snow,
    Asleep without a sound.

    All the night long in trooping squares
    The sentry stars go by,
    The silent and unwearying hosts
    That bear man company,
    And with their pure enkindling fires
    Keep vigils lone and high.

    Through the dead hours before the dawn,
    When the frost snaps the sill,
    From chestnut-wooded ridge to sea
    The earth lies dark and still,
    Till one great silver planet shines
    Above the eastern hill.

    It is the star of Gabriel,
    The herald of the Word
    In days when messengers of God
    With sons of men conferred,
    Who brought the tidings of great joy
    The watching shepherds heard;

    The mystic light that moved to lead
    The wise of long ago,
    Out of the great East where they dreamed
    Of truths they could not know,
    To seek some good that should assuage
    The world's most ancient woe.

    O well, believe, they loved their dream,
    Those children of the star,
    Who saw the light and followed it,
    Prophetical, afar, —
    Brave Gaspar, clear-eyed Melchior,
    And eager Balthasar.

    Another year slips to the void,
    And still with omen bright
    Above the sleeping doubting world
    The day-star is alight, —
    The waking signal flashed of old
    In the blue Syrian night.

    But who are now as wise as they
    Whose faith could read the sign
    Of the three gifts that shall suffice
    To honor the divine,
    And show the tread of common life
    Ineffably benign?

    Whoever wakens on a day
    Happy to know and be,
    To enjoy the air, to love his kind,
    To labor, to be free,—
    Already his enraptured soul
    Lives in eternity.

    For him with every rising sun
    The year begins anew;
    The fertile earth receives her lord,
    And prophecy comes true,
    Wondrously as a fall of snow,
    Dear as a drench of dew.

    Who gives his life for beauty's need,
    King Gaspar could no more;
    Who serves the truth with single mind
    Shall stand with Melchior;
    And love is all that Balthasar
    In crested censer bore.

  18. Stars

    by Sara Teasdale

    Alone in the night
    On a dark hill
    With pines around me
    Spicy and still,

    And a heaven full of stars
    Over my head,
    White and topaz
    And misty red;

    Myriads with beating
    Hearts of fire
    That aeons
    Cannot vex or tire;

    Up the dome of heaven
    Like a great hill,
    I watch them marching
    Stately and still,

    And I know that I
    Am honored to be
    Witness
    Of so much majesty.

  19. Arcturus

    by Sara Teasdale

    Arcturus brings the spring back
    As surely now as when
    He rose on eastern islands
    For Grecian girls and men;

    The twilight is as clear a blue,
    The star as shaken and as bright,
    And the same thought he gave to them
    He gives to me to-night.

  20. The Stars and the Falling Dew

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    The sun, like a hero, whose chariot rolled
    In glory, has reached the west;
    And wrapped in his mantle of crimson and gold,
    Has sunken away to rest.
    The stars from the skies
    Look forth like the eyes
    Of Angels, the earth to view;
    While timid and soft,
    Their light form aloft,
    Comes down with the falling dew.

    The flowers, that, oppressed by the monarch of day,
    Have bowing confessed his power,
    Are lifting their foreheads, relieved of his ray,
    To the cool of the evening hour.
    And each holding up
    Her emerald cup,
    Her delicate draught to renew,
    Their trust is repaid,
    While their thirst is allayed
    By the drops of the falling dew.

    The birds are at rest in their own little homes,
    Their songs are forgotten in sleep;
    And low and uncertain the murmuring comes
    From over the slumbering deep.
    The breezes that sighed
    Have fainted and died
    In the boughs they were quivering through,
    And motion and sound
    Have ceased from around
    To yield to the falling dew.

    And gently it comes, as the shadowy wing
    Of night o'er the earth is unfurled;
    A silent, refreshing and spirit-like thing,
    To brighten and solace the world!
    As the face of a friend.
    When in sorrow we bend—
    Like a heart ever tender and true,
    When darkness is ours,
    To the earth and the flowers,
    Are the stars and the falling dew.

  21. The Star and the Water Lily

    by Oliver Wendell Holmes

    The sun stepped down from his golden throne.
    And lay in the silent sea,
    And the lily had folded her satin leaves,
    For a sleepy thing was she;
    What is the Lily dreaming of?
    Why crisp the waters blue?
    See, see, she is lifting her varnished lid!
    Her white leaves are glistening through!

    The Rose is cooling his burning cheek
    In the lap of the breathless tide;—
    The Lily hath sisters fresh and fair,
    That would lie by the Rose's side;
    He would love her better than all the rest,
    And he would be fond and true;—
    But the Lily unfolded her weary lids,
    And looked at the sky so blue.

    Remember, remember, thou silly one,
    How fast will thy summer glide,
    And wilt thou wither a virgin pale,
    Or flourish a blooming bride?
    "O the Rose is old, and thorny, and cold,
    And he lives on earth," said she;
    "But the Star is fair and he lives in the air,
    And he shall my bridegroom be."

    But what if the stormy cloud should come,
    And ruffle the silver sea?
    Would he turn his eye from the distant sky,
    To smile on a thing like thee?
    O no, fair Lily, he will not send
    One ray from his far-off throne;
    The winds shall blow and the waves shall flow,
    And thou will be left alone.

    There is not a leaf on the mountain top,
    Nor a drop of evening dew,
    Nor a golden sand on the sparkling shore,
    Nor a pearl in the waters blue,
    That he has not cheered with his fickle smile,
    And warmed with his faithless beam,—
    And will he be true to a pallid flower,
    That floats on the quiet stream?

    Alas for the Lily! she would not heed,
    But turned to the skies afar,
    And bared her breast to the trembling ray
    That shot from the rising star;
    The cloud came over the darkened sky,
    And over the waters wide:
    She looked in vain through the beating rain,
    And sank in the stormy tide.

  22. Distances

    by Bliss Carman

    Just where that star above
    Shines with a cold, dispassionate smile —
    If in the flesh I'd travel there,
    How many, many a mile!

    If this, my soul, should be
    Unprisoned from its earthly bond,
    Time could not count its markless flight
    Beyond that star, beyond!

  23. Bright Star

    by John Keats

    Bright star! would I were steadfast as thou art—
    Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
    And watching, with eternal lids apart,
    Like nature's patient sleepless Eremite,
    The moving waters at their priestlike task
    Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
    Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask
    Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—
    No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
    Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
    To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
    Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
    Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
    And so live ever—or else swoon to death.

  24. Stars

    by Robert Frost

    How countlessly they congregate
    O'er our tumultuous snow,
    Which flows in shapes as tall as trees
    When wintry winds do blow!—

    As if with keenness for our fate,
    Our faltering few steps on
    To white rest, and a place of rest
    Invisible at dawn,—

    And yet with neither love nor hate,
    Those stars like some snow-white
    Minerva's snow-white marble eyes
    Without the gift of sight.

  25. Daisies

    by Frank Dempster Sherman

    At evening when I go to bed
    I see the stars shine overhead;
    They are the little daisies white
    That dot the meadow of the Night.

    And often while I'm dreaming so,
    Across the sky the Moon will go;
    It is a lady, sweet and fair,
    Who comes to gather daisies there.

    For, when at morning I arise,
    There's not a star left in the skies;
    She's picked them all and dropped them down
    Into the meadows of the town.

  26. Distances

    by William Stanley Braithwaite

    Just where that star above
    Shines with a cold, dispassionate smile—
    If in the flesh I'd travel there,
    How many, many a mile!

    If this, my soul, should be
    Unprisoned from its earthly bond,
    Time could not count its markless flight
    Beyond that star, beyond!

  27. Stars

    by Emily Brontë

    Ah! why, because the dazzling sun
    Restored our Earth to joy,
    Have you departed, every one,
    And left a desert sky?

    All through the night, your glorious eyes
    Were gazing down in mine,
    And, with a full heart's thankful sighs,
    I blessed that watch divine.

    I was at peace, and drank your beams
    As they were life to me;
    And revelled in my changeful dreams,
    Like petrel on the sea.

    Thought followed thought, star followed star
    Through boundless regions, on;
    While one sweet influence, near and far,
    Thrilled through, and proved us one!

    Why did the morning dawn to break
    So great, so pure, a spell;
    And scorch with fire the tranquil cheek,
    Where your cool radiance fell?

    Blood-red, he rose, and, arrow-straight,
    His fierce beams struck my brow;
    The soul of nature sprang, elate,
    But mine sank sad and low!

    My lids closed down, yet through their veil
    I saw him, blazing, still,
    And steep in gold the misty dale,
    And flash upon the hill.

    I turned me to the pillow, then,
    To call back night, and see
    Your worlds of solemn light, again,
    Throb with my heart, and me!

    It would not do the pillow glowed,
    And glowed both roof and floor;
    And birds sang loudly in the wood,
    And fresh winds shook the door;

    The curtains waved, the wakened flies
    Were murmuring round my room,
    Imprisoned there, till I should rise,
    And give them leave to roam.

    Oh, stars, and dreams, and gentle night;
    Oh, night and stars, return!
    And hide me from the hostile light
    That does not warm, but burn;

    That drains the blood of suffering men;
    Drinks tears, instead of dew;
    Let me sleep through his blinding reign,
    And only wake with you!

  28. August Night

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    We had to wait for the heat to pass,
    And I was lying on the grass,

    While Mother sat outside the door,
    And I saw how many stars there were.

    Beyond the tree, beyond the air,
    And more and more were always there.

    So many that I think they must
    Be sprinkled on the sky like dust.

    A dust is coming through the sky!
    And I felt myself begin to cry.

    So many of them and so small,
    Suppose I cannot know them all.

  29. Star Light Star Bright

    by Anonymous

    Star light, star bright,
    The first star I see tonight;
    I wish I may, I wish I might,
    Have the wish I wish tonight.

    The night has a thousand eyes,
    And the day but one;
    Yet the light of the bright world dies
    With the dying sun.

    – Francis William Bourdillon
    The Night Has a Thousand Eyes