Night past night, down the endless starry river;
We watch for any change, but do not see
The tiny metaphor that is to be
The lightning spark that makes the unmoving shiver.
When constellations seemed transfixed forever,
A seedling grew and died in a desert sea
Behind the Moon -- for life will quickly die,
Will race to die, to give life that is better.
And how the Moon does look across the sky
Along the paths where life will sow and reap!
And all the worlds are spread before her eye,
Where heroes will recall this plant -- nor weep,
But on and on among the worlds will fly,
And the vast sublime will shudder when they die.
Paul Gallagher is a poet, translator and also an economics journalist. He has spent much of his life fighting for the revival of classical poetry and classical culture. See his other works on Keats and Shelley as well as more of his poetry here.