The Stars of the Southern Cross by Robert Adams

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Alone in the Southern Heaven,
   We gleam like a cross on high,
More bright than the Pleiad seven --
   The lords of the stars of the sky.
And Orion, though belted in glory,
   And Aldebaran's ancient blaze;
And the far dim systems hoary,
   Deep sunk with their nebulous haze--
Are not more mighty in power,
   Than we, as our sacred light
Shines calm in the silent hour
   Of the solemn and deep midnight.

When the children of men are sleeping,
   "Star speaketh unto star,"  
In rhythmical melody sweeping,
   Solemnly sweet afar.
And they sing of light's wondrous dawning,
   As the glow of His gaze sublime,
In creation's glorious morning,
   Gave birth to the beings of time.

When the children of men's salvation
   Was wrought out in Palestine,
His cross grew a sign to each nation,
   Of a hope and a future divine.
But our Heaven hung symbol was never
   Beheld by a Christian eye,
Till Iberia's gaze saw our wondrous rays
   In the deeps of the southern sky.
Yet we glowed through Eternity's ages,
   Undimmed down the vistas of time,
Aloft on night's heavenly pages,
   As a symbol of futures sublime.

As the Mariner's Star sunk slowly,
   Deep hid down the northern night,
We rose like an omen holy
   On his wearied and anxious sight;  
And shone on the awe-struck Spaniard,
   As his lonely caravel,
With storm-bleached shroud and lanyard,
   Surged up the mountain swell
Of the shoreless Southern Ocean;  
   And the gleam of our unknown rays
Awoke all his soul's devotion,
   In an outburst of prayer and praise.
For we rose on his sight as the symbol
   Of a life beyond the grave,
And a heavenly goal for each wanderer's soul,  
   'Midst the wastes of that wild lone wave.  

When the spirits of those whom Heaven  
   Reclaims from their mortal world
Hath new vision unto them given,
   With their angel wings unfurled --
As they soar with the seraph spirits
   Through the depths of the ether space,
'Midst the stars which each soul inherits,
   Of the children of heavenly race --
How they will see with wonder,
   And awe, and reverent love,
The planet orbs sinking under,
   And suns rising bright above.
As their earth grows dimly duller,
   A speck in the lower night --
And o'er them brightening fuller,
   With fathomless seas of light --
Each gorgeous constellation
   Glows in their raptured eyes,
Fresh from life's dull probation,
   'Midst luminous loftier skies.

Then shall they see, with a tender
   And solemn deep joy, the blaze
Of the clear transcendant splendour
   Of our clustering stars, and their rays --
Ruby, and purple, and golden,
   Gleaming a myriad fold,
More than all jewels beholden
   By them in earth's visions of old.
For though we but seem unto mortal
   Four stars, like a hierophic sign,
We show but the mystical portal
   To galaxies yet more divine,--

Whose clustering sunshines of glory --
   System on system afar --
Undimmed through antiquity hoary,
   With many an opaline star,
Burns bright on the broad brow of Heaven,
   'Midst its mightiest diadems,
As we circle around the "great seven,"
   Like His cross, set with worlds for our gems.

First published
in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 14 August 1875

Author reference site: Austlit

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on August 14, 2012 8:58 AM.

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