The Galaxy

by


    Torrent of light and river of the air,
        Along whose bed the glimmering stars are seen
        Like gold and silver sands in some ravine
        Where mountain streams have left their channels bare!
    The Spaniard sees in thee the pathway, where
        His patron saint descended in the sheen
        Of his celestial armor, on serene
        And quiet nights, when all the heavens were fair.
    Not this I see, nor yet the ancient fable
        Of Phaeton's wild course, that scorched the skies
        Where'er the hoofs of his hot coursers trod;
    But the white drift of worlds o'er chasms of sable,
        The star-dust that is whirled aloft and flies
        From the invisible chariot-wheels of God.

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