The Lost Pleiad
[*] It is said by the ancient poets, that there used to be one more star
in the constellation of the Pleiades.
To MY FRIEND G--
O! HOW calm and how beautiful--look at the night!
The planets are wheeling in pathways of light;
And the lover, or poet, with heart, or with eye,
Sends his gaze with a tear, or his soul with a sigh.
But from Fesole's summit the Tuscan looked forth,
To eastward and westward, to south and to north;
Neither planet nor star could his vision delight,
'Till his own bright Pleiades should rise to his sight.
They rose, and he numbered their glittering train --
They shone bright as he counted them over again;
But the star of his love, the bright gem of the cluster,
Arose not to lend the Pleiades its lustre.
And thus, when the splendor of beauty has blazed,
On light and on loveliness, how have we gazed!
And how sad have we turned from the sight, when we found
That the fairest and sweetest was "not on the ground."
--From Poems of John Brainard / by John Brainard [electronic text]
Brainard, John G. C. (John Gardiner Calkins), 1796-1828
Courtesy of the University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative American Verse Project.
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