The Milky Way



EVENING has come, and across the skies,

Out through the darkness that quivering dies,

Beautiful, broad, and white,

Fashioned of many a silvery ray,

Stolen out of the ruins of day,

Grows the pale bridge of the Milky Way,

Built by the architect of night.


Dim with shadows and bright with stars,

Hung like gold lights on invisible bars,

Stirred by the wind's low breath,

Rising on cloud-shapen pillars of gray,

Perfect it stands, like a tangible way,

Binding tomorrow with yesterday,

Reaching from life to death.


Dark show the heavens on either side,

Soft flows the blue in a waveless tide

Under the silver arch.

Never a footstep is heard below,

Echoing earthward, as, measured and slow,

Over the bridge the still hours go,

Bound on their trackless march.


Is it the way that the angel's take,

When they come down by night to wake

Over the slumbering earth?

Is it the way the stars go back

When the young Day drives them from off his track

Into the distant, mysterious black

Where their bright souls had birth?


What may it be? Who may certainly say?

Over the shadowy Milky Way

No human foot hath trod.

Ages have passed, but, unsullied and white,

Still it stands, like a rainbow of night,

Held as a promise above our dark sight,

Guiding our thoughts to God.


—Lippincotes Magazine.