Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.

A Book of Sonnets

The Galaxy

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.