Early Works of Karl Marx: Book of Verse

Song to the Stars

You dance round and around
In shimmering rays of light,
Your soaring shapes abound
In number infinite.

Here breaks the noblest Soul,
The full heart bursts in twain,
And like a jewel in gold
     Is clasped by mortal pain.

It turns on you its look
Darkly, compellingly,
From you, babe-like, would suck
Hope and Eternity.

Alas, your light is never
     More than aethereally rare.
No divine being ever
     Cast into you his fire.

You are false images,
     Faces of radiant flame;
    Heart's warmth and tenderness
    And Soul you cannot claim.

A mockery is your shining
Of Action, Pain, Desire.
On you is dashed all yearning
And the heart's song of fire.

Grieving, we must turn grey,
End in despair and pain,
Then see the mockery
    That Earth and Heaven remain;

That, as we tremble even,
    And worlds within us drown,
    No tree trunk's ever riven,
    No star goes plunging down.

Dead you'd be otherwise,
     Your grave the ocean blue,
    All gone, the shining rays,
    And all fire spent in you.

Truth you'd speak silently,
Not dazzle with dead light,
Nor shine in clarity;
    And all round would be Night.