POEM OF THE DAY
Elgin-born Andrew Young was both a churchman and a naturalist. His spiritual side and love of nature are interwoven in these two reflections from his Selected Poems (Carcanet, £9.95).
THE EVENING STAR
I saw a star shine in bare trees That stood in their dark effigies; With voice so clear and close it sang
That like a bird it seemed to hang Rising and falling with the wind, Twigs on its rosy breast outlined.
An obvious moon high on the night
And haloed by a rainbow light
Sounded as loud as silver bell
And trees in flight before it fell,
Their shadows straggling on the road Where glacier of soft moonlight flowed.
But moon nor star-untidy sky
Could catch my eye as that star’s eye;
For still I looked on that same star, That fitful, fiery Lucifer,
Watching with mind as quiet as moss Its light nailed to a burning cross.
The stars are everywhere tonight, Above, beneath me and around; The fill the sky with powdery light And glimmer from the night-strewn ground;
For where the folded daisies are In every one I see a star.
And so I know that when I pass Where no sun’s shadow counts the hours
And where the sky was there is grass And where the stars were there are flowers,
Though the long night in which I lie Stars will be shining in my sky.