Paul Hamilton Hayne

A New Philosophy; or, Star Showers Explained

ONE luminous night in winter,
All crystal clear and still,
A band of wondering children
Were grouped by the window sill.

The window looked out northward,
Where through the tranquil hours
The stars kept falling, falling,
In a ceaseless shine of showers.

Ah! beautiful sight! those children!--
As they gazed on the magic skies,
With their tiny hands uplifted,
And their large, bright, marvelling eyes.

"What is it?" asked curly Alfred,
Of his elder brother, Gus;
"Does you think it is coming nearer?
If it comes, can it fall on us?"

"No, stupid!" (in tones determined,)
But soon he was touched by doubt,
And wished, as the flames waxed brighter,
Somebody would put them out!

For, indeed, the radiant sparkles
Now poured from a grander height:
And filled like a conflagration,
The hollows and gulfs of night!

Till at last they all grew frightened;
And the small dark heads and light
Were in a closer circle,
While still they watched the night!

All but one sturdy urchin,
The smallest and shrewdest there,
Whose eyes like a pert cock robin's,
Turned up on the northward glare,

As he lisped, with an air quite final,
And with somewhat of scorn and scoff:
"It's the Fourth of July up yonder,
And the wockets is whizzing off!"

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