Disillusion

By George Sterling

Since boyhood he had loved a certain star,
    And, as the many do, had lifted eyes
    Innocent of the terror of the skies.
Of all the multitude of orbs that are
He chose him one whose pure and icy spar
    Seemed holiest, and when he saw it rise
    Would often whisper: "Make me good and wise!
Lead me to Heaven, O beautiful and far!"

Then he was taken to the silent peak
    Where the astronomers at midnight peer
    On dreadful gulfs, enormous and austere.
He listened, but I did not hear him speak:
        None heard him, stumbling down the mountain, say:
        "A ball of gas! . . . Quadrillion miles away!"

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