The Altar-Flame

By George Sterling

I saw a mountain at the close of day,
    Snow-crowned and lonely, where the after-glow
    Lingered, the ghost of sunset, fading slow.
I said, "This is God's altar, and the way
Earthward, of things eternal, even all they
    That see His face." And evening was, and lo!
    I was aware how that inviolate snow
Upheld a fire! As one that in dismay
Views what he deems a mystery, so I
    Stood silent, till, an alien glory grown,
That light broke loose to a remoter sky
    And in its deeper heaven burned alone.
So had the star of evening, fancied nigh,
    Sate for a little that stupendous throne.

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