The night is come, but not too soon;
And sinking silently,
All silently, the little moon
Drops down behind the sky.

There is no light in earth or heaven
But the cold light of stars;
And the first watch of night is given
To the red planet Mars.

Is it the tender star of love?
The star of love and dreams?
O no! from that blue tent above,
A hero’s armor gleams.

And earnest thoughts within me rise,
When I behold afar,
Suspended in the evening skies,
The shield of that red star.

O star of strength! I see thee stand
And smile upon my pain;
Thou beckonest with thy mailed hand,
And I am strong again.

Within my breast there is no light
But the cold light of stars;
I give the first watch of the night
To the red planet Mars.

The star of the unconquered will,
He rises in my breast,
Serene, and resolute, and still,
And calm, and self-possessed.

And thou, too, whosoe’er thou art,
That readest this brief psalm,
As one by one thy hopes depart,
Be resolute and calm.

O fear not in a world like this,
And thou shalt know erelong,
Know how sublime a thing it is
To suffer and be strong.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem The Light of Stars


  1. rebecca jones says:

    this pome is so beutifull it makes me thinck of my muther i mis her so mutch

  2. Ngo says:

    I read this poem the first time in my high scool’s library, several years ago.
    Weirdly, although I forgot the name of the poet, the last words remind in my mind, like a litany, and comed with me though the years, supporting me.
    “know how sublime a thing it is
    To suffer and be strong”
    They make me stronger, make me feel that sadness, sorrow and beauty can be gather in a sublime song, which wafts the soft whisper of human melancholia though the ages.

  3. Madilyn says:

    I love the allusion to Greek mythology that Longfellow uses in this poem. The thought of the planet/God Mars being supportive of a lowly human being is a stirring reflection of the belief in divine guidance through intuition. It’s a very lyrical poem, and Longfellow is a master at painting pictures with words.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.