12. On Betelgeuse

by Gustav Holst From Humbert Wolfe Songs Op. 48

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12. On Betelgeuse
English source: Humbert Wolfe

On Betelgeuse
the gold leaves hang in golden aisles
for twice a hundred million miles,
and twice a hundred million years
they golden hang and nothing stirs,
on Betelgeuse.

Space is a wind that does
not blow on Betelgeuse,
and time - oh time - is a bird,
whose wings have never stirred
the golden avenues of leaves
on Betelgeuse.

On Betelgeuse
there is nothing that joys or grieves
the unstirred multitude of leaves,
nor ghost of evil or good haunts
the gold multitude
on Betelgeuse.

And birth they do not use
nor death on Betelgeuse,
and the God, of whom we are
infinite dust, is there
a single leaf of those
gold leaves on Betelgeuse.


Gustav Holst

Gustav Theodore Holst (born Gustavus Theodore von Holst; 21 September 1874 – 25 May 1934) was an English composer. Although best known for his orchestral suite The Planets, he also composed a large number of works across a range of other…


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