Take Something Like A Star
by Robert Frost
O Star (the fairest one in sight)
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud--
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.
Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to be wholly taciturn
In your reserve is not allowed.
Say something to us that we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says "I burn."
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.
It gives us strangely little aid
But does tell something in the end.
And steadfast as Keats' Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height.
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may take something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.
(Emphasis added; note also that the original poem is astrophic.)
Frost's reference, in line 18, to "Keats' Eremite" is a reference to the sonnet Bright star! would I were steadfast as thou art, by John Keats, line 4.