In starry beauty falls the crystal flake,
As if it caught from heaven's bright host the form,
And, helplessly, upon the winter storm
Is earthward swept--a brief abode to make.
O soul of heaven-born beauty! out of space
And time, thou, too, dost drift unto the earth
Awhile to dwell; and, fading, leave no trace,
Unknowing aught or of thy end or birth.
Thy friends forsaking--though a chosen band;
Alone departing--and perchance for aye;
Ah, ruthless fate! What is thy stern command--
That henceforth each pursue a separate way?
Or do the paths divide but to unite?
E'en as the darkness alternates with light.