The More Loving One
By W H Auden
Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.
Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.
The More Loving Ones
By Simon Bucher-Jones
Looking down at the world of ant and poet
The stars may pick out, whether or not we know it,
Which form of life their burning light or ray
Will shine with passion for both night and day.
Ants or poets, aardvarks or emus
Receive like benefit, none can refuse
Though stars may seem irrelevant to some
All should, recall, the nature of the sun.
Even a poet who can contemplate
Unmoved the darkling skies’ un-starlit state,
Would miss, I think, “one terribly, all day”,
If that particular star, but looked away.
And then if “all” stars died or disappeared
The time involved until the whole sky cleared
Of stars would be at least ten thousand years
While light of other days, flew past, like tears.
[Deneb is visible to the naked eye, at a distance of est 1,500 to 7,000
Light years. Other galaxies are visible in the 28 million ly range but
are not single stars]