A star is a luminous sphere of plasma held together by its own gravity. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun. Many other stars are visible to the naked eye from Earth during the night, appearing as a multitude of fixed luminous points in the sky due to their immense distance from Earth. Historically, the most prominent stars were grouped into constellations and asterisms, the brightest of which gained proper names. Astronomers have assembled star catalogues that identify the known stars and provide standardized stellar designations. However, most of the stars in the Universe, including all stars outside our galaxy, the Milky Way, are invisible to the naked eye from Earth. Indeed, most are invisible from Earth even through the most powerful telescopes.
- Surely the stars are images of love.
- Philip James Bailey, Festus (1813), scene Garden and Bower by the Sea.
- What are ye orbs?
The words of God? the Scriptures of the skies?
- Philip James Bailey, Festus (1813), scene Everywhere.
- The stars,
Which stand as thick as dewdrops on the fields
- Philip James Bailey, Festus (1813), scene Heaven.
- The star wasn’t poetry before the madwoman discovered it.
- I am not an arsenal of epithets or metaphors. I am the star, and the star shines. I am affirmation.
- When you reach for a star
Only angels are there
And it's not very far
Just a step on a stair…
- This hairy meteor did announce
The fall of sceptres and of crowns.
- Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part I (1663-64), Canto I. 247.
- Cry out upon the stars for doing
Ill offices, to cross their wooing.
- Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part III (1678), Canto I, line 17.
- Like the lost pleiad seen no more below.
- Lord Byron, Beppo (1818), Stanza 14.
- The stars are golden fruit upon a tree
All out of reach.
- George Eliot, The Spanish Gypsy (1868), Book II.
- I would not creep along the coast but steer
Out in mid-sea, by guidance of the stars.
- If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature (1836) Ch. 1, Nature.
- The stars awaken a certain reverence, because though always present, they are inaccessible; but all natural objects make a kindred impression, when the mind is open to their influence. Nature never wears a mean appearance.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature (1836) Ch. 1, Nature.
- Follow the arc to Arcturus,
and on to Spica go;
Then turn northwest to Regulus,
the foot of the lion, Leo.
- Timothy Ferris, Seeing in the Dark (2002), quoting an anonymous astronomer's mnemonic.
- The stars winked down their cryptic morse, and he had no key to their cipher.
- Ian Fleming, Live and Let Die (1954), Chapter 17, The Undertaker's Wind
- For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream in the same simple way as I dream about the black dots representing towns and villages on a map.
- Vincent van Gogh, in a letter to his brother Theo, as quoted in Windows of the Soul : Experiencing God in New Ways (1996) by Ken Gire, p. 91.
- Those who see the great God in the sun, moon, stars, earth, air, fire, and water, and always meditate on Him only, get success in life and are the true devotees.
- Haidakhan Babaji, The Teachings of Babaji, 25 March 1982.
- You know it's never too late to shoot for the stars
regardless of who you are,
so do whatever it takes
'cause you can't rewind a moment in this life
- I will look on the stars and look on thee,
And read the page of thy destiny.
- Letitia Elizabeth Landon London Literary Gazette (11th October 1823) 'The Gipsy's Prophecy.'
- Two men look out between the same prison bars:
One sees the mud, the other sees the stars.
- Variant of a famous proverb, often attributed to Frederick Langbridge.
- Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven,
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie (1847), Part I, Stanza 3.
- The night is calm and cloudless,
And still as still can be,
And the stars come forth to listen
To the music of the sea.
They gather, and gather, and gather,
Until they crowd the sky,
And listen, in breathless silence,
To the solemn litany.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Christus, The Golden Legend (1872), Part V.
- So sinks the day-star in the ocean-bed,
And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky.
- John Milton, Lycidas (1637), line 168.
- The star that bids the shepherd fold,
Now the top of heaven doth hold.
- Brightest seraph, tell
In which of all these shining orbs hath man
His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none,
But all these shining orbs his choice to dwell.
- At whose sight all the stars
Hide their diminish'd heads.
- Now glowed the firmament
With living sapphires; Hesperus, that led
The starry host, rode brightest, till the Moon,
Rising in clouded majesty, at length
Apparent queen, unveiled her peerless light,
And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw.
- And made the stars,
And set them in the firmament of heav'n,
T' illuminate the earth, and rule the day
In their vicissitude, and rule the night.
- Hither, as to their fountain, other stars
Repairing in their golden urns draw light,
And hence the morning planet gilds her horns.
- A broad and ample road, whose dust is gold,
And pavement stars.
- I am looking at the stars. They are so far away and their light takes so long to reach us. All we ever see of stars are their old photographs
- Love knows not distance; it hath no continent; its eyes are for the stars...
- The stars glittered like chips of ice, blue-white, colder than the air. There was some comfort in the thought that they would still shine long after the human world was done.
- Led by the light of the Mæonian star.
- Ye little stars, hide your diminish'd rays.
- Alexander Pope, Moral Essays (1731-35), Epistle III, line 282.
- "I thought you understood," he said. "The world is your teacher. It will be all around you. The ocean and the wind and the stars and the moon will all teach you many things."
- Jane Roberts, Emir's Education In The Proper Use of Magical Powers (1979) p. 10.
- The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.
- Carl Sagan, Cosmos (1980).
- Her blue eyes sought the west afar,
For lovers love the western star.
- Walter Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805), Canto III, Stanza 24.
- Our Jovial star reign'd at his birth.
- Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere.
- The skies are painted with unnumber'd sparks,
They are all fire and every one doth shine,
But there's but one in all doth hold his place.
- The stars above us govern our conditions.
- The unfolding star calls up the shepherd.
- Look how the floor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold:
There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-ey'd cherubins:
Such harmony is in immortal souls;
But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.
- These blessed candles of the night.
- Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are,
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky!
- Jane Taylor, "The Star," from Original Poems for Infant Minds (1804).
- Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising thro' the mellow shade,
Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies tangled in a silver braid.
- But who can count the stars of Heaven?
Who sing their influence on this lower world?
- James Thomson, The Seasons, Winter (1726), line 528.
- You know, one of the signs that the second coming, is that the stars will fall out of the sky and land on Earth. To even write that means you don’t know what those things are. You have no concept of what the actual universe is. So everybody who tried to make proclamations about the physical universe based on Bible passages got the wrong answer.
- Neil deGrasse Tyson "Neil deGrasse Tyson on Science, Religion and the Universe" January 17, 2014
- (partial transcript from The Friendly Atheist)
- We are merely the stars' tennis balls, struck and bandied
Which way please them.
- We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
- As man loses touch with his 'inner being', his instinctive depths, he finds himself trapped in the world of consciousness, that is to say, in the world of other people. Any poet knows this truth; when other people sicken him, he turns to hidden resources of power inside himself, and he knows then that other people don't matter a damn. He knows the 'secret life' inside him is the reality; other people are mere shadows in comparison. but the 'shadows' themselves cling to one another. 'Man is a political animal', said Aristotle, telling one of the greatest lies in human history. Man has more in common with the hills, or with the stars, than with other men.
- Colin Wilson in The Mind Parasites (1967)
- When these celestial animals burst into view, I was awed by their beauty. But when they became so strongly evident (as they quickly did) that I could no longer dismiss them by an act of will, I began to feel as frightened of them as I was of falling into that midnight abyss over which they writhed; yet this was not a simple physical and instinctive fear like the other, but rather a sort of philosophical horror at the thought of a cosmos in which rude pictures of beasts and monsters had been painted with flaming suns.
- Hence Heaven looks down on earth with all her eyes.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night VII, line 1,103.
- One sun by day, by night ten thousand shine;
And light us deep into the Deity;
How boundless in magnificence and might.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night IX, line 728.
- Who rounded in his palm these spacious orbs
* * * * * *
Numerous as gliterring gems of morning dew,
Or sparks from populous cities in a blaze,
And set the bosom of old night on fire.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night IX, line 1,260.
- The stars blazed like the love of God, cold and distant.
- Roger Zelazny, Isle of the Dead (1969).
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 748-52.
- The spacious firmament on nigh,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great Original proclaim.
Forever singing, as they shine,
The hand that made us is divine.
- Joseph Addison, Ode, The Spacious Firmament on High.
- The sad and solemn night
Hath yet her multitude of cheerful fires;
The glorious host of light
Walk the dark hemisphere till she retires;
All through her silent watches, gliding slow,
Her constellations come, and climb the heavens, and go.
- William Cullen Bryant, Hymn to the North Star.
- When stars are in the quiet skies,
Then most I pine for thee;
Bend on me then thy tender eyes,
As stars look on the sea.
- Edward Bulwer-Lytton, When Stars are in the Quiet Skies.
- The number is certainly the cause. The apparent disorder augments the grandeur, for the appearance of care is highly contrary to our ideas of magnificence. Besides, the stars lie in such apparent confusion, as makes it impossible on ordinary occasions to reckon them. This gives them the advantage of a sort of infinity.
- Edmund Burke, On the Sublime and the Beautiful, Magnificence.
- A grisly meteor on his face.
- Samuel Butler, Cobbler and Vicar of Bray.
- And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky.
- Thomas Campbell, The Soldier's Dream.
- Where Andes, giant of the western star,
With meteor standard to the winds unfurl'd.
- Thomas Campbell, Pleasures of Hope, Part I.
- In yonder pensile orb, and every sphere
That gems the starry girdle of the year.
- Thomas Campbell, Pleasures of Hope, Part II, line 194.
- Now twilight lets her curtain down
And pins it with a star.
- Lydia Maria Child. Adapted from M'Donald Clark. Appeared thus in his obituary notice.
- Quod est ante pedes nemo spectat: cœli scrutantur plagas.
- No one sees what is before his feet: we all gaze at the stars.
- Cicero, De Divinatione, II. 13.
- While twilight's curtain gathering far,
Is pinned with a single diamond star.
- M'Donald Clark, Death in Disguise, line 227.
- Whilst twilight's curtain spreading far,
Was pinned with a single star.
- M'Donald Clark, Death in Disguise, line 227. As it appeared in Boston Ed. 1833.
- Hast thou a charm to stay the morning-star
In his steep course?
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Hymn in the Vale of Chamouni.
- Or soar aloft to be the spangled skies
And gaze upon her with a thousand eyes.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lines on an Autumnal Evening.
- All for Love, or the Lost Pleiad.
- Stirling Coyne, title of play produced in London (Jan. 16, 1838).
- The stars that have most glory have no rest.
- Samuel Daniel, History of the Civil War, Book VI, Stanza 104.
- Hitch your wagon to a star.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Society and Solitude, Civilization.
- The starres, bright sentinels of the skies.
- William Habington, Dialogue between Night and Araphil, line 3.
- Why, who shall talk of shrines, of sceptres riven?
It is too sad to think on what we are,
When from its height afar
A world sinks thus; and yon majestic Heaven
Shines not the less for that one vanish'd star!
- Felicia Hemans, The Lost Pleiad.
- The starres of the night
Will lend thee their light,
Like tapers cleare without number.
- Robert Herrick, The Night Piece.
- Micat inter omnes
Iulium sidus, velut inter ignes
- And yet more bright
Shines out the Julian star,
As moon outglows each lesser light.
- Horace, Carmina, I. 12. 47.
- And yet more bright
- The dawn is lonely for the sun,
And chill and drear;
The one lone star is pale and wan,
As one in fear.
- Richard Hovey, Chanson de Rosemonde.
- When, like an Emir of tyrannic power,
Sirius appears, and on the horizon black
Bids countless stars pursue their mighty track.
- Victor Hugo, The Vanished City.
- The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.
- Job, XXXVIII. 7.
- Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?
- Job, XXXVIII. 31.
- Canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?
- Job, XXXVIII. 32.
- When sunset flows into golden glows,
And the breath of the night is new,
Love finds afar eve's eager star—
That is my thought of you.
- Robert Underwood Johnson, Star Song.
- Who falls for love of God shall rise a star.
- Ben Jonson, Underwoods 32. To a friend.
- The stars in their courses fought against Sisera.
- Judges. V. 20.
- God be thanked for the Milky Way that runs across the sky.
That's the path that my feet would tread whenever I have to die.
Some folks call it a Silver Sword, and some a Pearly Crown,
But the only thing I think it is, is Main Street, Heaventown.
- Joyce Kilmer, Main Street.
- The stars, heav'n sentry, wink and seem to die.
- Nathaniel Lee, Theodosius. Probably inspired Campbell's lines.
- Just above yon sandy bar,
As the day grows fainter and dimmer,
Lonely and lovely, a single star
Lights the air with a dusky glimmer.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chrysaor, Stanza 1.
- 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.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Light of Stars, Stanza 2.
- Stars of the summer night!
Far in yon azure deeps
Hide, hide your golden light!
My lady sleeps!
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Spanish Student, Serenade.
- A wise man,
Watching the stars pass across the sky,
In the upper air the fireflies move more slowly.
- Amy Lowell, Meditation.
- Wide are the meadows of night
And daisies are shining there,
Tossing their lovely dews,
Lustrous and fair;
And through these sweet fields go,
Wanderers amid the stars—
Venus, Mercury, Uranus, Neptune,
Saturn, Jupiter, Mars.
- Walter De La Mare, The Wanderers.
- Now the bright morning-star, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east.
- John Milton, Song on May Morning.
- Stars are the Daisies that begem
The blue fields of the sky,
Beheld by all, and everywhere,
Bright prototypes on high.
- David Macbeth Moir, The Daisy, Stanza 5.
- The quenchless stars, so eloquently bright,
Untroubled sentries of the shadow'y night.
- James Montgomery, Omnipresence of the Deity.
- But soon, the prospect clearing,
By cloudless starlight on he treads
And thinks no lamp so cheering
As that light which Heaven sheds.
- Thomas Moore, I'd Mourn the Hopes.
- The stars stand sentinel by night.
- And the day star arise in your hearts.
- II. Peter I. 19.
- Would that I were the heaven, that I might be
All full of love-lit eyes to gaze on thee.
- Plato, To Stella. In Anthologia Palat, Volume V, p. 317.
- Starry Crowns of Heaven
Set in azure night!
Linger yet a little
Ere you hide your light:—
Nay; let Starlight fade away,
Heralding the day!
- Adelaide Anne Procter, Give Place.
- No star is ever lost we once have seen,
We always may be what we might have been.
- Adelaide Anne Procter, Legend of Provence.
- One naked star has waded through
The purple shallows of the night,
And faltering as falls the dew
It drips its misty light.
- James Whitcomb Riley, The Beetle.
- Thus some who have the Stars survey'd
Are ignorantly led
To think those glorious Lamps were made
To light Tom Fool to bed.
- Nicholas Rowe, Song on a Fine Woman Who Had a Dull Husband.
- Hesperus bringing together
All that the morning star scattered.
- Sappho, XIV. Translation by Bliss Carman.
- Non est ad astra mollis e terris via.—
There is no easy way to the stars from the earth.
- Seneca the Younger, Hercules Furens, Act II. 437. Same idea in Usener, Scholia. Lucan. I. 300. Prudentius, Cathem, 10. 92.
- O that my spirit were yon heaven of night,
Which gazes on thee with its thousand eyes.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, Revolt of Islam, IV. 36.
- He that strives to touch a star,
Oft stumbles at a straw.
- Edmund Spenser, Shepherd's Calendar, July.
- Clamorem ad sidera mittunt.
- They send their shout to the stars.
- Statius, Thebais, XII. 521.
- As shaking terrors from his blazing hair,
A sanguine comet gleams through dusky air.
- Torquato Tasso, Jerusalem Delivered. Hoole's trans, line 581.
- Twinkle, twinkle, little star!
How I wonder what you are,
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky!
- Anne Taylor, Rhymes for the Nursery, The Star.
- Each separate star
Seems nothing, but a myriad scattered stars
Break up the Night, and make it beautiful.
- Bayard Taylor, Lars, Book III. Last lines.
- The stars shall be rent into threds of light,
And scatter'd like the beards of comets.
- Jeremy Taylor, Sermon I, Christ's Advent to Judgment.
- She saw the snowy poles and moons of Mars,
That marvellous field of drifted light
In mid Orion, and the married stars—
- Alfred Tennyson, Palace of Art. Unfinished lines withdrawn from later editions. Appears in footnote to Ed. of 1833.
- The twilight hours, like birds flew by,
As lightly and as free;
Ten thousand stars were in the sky,
Ten thousand on the sea.
For every wave with dimpled face
That leap'd upon the air,
Had caught a star in its embrace
And held it trembling there.
- Amelia B. Welby, Musings, Twilight at Sea, Stanza 4.
- But He is risen, a later star of dawn.
- William Wordsworth, A Morning Exercise.
- You meaner beauties of the night,
That poorly satisfy our eyes
More by your number than your light;
You common people of the skies,—
What are you when the moon shall rise?
- Sir Henry Wotton, On His Mistress, the Queen of Bohemia ("Sun" in some editions).