Guards of the Pole

The two stars b and g in the Great Bear. Shakespeare, in Othello, ii. l, refers to them where he says, the surge seems “to quench the guards of the ever-fixéd pole.”

“How to knowe the houre of the night by the [Polar] Gards, by knowing on what point of the compass they shall be at midnight every fifteenth day throughout the whole year.” —Norman: Safegard of Sailors (1587)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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