Friday, December 26, 2008

The Astronomer

Thursday was a special day for my dad, who is a serious astronomy buff. In his honor, I'm sharing my very favorite poem about astronomy and the stars.

The Old Astronomer to His Pupil

Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet.
When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet.
He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how
We are working to completion, working on from then to now.

Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete,
Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet.
And remember men will scorn it, 'tis original and true,
And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you.

But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn,
You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn,
What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and smiles;
What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles!

You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late,
But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant's fate.
Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light,
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

---Sarah Williams


Sydney said...

lovely -- my husband and I bonded over Orion when we lived apart (we met when I was in New York and he in Houston, and when we talked on the phone each night, we'd both look at Orion and feel like we were next to each other). I will show him this poem.

Barry said...

Beautiful poem Peggy.

I share an interest in astronomy with your father and found it especially moving.

willow said...

This was a lovely tribute to your dad. WT is an old Kansas boy, BTW.

Lindsey said...

I love stargazing, too! Likely because it was something else you taught me about/did with me. I was just thinking recently that I want to learn more constellations- surprisingly, Alexandria is just enough out of the way of D.C. that the night sky is pretty visible. And PS- is that picture you? It looks like a painting but it looks like you, too!

Bright Spirit said...

I have another quote on the topic of stargazing, Peggy.
"I will love the light for it shows me the way. Yet, I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars ... " Og Mandino
Every post gets better than the last.
Love you, Mom