I encountered a quote from this recently – a few lines of the last stanza, and was so star struck that I had to find the whole work. It’s a fine read, and worth memorizing. I’ve taken a great deal of comfort and insight from reflecting on it.
The Old Astronomer to his Pupil – Sarah Williams, 1868
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.
It is, pardon the inadvertent wordplay, stellar, especially the last lines. How did you happen on this poem?
I spotted the last line of it on a bookmark, while I was waiting to check out at BAM last week, I now own said bookmark, 😀