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Poems About Space

Table of Contents

  1. The Galaxy by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  2. The Comet by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
  3. The Meteor by Hannah Flagg Gould
  4. All Things Bright and Beautiful by Cecil Frances Alexander
  5. The Spacious Firmament on High by Joseph Addison
  6. Ode by Joseph Addison
  7. Around the Sun by Katharine Lee Bates
  8. XXXI by Bliss Carman
  9. The Milky Way by Anonymous

  1. The Galaxy

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    Torrent of light and river of the air,
    Along whose bed the glimmering stars are seen
    Like gold and silver sands in some ravine
    Where mountain streams have left their channels bare!
    The Spaniard sees in thee the pathway, where
    His patron saint descended in the sheen
    Of his celestial armor, on serene
    And quiet nights, when all the heavens were fair.
    Not this I see, nor yet the ancient fable
    Of Phaeton's wild course, that scorched the skies
    Where'er the hoofs of his hot coursers trod;
    But the white drift of worlds o'er chasms of sable,
    The star-dust that is whirled aloft and flies
    From the invisible chariot-wheels of God.

  2. The Comet

    by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

    The Comet! He is on his way,
    And singing as he flies;
    The whizzing planets shrink before
    The spectre of the skies;
    Ah! well may regal orbs burn blue,
    And satellites turn pale,
    Ten million cubic miles of head,
    Ten billion leagues of tail!

    On, on by whistling spheres of light
    He flashes and he flames;
    He turns not to the left nor right,
    He asks them not their names;
    One spurn from his demoniac heel,—
    Away, away they fly,
    Where darkness might be bottled up
    And sold for "Tyrian dye."

    And what would happen to the land,
    And how would look the sea,
    If in the bearded devil's path
    Our earth should chance to be?
    Full hot and high the sea would boil,
    Full red the forests gleam;
    Methought I saw and heard it all
    In a dyspeptic dream!

    I saw a tutor take his tube
    The Comet's course to spy;
    I heard a scream,— the gathered rays
    Had stewed the tutor's eye;
    I saw a fort,— the soldiers all
    Were armed with goggles green;
    Pop cracked the guns! whiz flew the balls!
    Bang went the magazine!

    I saw a poet dip a scroll
    Each moment in a tub,
    I read upon the warping back,
    "The Dream of Beelzebub;"
    He could not see his verses burn,
    Although his brain was fried,
    And ever and anon he bent
    To wet them as they dried.

    I saw the scalding pitch roll down
    The crackling, sweating pines,
    And streams of smoke, like water-spouts,
    Burst through the rumbling mines;
    I asked the firemen why they made
    Such noise about the town;
    They answered not,— but all the while
    The brakes went up and down.

    I saw a roasting pullet sit
    Upon a baking egg;
    I saw a cripple scorch his hand
    Extinguishing his leg;
    I saw nine geese upon the wing
    Towards the frozen pole,
    And every mother's gosling fell
    Crisped to a crackling coal.

    I saw the ox that browsed the grass
    Writhe in the blistering rays,
    The herbage in his shrinking jaws
    Was all a fiery blaze;
    I saw huge fishes, boiled to rags,
    Bob through the bubbling brine;
    And thoughts of supper crossed my soul;
    I had been rash at mine.

    Strange sights! strange sounds! O fearful dream!
    Its memory haunts me still,
    The steaming sea, the crimson glare,
    That wreathed each wooded hill;
    Stranger! if through thy reeling brain
    Such midnight visions sweep,
    Spare, spare, oh, spare thine evening meal,
    And sweet shall be thy sleep!

  3. The Meteor

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Ye, who look with wondering eye,
    Tell me what in me ye find,
    As I shoot across the sky,
    But an emblem of your kind!

    Darting from my hidden source,
    I behold no resting place;
    But must ever urge my course
    Onward, till I end my race!

    While I keep my native height,
    I appear to all below
    Radiant with celestial light,
    That is brightening as I go.

    When I lose my hold on heaven,
    Down to shadowy earth I tend,
    From my pure companions driven;
    And in darkness I must end!

  4. Maker of Heaven and Earth (All Things Bright and Beautiful)

    by Cecil Frances Alexander

    All things bright and beautiful,
    All creatures great and small,
    All things wise and wonderful,
    The Lord God made them all.

    Each little flower that opens,
    Each little bird that sings,
    He made their glowing colours,
    He made their tiny wings.

    The rich man in his castle,
    The poor man at his gate,
    God made them, high or lowly,
    And ordered their estate.

    The purple-headed mountain,
    The river running by,
    The sunset, and the morning,
    That brightens up the sky;

    The cold wind in the winter,
    The pleasant summer sun,
    The ripe fruits in the garden,
    He made them every one.

    The tall trees in the greenwood,
    The meadows where we play,
    The rushes by the water,
    We gather every day;—

    He gave us eyes to see them,
    And lips that we might tell,
    How great is God Almighty,
    Who has made all things well.

  5. The Spacious Firmament on High

    by Joseph Addison

    The spacious firmament on high,
    With all the blue ethereal sky,
    And spangled heavens, a shining frame
    Their great Original proclaim.
    Th’unwearied sun, from day to day,
    Does his creator’s powers display,
    And publishes to every land
    The work of an almighty hand.

    Soon as the evening shades prevail
    The moon takes up the wondrous tale,
    And nightly to the listening earth
    Repeats the story of her birth;
    While all the stars that round her burn
    And all the planets in their turn,
    Confirm the tidings as they roll,
    And spread the truth from pole to pole.

    What though in solemn silence all
    Move round the dark terrestrial ball?
    What though no real voice nor sound
    Amid the radiant orbs be found?
    In reason’s ear they all rejoice,
    And utter forth a glorious voice,
    Forever singing as they shine,
    "The hand that made us is divine."

  6. Ode

    by Joseph Addison

    The spacious firmament on high,
    With all the blue ethereal sky,
    And spangled heav'ns, a shining frame,
    Their great original proclaim:
    Th' unwearied Sun, from day to day,
    Does his Creator's power display,
    And publishes to every land
    The work of an Almighty Hand.

    Soon as the evening shades prevail,
    The Moon takes up the wondrous tale,
    And nightly to the list'ning Earth
    Repeats the story of her birth:
    Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
    And all the planets, in their turn,
    Confirm the tidings as they roll,
    And spread the truth from pole to pole.

    What though, in solemn silence, all
    Move round the dark terrestrial ball?
    What though nor real voice nor sound
    Amid their radiant orbs be found?
    In Reason's ear they all rejoice,
    And utter forth a glorious voice,
    For ever singing, as they shine,
    "The Hand that made us is Divine."

  7. Around the Sun

    by Katharine Lee Bates

    The weazen planet Mercury,
    Whose song is done,
    — Rash heart that drew too near
    His dazzling lord the Sun!—
    Forgets that life was dear,
    So shriveled now and sere
    The goblin planet Mercury.

    But Venus, thou mysterious, Enveilèd one,
    Fairest of lights that fleet
    Around the radiant Sun,
    Do not thy pulses beat
    To music blithe and sweet,
    O Venus, veiled, mysterious?

    And Earth, our shadow-haunted Earth,
    Hast thou, too, won
    The graces of a star
    From the glory of the Sun?
    Do poets dream afar
    That here all lusters are,
    Upon our blind, bewildered Earth?

    We dream that mighty forms on Mars,
    With wisdom spun
    From subtler brain than man's,
    Are hoarding snow and sun,
    Wringing a few more spans
    Of life, fierce artisans,
    From their deep-grooved, worn planet Mars.

    But thou, colossal Jupiter,
    World just begun,
    Wild globe of golden steam,
    Chief nursling of the Sun,
    Transcendest human dream,
    That faints before the gleam
    Of thy vast splendor, Jupiter.

    And for what rare delight,
    Or woes to shun,
    Of races increate,
    New lovers of the Sun,
    Was Saturn ringed with great
    Rivers illuminate,
    Ethereal jewel of delight?

    Far from his fellows, Uranus
    Doth lonely run
    In his appointed ways
    Around the sovereign Sun, —
    Wide journeys that amaze
    Our weak and toiling gaze,
    Searching the path of Uranus.

    But on the awful verge
    Of voids that stun
    The spirit, Neptune keeps
    The frontier of the Sun.
    Over the deeps on deeps
    He glows, a torch that sweeps
    The circle of that shuddering verge.

    On each bright planet waits
    Oblivion,
    Who casts beneath her feet
    Ashes of star and sun,
    But when all ruby heat.
    Is frost, a Heart shall beat,
    Where God, within the darkness, waits.

  8. XXXI

    by Bliss Carman

    On the meridian of the night
    Alcar the Tester marks high June;
    Arcturus knows his zenith fame;
    No grass-head sleeps upon the dune.

    And up from the southeastern sea,
    Antares, the red summer star,
    Brings back the ardours of the earth,
    Like fire opals in a jar:

    The frail and misty sense of things
    Beyond mortality's ado,
    The soft delirium of dream,
    And joy pale virgins never knew.

  9. The Milky Way

    by Anonymous

    Evening has come; and across the skies—
    Out through the darkness that, quivering, dies—
    Beautiful, broad, and white,
    Fashioned of many a silver ray
    Stolen out of the ruins of Day,
    Grows the pale bridge of the Milky Way,
    Built by the architect Night.

    Dim with shadows, and bright with stars,
    Hung like gold lights on invisible bars
    Stirred by the wind's spent breath,
    Rising on cloud-shapen pillars of grey,
    Perfect it stands, like a tangible way
    Binding to-morrow with yesterday,
    Reaching to Life from Death.

    Dark show the heavens on either side;
    Soft flows the blue in a waveless tide
    Under the silver arch;
    Never a footstep is heard below,
    Echoing earthward, as measured and slow,
    Over the bridge the still hours go
    Bound on their trackless march.

    Is it a pathway leading to Heaven
    Over Earth's sin-clouds, rent and riven
    With its supernal light,
    Crossed by the souls of the loved who have flown
    Stilly away from our arms, and alone
    Up to the beautiful, great, white Throne
    Pass in the hush of night?

    Is it the road that our wild dreams walk,
    Far beyond reach of our waking talk,
    Out to the vague and grand
    Far beyond Fancy's uttermost range,
    Out to the Dream-world of marvel and change,
    Out to the mystic, unreal and strange—
    Out to the Wonderland?

    Is it the way that the angels take
    When they come down by night to wake
    Over the slumbering Earth?
    Is it the way the faint stars go back,
    Driven by insolent Day from his track
    Into the distant mysterious Black
    Where their bright souls had birth?

    What may it be? Who may certainly say?
    Over the shadowy Milky Way
    No human foot hath trod.
    Aons have passed; but unsullied and white,
    Still it stands, fair as a rainbow of night,
    Held like a promise above our dark sight,
    Guiding our thoughts to God.