The Old Astronomer

The Old Astronomer (To His Pupil)

by Sarah Williams

Reach me down my Tycho Brahé, – 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 wiles;
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.

What, my boy, you are not weeping? You should save your eyes for sight;
You will need them, mine observer, yet for many another night.
I leave none but you, my pupil, unto whom my plans are known.
You “have none but me,” you murmur, and I “leave you quite alone”?

Well then, kiss me, – since my mother left her blessing on my brow,
There has been a something wanting in my nature until now;
I can dimly comprehend it, – that I might have been more kind,
Might have cherished you more wisely, as the one I leave behind.

I “have never failed in kindness”? No, we lived too high for strife,–
Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life;
But your spirit is untainted, I can dedicate you still
To the service of our science: you will further it? you will!

There are certain calculations I should like to make with you,
To be sure that your deductions will be logical and true;
And remember, “Patience, Patience,” is the watchword of a sage,
Not to-day nor yet to-morrow can complete a perfect age.

I have sown, like Tycho Brahé, that a greater man may reap;
But if none should do my reaping, ’twill disturb me in my sleep
So be careful and be faithful, though, like me, you leave no name;
See, my boy, that nothing turn you to the mere pursuit of fame.

I must say Good-bye, my pupil, for I cannot longer speak;
Draw the curtain back for Venus, ere my vision grows too weak:
It is strange the pearly planet should look red as fiery Mars,–
God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.

A Darkship Bleg

NOTE: This post has been stuck to the top for the time being. Newer posts are below…

Unstickied 6/5/2016 5:03 PM

I do not do advertisements. This blog is where I put up pretty pictures and occasionally post caustic comments on current catastrophes (YSWIDT?). But it has come to my attention that someone I know and love (though she doesn’t know me from Adam) is unwell and could use a little support.

Sarah Hoyt is a scifi author of no little renown, an immigrant and naturalized American originally from Portugal. The stories she writes are topnotch to say the least. She has a blog, According to Hoyt, which you might find entertaining.

How can I help, you say? Well, she has no Kickstarter, and doesn’t beg. She might possibly be mortified by what I’m doing here, so let’s keep it on the down-low, OK?

I’m a firm believer in combining good deeds with entertainment, and since she is an author, I can think of no better way to help her out than to put up links to some of her books. There are others, equally good (did I mention she’s an excellent writer?), but these are the ones that stuck with me the most. The links are to the Kindle versions but feel free to buy the paperback or hardback versions- hell, buy all three!

Darkship Thieves cover 1

Darkship Renegades cover 2

A Few Good Men cover 3

Through Fire cover 4

I am a proud Usain. You can be, too!

One favor- if you do buy one of the books (though you really should buy all four), drop her a note on the blog, and tell her I said to ask her to send you a copy of her famous audio file of her saying “Moose & Squirrel”. Perhaps she will send you a copy.