Sarah Williams

Sarah Williams: The old Astronomer (1867)


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 till 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 learnt 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 wiles?

You may tell that German college that their honour 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 truly to be fearful of the night.


I første strofe sidder fortælleren sammen med Tycho Brahe og fortæller ham om de seneste astronomiske nyheder. Derefter taler Tycho Brahe. Han formaner til ikke at lade sig kue, hvis man bliver fordømt for en original og sand teori. Samtidig karakteriserer han sig selv. Og han ved at belønningen for kærligheden til stjernerne venter... Sidste vers kan stå alene. Så vidt min fortolkning af dette moraliserende digt. 

Obloquy; Offentlig fordømmelse. Repentance: Bekendelse, anger. Grizzly savant's fate: Det gråhårede genis skæbne.