Sarah Williams: The old Astonomer

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.

(...)

Dette moraliserende digt indledes med at fortælleren sidder sammen med Tycho Brahe og beskriver de seneste astronomiske nyheder for ham. Derefter taler Tycho Brahe. Han formaner til ikke at lade sig kue, hvis man bliver fordømt for at kæmpe for en original og sand teori. På den måde karakteriserer han sig selv. Og belønningen for kærligheden til stjernerne venter i det hinsides...

De to sidste linjer kan udmærket stå alene.

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