Other Poetry and Sayings of the Night Sky

After looking through a few of my astronomy books, I found many poems and sayings
that I thought should have a section of their own. So here it is!

May you have
warm words on a
cold evening,
A full moon on a
dark night,
And the road
downhill all
the way to
your door.

- Mary Engelbreit

Put three grains of sand
inside a vast cathedral, and
the cathedral will be more
closely packed with sand
than space is with stars.

- Sir James Jeans, English Astronomer

Keen as are the arrows
Of that silver sphere
Whose intense lamp narrows
In the white dawn clear,
Until we hardly see,
we feel that it is there.

- To a Skylark, Percy Bysshe Shelley

Stars are like animals in
the wild. We may see the
young but never the actual
birth, which is a veiled
and secret event.

- Heinz R. Pagels, American Physicist

Behold, directly overhead, a
certain strange star was
suddenly seen . . . Amazed,
and as if astonished and
stupified, I stood still.

- Tycho Brahe, Danish Astronomer

. . . the perceptible Universe
exists as a cluster of clusters,
irregularly disposed.

- Eureka, Edgar Allan Poe, American Writer

. . . Torrent of light and
river of the air, Along whose
bed the glimmering star are
seen, Like gold and silver
sands in some ravine . . .

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American Poet

The Universe is an infinite
sphere, the centre of which is
everywhere, the circumference

- Pensées, Blaise Pascal, French mathematician and natural philospher

Andromeda! Sweet woman!
why delaying, So timidly
among the stars: come hither!
Join this bright throng, and
nimbly follow whither
They all are going.

- Endymion, John Keats, English Poet

On Saturday night I lost my wife,
And where do you think I found her?
Up in the moon, singing a tune,
And all the stars around her.

- Mother Goose nursery rhyme

Many a night I saw the
Pleiades, rising thro' the
mellow shade,
Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies
tangled in a silver braid.

- Locksley Hall, Alfred Lord Tennyson, English Poet

Marduk, bade the moon come
forth; entrusted night to her,
made her creature of the dark,
to measure time; and every
month, unfailingly, adorned
her with a crown.

- Translated from Enuma Elish, seventh century BC tablets upon which
Assyro-Babylonian legends concerning the creation of the world are recorded.

Everyone is a moon and has
a dark side which he never
shows to anybody.

- Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar, Mark Twain, American Writer

There liveth none under
the sunne, that knows what to make
of the man in the moone.

- Endymion, John Lilly

Though the day still lingers,
the rose-scattering fire of the
evening star already scintillates
through the azure sky.

- Willem Kloos, Dutch poet and essayist

Someday I would like to
stand on the moon, look
down through a quarter of a
million miles of space and
say, "There certainly is a
beautiful earth out tonight."

- Lt. Col. William H. Rankin, American author

The moon has a face like the
clock in the hall;
She shines on thieves on the garden wall,
On streets and fields and harbor quays,
And birdies asleep in the forks of the

The squalling cat and the
squeaking mouse,
The howling dog by the door of the house,
The bat that lies in bed at noon,
All love to be out by the light of the moon.

But all of the things that belong to the day
Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way;
And flowers and children close their eyes
Till up in the morning the sun shall rise.

- Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish poet, writer, and essayist

"The chances against
anything man-like on Mars
are a million to one,"
he said.

- War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells, English writer

Is this . . . A time to sicken
and to swoon, When
Science reaches forth her
arms, To feel from world to
world, and charms her secret
from the latest moon?

- In Memorian, Alfred Lord Tennyson, English poet

Old men and comets have
been reverenced for the same
reason, their long beards and
pretences to foretell events.

- Jonathan Swift, Anglo-Irish writer


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