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The Columbiad: Book IX

The Argument


Vision suspended. Night scene, as contemplated from the mount of vision. Columbus inquires the reason of the slow progress of science, and its frequent interruptions. Hesper answers, that all things in the physical as well as the moral and intellectual world are progressive in like manner. He traces their progress from the birth of the universe to the present state of the earth and its inhabitants; asserts the future advancement of society, till perpetual peace shall be established. Columbus proposes his doubts; alleges in support of them the successive rise and downfal of ancient nations; and infers future and periodical convulsions. Hesper, in answer, exhibits the great distinction between the ancient and modern state of the arts and of society. Crusades. Commerce. Hanseatic League. Copernicus. Kepler. Newton, Galileo. Herschel. Descartes. Bacon. Printing Press. Magnetic Needle. Geographical discoveries. Federal system in America. A similar system to be extended over the whole earth. Columbus desires a view of this.


But now had Hesper from the Hero's sight
Veil'd the vast world with sudden shades of night.
Earth, sea and heaven, where'er he turns his eye,
Arch out immense, like one surrounding sky
Lamp'd with reverberant fires. The starry train
Paint their fresh forms beneath the placid main;
Fair Cynthia here her face reflected laves,
Bright Venus gilds again her natal waves,
The Bear redoubling foams with fiery joles,
And two dire dragons twine two arctic poles.
Lights o'er the land, from cities lost in shade,
New constellations, new galaxies spread,
And each high pharos double flames provides,
One from its fires, one fainter from the tides.

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Johannes Kepler

The radius vector describes equal areas in equal times.

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Johannes Kepler

Planets move in ellipses with the Sun at one focus.

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Johannes Kepler

Truth is the daughter of time, and I feel no shame in being her midwife.

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Johannes Kepler

The squares of the periodic times are to each other as the cubes of the mean distances.

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I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.

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Johannes Kepler

I demonstrate by means of philosophy that the earth is round, and is inhabited on all sides; that it is insignificantly small, and is borne through the stars.

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Johannes Kepler

The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.

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Drops of Neptune - 'A Celestial High' By Dilantha Gunawardana

Did you lose yourself out there,
As you hung on to a journeyman, a king-size voyager,
Passing horizons, past the serenading blue;
In a deluge of tears from the aquamarine mass;
Drops of Neptune and an eerie cry from a space banshee;
Plodding towards a destiny, in to the dark twilight of the Oort's cloud;
Darker than nimbus, in a deluge of asteroids;
As orbitals gestured from all around;
In their ecliptic trajectories, Kepler's ghosts,
Even the shadows of moons, titans of the Milky Way;
All in a huddle, to bring you down to earth;
Away from the ominous clutches of a madman;
As you were cidal, in those ominous clouds;
Beckoning from above, amidst the white dwarfs and the jovian giants
As the shooting stars gestured your travels,
From the oceans of Neptune's tears;
As they ransacked your tranquil getaway to the heavens;
Celestial cocaine and heavenly heroin;
In your voyage with your beloved, the madman, the king,
Your celestial time bomb, in your lofty high,

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A Welcome To Dr. Benjamin Apthorp Gould

ON HIS RETURN FROM SOUTH AMERICA
AFTER FIFTEEN YEARS DEVOTED TO CATALOGUING THE
STARS OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE

ONCE more Orion and the sister Seven
Look on thee from the skies that hailed thy birth,--
How shall we welcome thee, whose home was heaven,
From thy celestial wanderings back to earth?

Science has kept her midnight taper burning
To greet thy coming with its vestal flame;
Friendship has murmured, 'When art thou returning?'
'Not yet! Not yet!' the answering message came.

Thine was unstinted zeal, unchilled devotion,
While the blue realm had kingdoms to explore,--
Patience, like his who ploughed the unfurrowed ocean,
Till o'er its margin loomed San Salvador.

Through the long nights I see thee ever waking,

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