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Best Famous Science Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Science poems. This is a select list of the best famous Science poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Science poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of science poems.

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See also: Best Member Poems

by William Wordsworth | |

The Tables Turned

An Evening Scene on the Same Subject

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you'll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?

The sun, above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.
Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife: Come, hear the woodland linnet, How sweet his music! on my life, There's more of wisdom in it.
And hark! how blithe the throstle sings! He, too, is no mean preacher: Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your Teacher.
She has a world of ready wealth, Our minds and hearts to bless— Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health, Truth breathed by cheerfulness.
One impulse from a vernal wood May teach you more of man, Of moral evil and of good, Than all the sages can.
Sweet is the lore which Nature brings; Our meddling intellect Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:— We murder to dissect.
Enough of Science and of Art; Close up those barren leaves; Come forth, and bring with you a heart That watches and receives.


by Phillis Wheatley | |

To a Lady on the Death of Her Husband

Grim monarch! see, depriv'd of vital breath,
A young physician in the dust of death:
Dost thou go on incessant to destroy,
Our griefs to double, and lay waste our joy?
"Enough" thou never yet wast known to say,
Though millions die, the vassals of thy sway:
Nor youth, nor science, nor the ties of love,
Nor aught on earth thy flinty heart can move.
The friend, the spouse from his dire dart to save, In vain we ask the sovereign of the grave.
Fair mourner, there see thy lov'd Leonard laid, And o'er him spread the deep impervious shade; Clos'd are his eyes, and heavy fetters keep His senses bound in never-waking sleep, Till time shall cease, till many a starry world Shall fall from heav'n, in dire confusion hurl'd, Till nature in her final wreck shall lie, And her last groan shall rend the azure sky: Not, not till then his active soul shall claim His body, a divine immortal frame.
But see the softly-stealing tears apace Pursue each other down the mourner's face; But cease thy tears, bid ev'ry sigh depart, And cast the load of anguish from thine heart: From the cold shell of his great soul arise, And look beyond, thou native of the skies; There fix thy view, where fleeter than the wind Thy Leonard mounts, and leaves the earth behind.
Thyself prepare to pass the vale of night To join for ever on the hills of light: To thine embrace his joyful sprit moves To thee, the partner of his earthly loves; He welcomes thee to pleasures more refin'd, And better suited to th' immortal mind.


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

Sonnet -- To Science

Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart Vulture whose wings are dull realities? How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing? Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car? And driven the Hamadryad from the wood To seek a shelter in some happier star? Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood The Elfin from the green grass and from me The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?


More great poems below...

by Emily Dickinson | |

A light exists in spring

A light exists in spring
   Not present on the year
At any other period.
When March is scarcely here A color stands abroad On solitary hills That science cannot overtake, But human nature feels.
It waits upon the lawn; It shows the furthest tree Upon the furthest slope we know; It almost speaks to me.
Then, as horizons step, Or noons report away, Without the formula of sound, It passes, and we stay: A quality of loss Affecting our content, As trade had suddenly encroached Upon a sacrament.


by Edward Estlin (E E) Cummings | |

O sweet spontaneous

O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have
the
doting

fingers of
prurient philosophers pinched
and
poked

thee
has the naughty thumb
of science prodded
thy

beauty .
how often have religions taken thee upon their scraggy knees squeezing and buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive gods (but true to the incomparable couch of death thy rhythmic lover thou answerest them only with spring)


by Allama Iqbal | |

Communism and Imperialism

The soul of both of them is impatient and restless,

Both of them know not God, and deceive mankind.
One lives by production, the other by taxation, And man is a glass caught between two stones.
The one puts to rout science, religion, art, The other robs the body of soul, the hand of bread.
I have perceived both drowned in water and clay, Both bodily burnished, but utterly dark of heart.
Life means a passionate burning, an urge to make, To cast in the dead clay the seed of heart.


by William Cullen Bryant | |

Love and Folly

 Love's worshippers alone can know
The thousand mysteries that are his;
His blazing torch, his twanging bow,
His blooming age are mysteries.
A charming science--but the day Were all too short to con it o'er; So take of me this little lay, A sample of its boundless lore.
As once, beneath the fragrant shade Of myrtles breathing heaven's own air, The children, Love and Folly, played-- A quarrel rose betwixt the pair.
Love said the gods should do him right-- But Folly vowed to do it then, And struck him, o'er the orbs of sight, So hard, he never saw again.
His lovely mother's grief was deep, She called for vengeance on the deed; A beauty does not vainly weep, Nor coldly does a mother plead.
A shade came o'er the eternal bliss That fills the dwellers of the skies; Even stony-hearted Nemesis, And Rhadamanthus, wiped their eyes.
"Behold," she said, "this lovely boy," While streamed afresh her graceful tears, "Immortal, yet shut out from joy And sunshine, all his future years.
The child can never take, you see, A single step without a staff-- The harshest punishment would be Too lenient for the crime by half.
" All said that Love had suffered wrong, And well that wrong should be repaid; Then weighed the public interest long, And long the party's interest weighed.
And thus decreed the court above-- "Since Love is blind from Folly's blow, Let Folly be the guide of Love, Where'er the boy may choose to go.
"


by Robert Seymour Bridges | |

My Delight and Thy Delight

 My delight and thy delight 
Walking, like two angels white, 
In the gardens of the night: 

My desire and thy desire 
Twining to a tongue of fire, 
Leaping live, and laughing higher: 

Thro' the everlasting strife 
In the mystery of life.
Love, from whom the world begun, Hath the secret of the sun.
Love can tell, and love alone, Whence the million stars were strewn, Why each atom knows its own, How, in spite of woe and death, Gay is life, and sweet is breath: This he taught us, this we knew, Happy in his science true, Hand in hand as we stood 'Neath the shadows of the wood, Heart to heart as we lay In the dawning of the day.


by Paul Laurence Dunbar | |

To Dan

 STEP me now a bridal measure, 
Work give way to love and leisure, 
Hearts be free and hearts be gay -- 
Doctor Dan doth wed to-day.
Diagnosis, cease your squalling -- Check that scalpel's senseless bawling, Put that ugly knife away -- Doctor Dan doth wed to-day.
'Tis no time for things unsightly, Life's the day and life goes lightly; Science lays aside her sway-- Love rules Dr.
Dan to-day.
Gather, gentlemen and ladies, For the nuptial feast now made is, Swing your garlands, chant your lay For the pair who wed to-day.
Wish them happy days and many, Troubles few and griefs not any, Lift your brimming cups and say God bless them who wed to-day.
Then a cup to Cupid daring, Who for conquest ever faring, With his arrows dares assail E'en a doctor's coat of mail.
So with blithe and happy hymning And with harmless goblets brimming, Dance a step -- musicians play -- Doctor Dan doth wed to-day.


by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |

TAME XENIA.

 THE Epigrams bearing the title of XENIA were written 
by Goethe and Schiller together, having been first occasioned by 
some violent attacks made on them by some insignificant writers.
They are extremely numerous, but scarcely any of them could be translated into English.
Those here given are merely presented as a specimen.
GOD gave to mortals birth, In his own image too; Then came Himself to earth, A mortal kind and true.
1821.
* BARBARIANS oft endeavour Gods for themselves to make But they're more hideous ever Than dragon or than snake.
1821.
* WHAT shall I teach thee, the very first thing?-- Fain would I learn o'er my shadow to spring! 1827.
* "WHAT is science, rightly known? 'Tis the strength of life alone.
Life canst thou engender never, Life must be life's parent ever.
1827.
* It matters not, I ween, Where worms our friends consume, Beneath the turf so green, Or 'neath a marble tomb.
Remember, ye who live, Though frowns the fleeting day, That to your friends ye give What never will decay.
1827.
*


by Alec Derwent (A D) Hope | |

Standardization

 When, darkly brooding on this Modern Age, 
The journalist with his marketable woes 
Fills up once more the inevitable page 
Of fatuous, flatulent, Sunday-paper prose; 

Whenever the green aesthete starts to whoop 
With horror at the house not made with hands 
And when from vacuum cleaners and tinned soup 
Another pure theosophist demands 

Rebirth in other, less industrial stars 
Where huge towns thrust up in synthetic stone 
And films and sleek miraculous motor cars 
And celluloid and rubber are unknown; 

When from his vegetable Sunday School 
Emerges with the neatly maudlin phrase 
Still one more Nature poet, to rant or drool 
About the "Standardization of the Race"; 

I see, stooping among her orchard trees, 
The old, sound Earth, gathering her windfalls in, 
Broad in the hams and stiffening at the knees, 
Pause and I see her grave malicious grin.
For there is no manufacturer competes With her in the mass production of shapes and things.
Over and over she gathers and repeats The cast of a face, a million butterfly wings.
She does not tire of the pattern of a rose.
Her oldest tricks still catch us with surprise.
She cannot recall how long ago she chose The streamlined hulls of fish, the snail's long eyes, Love, which still pours into its ancient mould The lashing seed that grows to a man again, From whom by the same processes unfold Unending generations of living men.
She has standardized his ultimate needs and pains.
Lost tribes in a lost language mutter in His dreams: his science is tethered to their brains, His guilt merely repeats Original Sin.
And beauty standing motionless before Her mirror sees behind her, mile on mile, A long queue in an unknown corridor, Anonymous faces plastered with her smile.


by C S Lewis | |

An Expostulation

 Against too many writers of science fiction 

Why did you lure us on like this, 
Light-year on light-year, through the abyss, 
Building (as though we cared for size!) 
Empires that cover galaxies 
If at the journey's end we find 
The same old stuff we left behind, 
Well-worn Tellurian stories of 
Crooks, spies, conspirators, or love, 
Whose setting might as well have been 
The Bronx, Montmartre, or Bedinal Green?

Why should I leave this green-floored cell, 
Roofed with blue air, in which we dwell, 
Unless, outside its guarded gates,
Long, long desired, the Unearthly waits 
Strangeness that moves us more than fear, 
Beauty that stabs with tingling spear, 
Or Wonder, laying on one's heart 
That finger-tip at which we start 
As if some thought too swift and shy 
For reason's grasp had just gone by?


by C S Lewis | |

Science-fiction Cradlesong

 By and by Man will try 
To get out into the sky, 
Sailing far beyond the air 
From Down and Here to Up and There.
Stars and sky, sky and stars Make us feel the prison bars.
Suppose it done.
Now we ride Closed in steel, up there, outside Through our port-holes see the vast Heaven-scape go rushing past.
Shall we? All that meets the eye Is sky and stars, stars and sky.
Points of light with black between Hang like a painted scene Motionless, no nearer there Than on Earth, everywhere Equidistant from our ship.
Heaven has given us the slip.
Hush, be still.
Outer space Is a concept, not a place.
Try no more.
Where we are Never can be sky or star.
From prison, in a prison, we fly; There's no way into the sky.


by Alexander Pope | |

From an Essay on Man

 Heav'n from all creatures hides the book of fate,
All but the page prescrib'd, their present state:
From brutes what men, from men what spirits know:
Or who could suffer being here below?
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed today,
Had he thy reason, would he skip and play?
Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flow'ry food,
And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood.
Oh blindness to the future! kindly giv'n, That each may fill the circle mark'd by Heav'n: Who sees with equal eye, as God of all, A hero perish, or a sparrow fall, Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd, And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar; Wait the great teacher Death; and God adore.
What future bliss, he gives not thee to know, But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast: Man never is, but always to be blest: The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Lo! the poor Indian, whose untutor'd mind Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind; His soul, proud science never taught to stray Far as the solar walk, or milky way; Yet simple nature to his hope has giv'n, Behind the cloud topp'd hill, an humbler heav'n; Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd, Some happier island in the wat'ry waste, Where slaves once more their native land behold, No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold.
To be, contents his natural desire, He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire; But thinks, admitted to that equal sky.


by Robert William Service | |

Innocence

 The height of wisdom seems to me
 That of a child;
So let my ageing vision be
 Serene and mild.
The depth of folly, I aver, Is to fish deep In that dark pool of science where Truth-demons sleep.
Let me not be a bearded sage Seeing too clear; In issues of the atom age Man-doom I fear.
So long as living's outward show To me is fair, What lies behind I do not know, And do not care.
Of woeful fears of future ill That earth-folk haunt, Let me, as radiant meadow rill, Be ignorant.
Aye, though a sorry dunce I be In learning's school, Lord, marvellously make of me Your Happy Fool!


by Robert William Service | |

Lost Shepherd

 Ah me! How hard is destiny!
If we could only know.
.
.
.
I bought my son from Sicily A score of years ago; I haled him from our sunny vale To streets of din and squalor, And left it to professors pale To make of him a scholar.
Had he remained a peasant lad, A shepherd on the hill, like golden faun in goatskin clad He might be singing still; He would have made the flock his care And lept with gay reliance On thymy heights, unwitting there Was such a thing as science.
He would have crooned to his guitar, Draughts of chianti drinking; A better destiny by far Than reading, writing, thinking.
So bent above his books was he, His thirst for knowledge slaking, He did not realize that we Are worm-food in the making.
Ambition got him in its grip And inched him to his doom; Fate granted him a fellowship, Then graved for him a tomb.
"Beneath my feet I can't allow The grass to grow," he said; And toiled so tirelessly that now It grows above his head.
His honour scrolls shall feed the flame, They mean no more to me; His ashes I with bitter blame Will take to Sicily.
And there I'll weep with heart bereft, By groves and sunny rills, And wish my laughing boy I'd left A shepherd on the hills.


by Phillis Wheatley | |

To The University Of Cambridge In New-England

 WHILE an intrinsic ardor prompts to write,
The muses promise to assist my pen;
'Twas not long since I left my native shore
The land of errors, and Egyptain gloom:
Father of mercy, 'twas thy gracious hand
Brought me in safety from those dark abodes.
Students, to you 'tis giv'n to scan the heights Above, to traverse the ethereal space, And mark the systems of revolving worlds.
Still more, ye sons of science ye receive The blissful news by messengers from heav'n, How Jesus' blood for your redemption flows.
See him with hands out-stretcht upon the cross; Immense compassion in his bosom glows; He hears revilers, nor resents their scorn: What matchless mercy in the Son of God! When the whole human race by sin had fall'n, He deign'd to die that they might rise again, And share with him in the sublimest skies, Life without death, and glory without end.
Improve your privileges while they stay, Ye pupils, and each hour redeem, that bears Or good or bad report of you to heav'n.
Let sin, that baneful evil to the soul, By you be shun'd, nor once remit your guard; Suppress the deadly serpent in its egg.
Ye blooming plants of human race divine, An Ethiop tells you 'tis your greatest foe; Its transient sweetness turns to endless pain, And in immense perdition sinks the soul.


by Gerard Manley Hopkins | |

Let me be to Thee as the circling bird

 Let me be to Thee as the circling bird, 
Or bat with tender and air-crisping wings
That shapes in half-light his departing rings, 
From both of whom a changeless note is heard.
I have found my music in a common word, Trying each pleasurable throat that sings And every praised sequence of sweet strings, And know infallibly which I preferred.
The authentic cadence was discovered late Which ends those only strains that I approve, And other science all gone out of date And minor sweetness scarce made mention of: I have found the dominant of my range and state - Love, O my God, to call Thee Love and Love.


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

The Whale

 The Whale is found in seas and oceans,
Indulging there in fishlike motions,
But Science shows that Whales are mammals,
Like Jersey cows, and goats, and camels.
When undisturbed, the Whale will browse Like camels, goats, and Jersey cows, On food that satisfies its tongue, Thus making milk to feed its young.
Asking no costly hay and oats, Like camels, Jersey cows, and goats, The Whale, prolific milk producer, Should be our cheapest lactic juicer.
Our milk should all come from the sea, But who, I ask, would want to be— And here the proposition fails— The milkmaid to a herd of Whales?


by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Tennessee Claflin Shope

 I was the laughing-stock of the village,
Chiefly of the people of good sense, as they call themselves --
Also of the learned, like Rev.
Peet, who read Greek The same as English.
For instead of talking free trade, Or preaching some form of baptism; Instead of believing in the efficacy Of walking cracks -- picking up pins the right way, Seeing the new moon over the right shoulder, Or curing rheumatism with blue glass, I asserted the sovereignty of my own soul.
Before Mary Baker G.
Eddy even got started With what she called science I had mastered the "Bhagavad Gita," And cured my soul, before Mary Began to cure bodies with souls -- Peace to all worlds!


by Edgar Lee Masters | |

States Attorney Fallas

 I, the scourge-wielder, balance-wrecker,
Smiter with whips and swords;
I, hater of the breakers of the law;
I, legalist, inexorable and bitter,
Driving the jury to hang the madman, Barry Holden,
Was made as one dead by light too bright for eyes,
And woke to face a Truth with bloody brow:
Steel forceps fumbled by a doctor's hand
Against my boy's head as he entered life
Made him an idiot.
I turned to books of science To care for him.
That's how the world of those whose minds are sick Became my work in life, and all my world.
Poor ruined boy! You were, at last, the potter And I and all my deeds of charity The vessels of your hand.


by Edwin Arlington Robinson | |

The Flying Dutchman

 Unyielding in the pride of his defiance, 
Afloat with none to serve or to command, 
Lord of himself at last, and all by Science, 
He seeks the Vanished Land.
Alone, by the one light of his one thought, He steers to find the shore from which he came, Fearless of in what coil he may be caught On seas that have no name.
Into the night he sails, and after night There is a dawning, thought there be no sun; Wherefore, with nothing but himself in sight, Unsighted, he sails on.
At last there is a lifting of the cloud Between the flood before him and the sky; And then--though he may curse the Power aloud That has no power to die-- He steers himself away from what is haunted By the old ghost of what has been before,-- Abandoning, as always, and undaunted, One fog-walled island more.


by Edwin Arlington Robinson | |

George Crabbe

 Give him the darkest inch your shelf allows, 
Hide him in lonely garrets, if you will,— 
But his hard, human pulse is throbbing still 
With the sure strength that fearless truth endows.
In spite of all fine science disavows, Of his plain excellence and stubborn skill There yet remains what fashion cannot kill, Though years have thinned the laurel from his brows.
Whether or not we read him, we can feel From time to time the vigor of his name Against us like a finger for the shame And emptiness of what our souls reveal In books that are as altars where we kneel To consecrate the flicker, not the flame.


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

Platonic

 I knew it the first of the summer, 
I knew it the same at the end, 
That you and your love were plighted, 
But couldn’t you be my friend? 
Couldn’t we sit in the twilight, 
Couldn’t we walk on the shore
With only a pleasant friendship
To bind us, and nothing more? 

There was not a word of folly
Spoken between us two, 
Though we lingered oft in the garden
Till the roses were wet with dew.
We touched on a thousand subjects – The moon and the worlds above, - And our talk was tinctured with science, And everything else, save love.
A wholly Platonic friendship You said I had proven to you Could bind a man and a woman The whole long season through, With never a thought of flirting, Though both were in their youth, What would you have said, my lady, If you had known the truth! What would you have done, I wonder, Had I gone on my knees to you And told you my passionate story, There in the dusk and the dew? My burning, burdensome story, Hidden and hushed so long – My story of hopeless loving – Say, would you have thought it wrong? But I fought with my heart and conquered, I hid my wound from sight; You were going away in the morning, And I said a calm goodnight.
But now when I sit in the twilight, Or when I walk by the sea That friendship, quite Platonic, Comes surging over me.
And a passionate longing fills me For the roses, the dusk, the dew; For the beautiful summer vanished, For the moonlight walks – and you.


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

Independence Ode

 Columbia, fair queen in your glory! 
Columbia, the pride of the earth! 
We crown you with song- wreath and story; 
We honour the day of your birth! 

The wrath of a king and his minions
You braved, to be free, on that day; 
And the eagle sailed up on strong pinions, 
And frightened the lion at bay.
Since the chains and the shackles are broken, And citizens now replace slaves, Since the hearts of your heros have spoken How dear they held freedom - by graves.
Your beautiful banner is blotless As it floats to the breezes unfurled, And but for one blemish, all spotless Is the record you show to the world.
Like a scar on the features of beauty, Lies Utah, sin-cursed to the west.
Columbia! Columbia! your duty Is to wipe out that stain with the rest! Not only in freedom, and science, And letters, should you lead the earth; But let the earth learn your reliance In honour and true moral worth.
When Liberty's torch shall be lighted, Let her brightest most far-reaching rays Discover no wrong thats unrighted - Go challenge the jealous world's gaze! Columbia, your star is ascending! Columbia, all lands own your sway! May your reign be as proud and unrending As your glory is brilliant today.