Emily Dickinson | |
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.
Edward Estlin (E E) Cummings | |
O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have
prurient philosophers pinched
has the naughty thumb
of science prodded
often have religions taken
thee upon their scraggy knees
buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive
to the incomparable
couch of death thy
them only with
Gerard Manley Hopkins | |
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And other science all gone out of date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.
Edwin Arlington Robinson | |
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.
Edwin Arlington Robinson | |
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.
Ellis Parker Butler | |
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?
C S Lewis | |
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?
Allama Iqbal | |
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.
Robert Seymour Bridges | |
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.
Paul Laurence Dunbar | |
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.
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.
Sidney Lanier | |
Superb and sole, upon a plumed spray
That o'er the general leafage boldly grew,
He summ'd the woods in song; or typic drew
The watch of hungry hawks, the lone dismay
Of languid doves when long their lovers stray,
And all birds' passion-plays that sprinkle dew
At morn in brake or bosky avenue.
Whate'er birds did or dreamed, this bird could say.
Then down he shot, bounced airily along
The sward, twitched in a grasshopper, made song
Midflight, perched, prinked, and to his art again.
Sweet Science, this large riddle read me plain:
How may the death of that dull insect be
The life of yon trim Shakespeare on the tree?
Walt Whitman | |
AS I sit with others, at a great feast, suddenly, while the music is playing,
To my mind, (whence it comes I know not,) spectral, in mist, of a wreck at sea;
Of certain ships—how they sail from port with flying streamers, and wafted
that is the last of them!
Of the solemn and murky mystery about the fate of the President;
Of the flower of the marine science of fifty generations, founder’d off the Northeast
coast, and going down—Of the steamship Arctic going down,
Of the veil’d tableau—Women gather’d together on deck, pale, heroic,
moment that draws so close—O the moment!
A huge sob—A few bubbles—the white foam spirting up—And then the women
Sinking there, while the passionless wet flows on—And I now pondering, Are those
Are Souls drown’d and destroy’d so?
Is only matter triumphant?
Robinson Jeffers | |
There is a hawk that is picking the birds out of our sky,
She killed the pigeons of peace and security,
She has taken honesty and confidence from nations and men,
She is hunting the lonely heron of liberty.
She loads the arts with nonsense, she is very cunning
Science with dreams and the state with powers to catch them at last.
Nothing will escape her at last, flying nor running.
This is the hawk that picks out the star's eyes.
This is the only hunter that will ever catch the wild swan;
The prey she will take last is the wild white swan of the beauty of things.
Then she will be alone, pure destruction, achieved and supreme,
Empty darkness under the death-tent wings.
She will build a nest of the swan's bones and hatch a new brood,
Hang new heavens with new birds, all be renewed.
Archibald MacLeish | |
Science, that simple saint, cannot be bothered
Figuring what anything is for:
Enough for her devotions that things are
And can be contemplated soon as gathered.
She knows how every living thing was fathered,
She calculates the climate of each star,
She counts the fish at sea, but cannot care
Why any one of them exists, fish, fire or feathered.
Why should she? Her religion is to tell
By rote her rosary of perfect answers.
Metaphysics she can leave to man:
She never wakes at night in heaven or hell
Staring at darkness.
In her holy cell
There is no darkness ever: the pure candle
Burns, the beads drop briskly from her hand.
Who dares to offer Her the curled sea shell!
She will not touch it!--knows the world she sees
Is all the world there is! Her faith is perfect!
And still he offers the sea shell .
Of what far sea upon what unknown ground
Troubles forever with that asking sound?
What surge is this whose question never ceases?
Ogden Nash | |
The firefly's flame
Is something for which science has no name
I can think of nothing eerier
Than flying around with an unidentified glow on a
Dorothy Parker | |
They say of me, and so they should,
It's doubtful if I come to good.
I see acquaintances and friends
And making enviable names
In science, art, and parlor games.
But I, despite expert advice,
Keep doing things I think are nice,
And though to good I never come-
Inseparable my nose and thumb!
Edgar Lee Masters | |
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!
Edgar Lee Masters | |
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.
Robert William Service | |
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
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,
Aye, though a sorry dunce I be
In learning's school,
Lord, marvellously make of me
Your Happy Fool!
Edgar Allan Poe | |
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?