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Thomas Chatterton

(1752 - 1770 / Bristol / England)

The Copernican System


The Sun revolving on his axis turns,
And with creative fire intensely burns;
Impell'd by forcive air, our Earth supreme,
Rolls with the planets round the solar gleam.
First Mercury completes his transient year,
Glowing, refulgent, with reflected glare;
Bright Venus occupies a wider way,
The early harbinger of night and day;
More distant still our globe terraqueous turns,
Nor chills intense, nor fiercely heated burns;
Around her rolls the lunar orb of light,
Trailing her silver glories through the night:
On the Earth's orbit see the various signs,
Mark where the Sun our year completing shines;
First the bright Ram his languid ray improves;
Next glaring watry thro' the Bull he moves;
The am'rous Twins admit his genial ray;
Now burning thro' the Crab he takes his way;
The Lion flaming bears the solar power;
The Virgin faints beneath the sultry show'r,
Now the just Balance weighs his equal force,
The slimy Serpent swelters in his course;
The sabled Archer clouds his languid face;
The Goat, with tempests, urges on his race;
Now in the Wat'rer his faint beams appear,
And the cold Fishes end the circling year.
Beyond our globe the sanguine Mars displays
A strong reflection of primoeval rays;
Next belted Jupiter far distant gleams,
Scarcely enlighten'd with the solar beams,
With four unfix'd receptacles of light,
He tours majestic thro' the spacious height:
But farther yet the tardy Saturn lags,
And five attendant Luminaries drags,
Investing with a double ring his pace,
He circles thro' immensity of space.
These are thy wondrous works, first source of Good!
Now more admir'd in being understood.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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