Lucinda! Lucinda! why all this abstraction?
May astronomy hold no communion with mirth?
Stars—comets—eclipses have these such attraction
To steal you from our mere pleasures of earth?
You, who lately would sportively 'flirt it' and 'fan it,'
At dinner or ball—grown so grave in a trice!
Have you found, pretty Plato! so fervid our planet,
You must needs flee to Saturn to borrow his ice?
Just so it once happened—I well can remember—
(For seasons, like souls, are erewhile out of tune)
That the frost and the fast-falling sleet of December
Came to cover the freshness and glory of June.
Like some beautiful prude, all coldness and brightness,
The landscape shone chill in its dazzle of snow.
Yet it was but a surface of froreness and whiteness,
For green herb and gay flowret were springing below.
Till the genial Spirit of Summer, indignant
That Winter should thus re-intrude on his reign,
Called Zephyr to aid; and with fervor benignant
Woke each valley to gladness and beauty again.
So too, Sweet Astronomer! thou shalt re-waken
From these visions remote amid comet and star;
And learn how you truants are ever mistaken
Home-pleasures who leave to find new ones afar.
Make but sign from the ark, and each joyful back-comer
O'er thy deluge of science shall speed, like the dove.
Fond beamings from friendship unfreeze thee, like summer;
Or, warmer than friendship, some breathing from love.
And when—telescope closed—and unpuzzled by Airy—
Thro' opera glass we win pleasanter view;
Should folk happen to smile at your sky-ward vagary,
Why—we'll swear that 'the stars were in fault,' and not you.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010