Oh science sequestered much,
And by wisdom’s gentler touch,
Did not they voice give the command
That man must venture from his strand
In quest of other distant land,
Or was it ancient lore?
For sure into his peaceful breast,
Thou breathed the spirit of unrest,
And bade him search the skies:
Thou pictured earth a moving sphere
Whose revolutions make the year,
And whispered to his listening ear,
“Search heaven and be wise.”
Thy presence round him, charming fell.
And break did it the magic spell
That ignorance had wrought:
And plain did seem the merry race
Of myriad planets thrown in space—
Just how each kept in his place,
Has fostered wondrous thought.
And oft the would-be infidel
Has list the story that you tell
And wisely gave a nod;
For now the planet checkered sky
And tangle comments hissing by
Have seized and borne his thoughts on high,
Acknowledging a God.
No day has dawned, no sunbeam shone,
Where thought of man has not yet gone:
And the rugged panoply,
Encasing of his mental frame,
Doth burst with unbounding fame
And conquers heaven in thy name,
Science of the canopy.
Ah! could the Alexander brave
Be resurrected from his grave?
Weep he would no more,
That no worlds to conquer still
He had; for science would fulfil
The very letter of his will,
Of worlds, would give him more.
From Jessamine (Self published, 1900) by James Thomas Franklin. Copyright © 1900 by James Thomas Franklin. This poem is in the public domain.