“Distant Worlds” (from Robert Merry’s Museum, July 1852; pp. 21-22)
About this earth, above the sky,
Worlds on worlds unnumbered lie;
And each around its own bright sun
Year after year its course doth run;
True as the dial to the day,
Each moves in its allotted way.
Uranus hangs so far from earth,
That, on the morn of Moses’ birth,
Had a race-horse from it started,
And through the cloud and sunshine darted,
And never halted in its flight,
But ever galloped day and night,
Without pausing, without sleeping,
Ever onward, downward sweeping,
Not half its journey would be done,
Not half the distance now be run,
Had it set out for this earth,
On the morn of Moses’ birth.
Oft glittering like the light of noon,
Are seen the mountains in the moon,
On whose high tops the sunbeams glow,
While gloomy shadows sleep below;
We see Mount Tycho’s towering height
Throw back the sun’s reflected light;
Through Ross’s telescope while gazing,
Some have seen vast volcanoes blazing,
And reddening wide the valleys deep,
Which round the moon’s piled mountains sleep.
Comets that travel wide and far,
Perchance have passed by every star;
By every world beyond our sight,
They move with half the speed of light;
Yet oft some planet’s mighty force
Will twist them from their onward course,
Or hurl them, quick as lightning’s pace,
’Mid the immensity of space.
The sun in Mercury doth appear
Six times larger than seen here,
And it shineth six times brighter,
And makes that planet six times lighter
Than the earth on which we dwell;
Such brilliancy no tongue can tell.
The stars there hang in Syrian skies,
Glitter like gems of richest dyes,
Blazing on high they there are seen
In robes of purple, gold and green.
Those bright and shooting stars we see,
Are still to us a mystery,
Rushing by each golden star
Which on us shineth from afar;
Whence they come, or whither go,
Mortal man may never know;
Angels may all God’s wonders tell,
When in eternity we dwell.