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and motion of those planets, comets and magnificent meteors, which inhabit, revolve, and play in the intermediate space.
4. We recalled and dwelt with delight on the rise and progress of the science of astronomy; on that series of astonishing discoveries through successive ages, which display in so strong a light, the force and reach of the human mind; and on those bold conjectures and sublime reveries, which seem to tower even to the confines of divinity, and denote the high destiny to which mortals tend.
5. That thought, for instance, which is said to have been first started by Pythagoras,a and which modern astronomers approve, that the stars which we call fixed, although they appear to us to be nothing more than large spangles of various sizes glittering on the same concave surface, are, nevertheless, bodies as large as our sun, shining, like him, with original and not reflected light, placed at incalculable distances asunder, and each star the solar center of a system of planets which revolve around it, as the planets belonging to our system do around the sun.
6. That this is not only the case with all the stars which our eyes discern in the firmament, or which the telescope has brought within the sphere of our vision, but according to the modern improvements of this thought, that there are probably other stars whose light has not yet reached us, although light moves with a velocity a million times greater than that of a cannon ball.
7. That those luminous appearances, which we observe in the firmament, like flakes of thin, white cloud, are windows, as it were, which opened to other firmaments, far, far beyond the ken of human eye, or the power of optical instruments, lighted up, like ours, with hosts of stars or suns.
8. That this scheme goes on through infinite space, which is filled with thousands upon thousands of those suns, attended by ten thousand times ten thousand worlds, all in rapid motion, yet calm, regular, and harmonious, invariably keeping the
a Py-thag'o-ras; a Grecian philosopher and mathematician, the inventor of the multiplication table.
paths prescribed to them; and these worlds peopled with myriads of intelligent beings. One would think that this conception, thus extended, would be bold enough to satisfy the whole enterprise of the human imagination.
9. But what an accession of glory and magnificence does Dr. Herschel superadd to it, when, instead of supposing all those suns fixed, and the motion confined to their respective planets, he loosens those multitudinous suns themselves from their stations, sets them all into motion with their splendid retinue of planets and satellites, and imagines them, thus attended, to perform a stupendous revolution, system above system, around some grander, unknown center, somewhere in the boundless abyss of space!
10. And when carrying on the process, you suppose even that center itself not stationary, but also counterpoised by other masses in the immensity of space, with which, attended by their accumulated trains of
66 Planets, suns and adamantine spheres,
it maintains harmonious concert, surrounding, in its vast career, some other center, still more remote and stupendous, which in its turn "You overwhelm me," cried my daughter, as I was laboring to pursue the immense concatenation; " my mind is bewildered and lost in the effort to follow you, and finds no point on which to rest its weary wing.”
11. "Yet there is a point, my dear, the throne of the Most High. Imagine that, the ultimate center, to which this vast and inconceivably magnificent and august apparatus is attached, and around which it is contiually revolving. Oh! what a spectacle for the cherubim and seraphim, and the spirits of the just made perfect, who dwell on the right hand of that throne, if, as may be, and probably is the case, their eyes are permitted to pierce through the whole, and take in, at one glance, all its order, beauty, sublimity and glory, and their
a Sir William Herschel, (her'shel;) an eminent English astronomer, the discoverer of the planet Herschel, or Uranus.
ears to distinguish that celestial harmony, unheard by us, in which those vast globes, as they roll on in their respective orbits, continually hymn their great Creator's praise !"
1. WITH what a stately and majestic step
2. The other tribes forsake their midnight track,
Thy long-appointed watch; but, sleepless still,
3. Ages have rolled their course, and time grown gray; The earth has gathered to her womb again,
a Ursa Major, (great bear;) one of the northern constellations, which may be known by its seven stars forming the figure of a dipper. b Ursa Major being near the north pole, does not set to us. e Fixed light; the north star, or Cynosura.
And yet again, the myriads that were born
The seas have changed their beds; the eternal hills
The toil, pride, strength of kingdoms, which have flung
4. I wonder as I gaze. That stream of light,
Undimmed, unquenched, just as I see it now,
Has issued from those dazzling points, through years
5. And these are suns! vast, central, living fires,
Awake, my soul,
a It is supposed that light would require more than three years, to come to us from the nearest of the fixed stars. b All the fixed stars are doubtless suns to systems of planets like our own.
Blaze round thee, leading forth their countless worlds!
6. Tell me, ye splendid orbs, as, from your throne, Ye mark the rolling provinces that own
Your sway - What beings fill those bright abodes ?
Open your lips, ye wonderful and fair!
1. THERE is unwritten music. The world is full of it. I hear it every hour that I wake, and my waking sense is surpassed sometimes by my sleeping, though that is a mystery. There is no sound of simple nature that is not music. It is all God's work, and so harmony. You may mingle and divide and strengthen the passages of its great anthem, and it is still melody, melody.
2. The low winds of summer blow over the waterfalls and the brooks, and bring their voices to your ear, as if their sweetness was linked by an accurate finger; yet the wind is but a fitful player; and you may go out when the tempest is up, and hear the strong trees moaning as they lean before it, and the long grass hissing as it sweeps through, and its own