Sunday, December 13, 2020

Through Mystic Depths of Trackless Space

Coloured Double Stars
(December Thirteenth)
by John Holland

"It may be easier suggested in words, than conceived in imagination, what variety of illumination two suns—a red and a green, or a yellow and a blue one-must afford a planet circulating about either; and what charming contrasts and grateful vicissitudes—a red and a green day, for instance, alternating with a white one and with darkness—might arise from the presence or absence of one or other, or both above the horizon."-Herschel.

Hail, glorious triumph of the optic glass!
Revealing -- else unseen -- gem after gem
Ten thousand stars in night's dark diadem;
Some twin, or single, in rich tint surpass
Beryl, or amethyst, or chrysophras;
Resplendent clusters! such their lofty stem,
Unaided vision never clomb to them:
Reason in vain would grasp such mighty mass,
Of strange sidereal grandeur; Fancy, taught
By science, grows bewilder'd at the view;
For how, though heaven-plumed, can earthly thought,
Through mystic depths of trackless space, pursue
Each orb, which other, million miles outruns
A waste of worlds—a wilderness of suns!