When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer


When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

by Walt Whitman

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

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2 thoughts on “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

  1. oh i love the ending most especially….’in the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, Look’s up in perfect silence at the stars.” Such a lovelyy contrast to the onslaught of words from the astronomer…

    • I felt the same way, Kate. There is so much peace and beauty in the moment of just being alive. The intellect, while it serves a useful purpose, really is so limited. I’m glad you liked it too.

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