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Poem by William Habington
Nox Nocti Indicat Scientiam
WHEN I survey the bright Celestial sphere; So rich with jewels hung, that Night Doth like an Ethiop bride appear: My soul her wings doth spread And heavenward flies, Th' Almighty's mysteries to read In the large volumes of the skies. For the bright firmament Shoots forth no flame So silent, but is eloquent In speaking the Creator's name. No unregarded star Contracts its light Into so small a character, Removed far from our human sight, But if we steadfast look We shall discern In it, as in some holy book, How man may heavenly knowledge learn. It tells the conqueror That far-stretch'd power, Which his proud dangers traffic for, Is but the triumph of an hour: That from the farthest North, Some nation may, Yet undiscover'd, issue forth, And o'er his new-got conquest sway: Some nation yet shut in With hills of ice May be let out to scourge his sin, Till they shall equal him in vice. And then they likewise shall Their ruin have; For as yourselves your empires fall, And every kingdom hath a grave. Thus those celestial fires, Though seeming mute, The fallacy of our desires And all the pride of life confute:-- For they have watch'd since first The World had birth: And found sin in itself accurst, And nothing permanent on Earth.
William Habington's other poems:
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