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The contemplation of celestial things will make a man both speak and think more sublimely and magnificently when he descends to human affairs.
- Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short)
It does at first appear that an astronomer rapt in abstraction, while he gazes on a star, must feel more exquisite than a farmer who in conducting his team.
- Isaac D'Israeli,
Literary Character of Men of Genius--On Habituating Ourselves to Indiv. Pursuit
Ye realms, yet unreveal'd to human sight,
Ye gods who rule the regions of the night,
Ye gliding ghosts permit me to relate
The mystic wonders of your silent state.
- John Dryden
The narrow sectarian cannot read astronomy with impunity. The creeds of his church shrivel like dried leaves at the door of the observatory.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Astronomy is one of the sublimest fields of human investigation. The mind that grasps its facts and principles receives something of the enlargement and grandeur belonging to the science itself. It is a quickener of devotion.
- Horace Mann
And God made two great lights, great for their use
To man, the greater to have rule by day,
The less by night, altern.
- John Milton, Paradise Lost
(bk. VII, l. 346)
The sun rejoicing round the earth, announced
Daily the wisdom, power and love of God.
The moon awoke, and from her maiden face,
Shedding her cloudy locks, looked meekly forth,
And with her virgin stars walked in the heavens--
Walked nightly there, conversing as she walked,
Of purity, and holiness, and God.
- Robert Pollok
At night astronomers agree.
- Matthew Prior, Phillis's Age (st. 3)
I love to rove amidst the starry height,
To leave the little scenes of Earth behind,
And let Imagination wing her flight
On eagle pinions swifter than the wind.
I love the planets in their course to trace;
To mark the comets speeding to the sun,
Then launch into immeasurable space,
Where, lost to human sight, remote they run.
I love to view the moon, when high she rides
Amidst the heav'ns, in borrowed lustre bright;
To fathom how she rules the subject tides,
And how she borrows from the sun her light.
O! these are wonders of th' Almighty hand,
Whose wisdom first the circling orbits planned.
- T. Rodd
Astronomy is the science of the harmony of infinite expanse.
- John Russell (1)
We are star-stuff.
- Carl Sagan
And teach me how
To name the bigger light, and how the less
That burn by day and night.
- William Shakespeare
These earthly godfathers of heaven's light,
That give a name to every fixed star,
Have no more profit of their shining nights
Than those that walk and wot not what they are.
- William Shakespeare, Love's Labor's Lost
(Berowne at I, i)
My lord, they say five moons were seen to-night--
Four fixed, and the fifth did whirl about
The other four in wondrous motion.
- William Shakespeare,
The Life and Death of King John
(Hubert at IV, ii)
When thou cam'st first,
Thou strok'st me and made much of me; wouldst give me
Water with berries in't; and teach me how
To name the bigger light, and how the less,
That burn by day and night; and then I loved thee
And showed thee all the qualities o' th' isle,
The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place and fertile.
- William Shakespeare, The Tempest
(Caliban at I, ii)
There's some ill planet reigns.
I must be patient till the heavens look
With an aspect more favorable.
- William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale
(Hermione at II, i)
An undevout astronomer is mad.
- Edward Young
O how loud
It calls devotion! genuine growth of night!
Devotion! daughter of Astronomy!
As undevout Astronomer is mad.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts
(night IX, l. 774)
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