When I Heard the Learned Astronomer

Walt Whitman

When I heard the learned 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 wandered off by myself,

In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,

Looked up in perfect silence at the stars.

Walt Whitman

Joshua E. Barnes (barnes@ifa.hawaii.edu)

Last modified: August 15, 2001