Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Spacious Firmament by Joseph Addison

[It's funny because we just came across a part of this poem in the lastest installment of The Happy Little Family series from Bethlehem Books.]

The spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great Original proclaim.
The unwearied sun, from day to day,
Does his Creator's power display;
And publishes to every land
The work of an almighty hand.

Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The moon takes up the wondrous tale;
And, nightly, to the listening earth,
Repeats the story of her birth:
Whilst all the stars that round her burn
And all the planets in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.

What though, in solemn silence all
Move round the dark terrestrial ball;
What though no real voice, nor sound,
Amidst their radiant orbs be found?
In reason's ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice:
Forever singing as they shine,
"The hand that made us is Divine."

Joseph Addison, a famous English writer, an essayist, a poet, a dramatist, and a statesman, was born in 1672 and died in 1719. He received the chief part of his school education at the "Charter House" and at "Queen's College." He is best known for his famous essays published in the Spectator, the Guardian, and the Tattler. His poem, "Peace of Ryswick," published in 1697, brought him a hundred pounds.

His essays are considered models of diction and are read by all who wish to acquire a polished style in writing.

from The Art and Literature Reader, Book 4, Copyright 1904

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