The Old Astronomer (To His Pupil) – by Sarah Williams

(This is a hauntingly beautiful poem I came across recently, and I thought I’d share it. I’ve read it multiple times by now and still weep like a little child every time.

In fact, I love it so much I’ve decided to set some of the verses to music. 🙂 Maybe it has something to do with my not-so-secret love for astronomy. 

Reach me down my Tycho Brahé, – I would know him when we meet,
When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet;
He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how
We are working to completion, working on from then to now.

Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete,
Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet,
And remember men will scorn it, ‘tis original and true,
And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you.

But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn,
You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn,
What for us are all distractions of men’s fellowship and wiles;
What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles.

You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late,
But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant’s fate.
Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

What, my boy, you are not weeping? You should save your eyes for sight;
You will need them, mine observer, yet for many another night.
I leave none but you, my pupil, unto whom my plans are known.
You “have none but me,” you murmur, and I “leave you quite alone”?

Well then, kiss me, – since my mother left her blessing on my brow,
There has been a something wanting in my nature until now;
I can dimly comprehend it, – that I might have been more kind,
Might have cherished you more wisely, as the one I leave behind.

I “have never failed in kindness”? No, we lived too high for strife,–
Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life;
But your spirit is untainted, I can dedicate you still
To the service of our science: you will further it? you will!

There are certain calculations I should like to make with you,
To be sure that your deductions will be logical and true;
And remember, “Patience, Patience,” is the watchword of a sage,
Not to-day nor yet to-morrow can complete a perfect age.

I have sown, like Tycho Brahé, that a greater man may reap;
But if none should do my reaping, ’twill disturb me in my sleep
So be careful and be faithful, though, like me, you leave no name;
See, my boy, that nothing turn you to the mere pursuit of fame.

I must say Good-bye, my pupil, for I cannot longer speak;
Draw the curtain back for Venus, ere my vision grows too weak:
It is strange the pearly planet should look red as fiery Mars,–
God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.

(“I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night” – one of my favorite lines ever!)


June WIPjoy: Week 1

Once again, author Bethany Jennings has put together a super fun Q&A prompt over on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag WIPjoy. The idea is for writers to share info about their latest work-in-progress (a.k.a. “WIP”). Each day for the entire month there is a new prompt for us to answer, in which we share descriptions, information or even occasionally excerpts of stories. It’s a great way to gain new followers and potential readers, and it’s a great source of encouragement and community amongst writers. Plus, it’s a fun way to let others share in your excitement and passion and, yes…joy! 🙂 Continue reading

My WIP Joy (Part 3)

Part 1, Part 2

Continuing author Bethany Jennings’ hashtag challenge: #JanuaryWIPjoy, where writers answer a daily prompt about their work-in-progress (WIP). To view the previous questions and my answers, click the links above!

Here are the next few answers for my WIP, “The Hall of Memories,” book 1 of “The Armor of Edir Chronicles.”

19. Some tastes/flavors shown in your WIP.

Bread, strawberries, apples, ale, tea, water, Cathy’s famous cookies, meat…and grass (long story).

*side note: It turns out that studying Irish Gaelic first thing in the morning makes my brain want to translate words I know into Irish, including this list of food. 😛 I actually had to reread the list several times to make sure everything was in English. Continue reading

Happy New Year! Use Well the Days

A very happy new year to all! Do you have any resolutions or plans for 2016? Share them in the comments below! I’d love to hear them. One of my plans is definitely to make an effort to set aside a more consistent writing schedule. I’ve made some progress in my WIP this year, but I feel I could make more if I manage more consistency. Of course, that’s ultimately in God’s hands. 🙂

In relation, I also hope to be able to share glimpses into the story world with my readers as I get things cleaned up and reorganized. There are already a few “guest posts” in the works from Barnard, whom I introduced to you recently. He will be particularly valuable as a source of history and lore. Perhaps I might also share some more excerpts and/or quotes from the story–but small ones. After all, I don’t want to give away my entire book before it’s published. 😛 Continue reading

2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog. Check it out!

Thanks to everyone for a fantastic year! ❤ This was my first full year of blogging, and I look forward to many more Lord willing!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 35 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Happy Thanksgiving (and a special gift)!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my dear readers! I am truly thankful for your encouragement this past year. As a special treat, you can watch a video on my Facebook page of my brand new composition, based on the poem I shared earlier this week.

Thanks again, and have a blessed holiday!

Luí na Gréine music video

Festivals, Renovations, and Recitals–Oh, My!

To my dear readers patiently awaiting new posts, I offer my sincerest apologies for not writing more often. I’m afraid these past few weeks have been quite busy for me, so I made the decision to take a break and focus on keeping other priorities in line for the time being.

That being said, I have every intention of continuing my blog, so please bear with me just a little longer until I can get back on track. There will be more hymn analyses, children’s stories, teaching and writing thoughts, student quotes and maybe even a few surprises to come your way in the near future. 😉 Continue reading

The Liebster Award

I am incredibly honored to have been nominated for the Liebster Award! From what I’ve read, this is an award given from one blogger to another in recognition of their work. So, this is our chance to show others that they are valued and inspire us. It also helps introduce readers to new blogs. How fun is that?


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Tobar an tSaoil: A Self-Taught Irish Learner’s Attempt at Translation

clannad nadur

When I received Clannad’s CD “Nádúr” for my birthday this year, I was very excited. I popped that disc into my car’s CD player the first chance I got, and there it has remained since. I am in love with this album–one might go so far as to say “obsessed,” but that’s a little strong for my taste. At any rate, I’ve listened to it on repeat quite a lot recently whilst driving in my car.

No doubt I have since been spotted shamelessly rocking out to this music by unfortunate strangers on more than occasion. Be that as it may, I can’t stop. The songs are just so good! Continue reading

There and Back Again (Part 6): Ireland’s West Coast

Sometimes it is the places that impact us the most that require the fewest words in their account. Indeed, to speak of them too much would only take away from the enchantment. For what could one hope to say that would do them justice? Such was the case for me on Ireland’s west coast. There is just something about those wild, rocky shores with their wind-swept hills and soaring cliffs that stole my heart from the start. It is a rugged, untamed beauty which no words, no matter how cleverly contrived, can ever truly enhance.

How does one begin to describe the sights, sounds, and emotions that inhabit a place of such wonder? I begin to think it an impossible task. For all those sensations are only truly understood by the one who experiences them. Yet describe it I must, however feeble my attempt may prove to be. So I shall do my best.

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