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 BrahĂ©, – 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!


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 “NĂĄdĂșr” 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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There and Back Again (Part 5): Glencar Waterfall

To catch up on my Irish journey, click here: Part 1 (New York City), Part 2 (Wicklow and Cabra Castle), Part 3 (Newgrange), Part 4 (Tara)

glencar cliffs

As you might recall from my earlier posts, my husband and I arrived first in Dublin, Ireland. We had reservations to stay in several castles spread out within the country, but other than that we were free to do as we pleased. So we rented a car and took off on our exciting journey, a journey which would lead us eventually in a circle around the whole island–that is, within the Republic of Ireland. We didn’t venture into Northern Ireland this time around, but perhaps we will in the future. 😉 That being said, there is plenty to do and see within the Republic itself to keep a visitor busy for a while; and as we were only there for a week, you can bet we didn’t see everything. But what we did see was truly awe-inspiring and worth the trip. Today’s stop is no exception. Continue reading

There and Back Again (Part 4): The Hill of Tara

To catch up on my journey to Ireland, click here: Part 1 (New York City), Part 2 (Wicklow and Cabra Castle), Part 3 (Newgrange).

Tara hill

As I mentioned before, one of the best parts about my trip to Ireland was discovering places along the way that I have heard of for years, but never expected to get to see them myself. Such was the case for Tara.

I hadn’t even realized Tara was so close to Newgrange, but thankfully I came across the name on a map inside the Newgrange visitor center and the next stop of the day was thus quickly determined.

Two awesome locations in the same day? I was in heaven. Continue reading

There and Back Again (Part 3): Newgrange

Part 1 (New York City), Part 2 (Wicklow and Cabra Castle)

newgrange standing stone

A standing stone at the Newgrange site.

Perhaps one of the most exciting parts about our Ireland trip for me was the amount of places we discovered along our route that I had actually heard of before. It was even more exciting because we didn’t plan any of it. It just happened to work out that whenever we researched things to see in a new area, something would inevitably pop up that I recognized by name and would cause me to shake my husband’s arm like a maniac and exclaim, “I know that! We HAVE to go there!! Ahhh!!!”

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There and Back Again (Part 2): Wicklow and Cabra Castle

(Go here for part 1: New York City.)

Ireland 24

Our flight from New York to Ireland was very smooth and uneventful. We landed in Dublin around 5:00 a.m. local time, ate breakfast in the airport, then picked up our rental car. Interesting side note for those who, like us, are not used to driving on the left side of the road (or, as our shuttle driver called it, the “right” side): it is a common tendency to drift too far to the left in an attempt to avoid on coming traffic. This was easily evidenced by the rental car parking lot, where basically all the rental cars had scratches and dings on the left side only. Moral: be alert when driving, and pay attention to both sides of the road. 😉 Continue reading

There and Back Again: A Journey to Remember

Times Square

Times Square

Last month, my husband and I embarked on the journey of my dreams. Leaving our home behind, we traveled across the sea and set out on a grand adventure to my favorite place in the whole world:


I still have to pinch myself sometimes and remind me that it did actually happen–I didn’t dream it all up.

The first leg of our journey was spent traveling from Dallas to New York, where we would get on the plane to Dublin. Since we’ve never been to NYC, we decided to go a couple days early and see some of the sights. It was quite exciting, to be sure, although these Texans (who are definitely not used to having to walk everywhere) were bemoaning our sore feet by the last day. Continue reading

My First Nomination!

I can’t tell you how thrilled and honored I am to have been nominated for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award by Heather Fitzgerald over at The Tethered World. And what a blessing it has been to get to know her too! Her kindness, joy, wisdom, and love for the Lord and her family shine through in everything she does. If you haven’t checked out her blog, I highly recommend it. Whether it’s encouraging and thought-provoking devotionals, or tantalizing tidbits on her soon-to-be-published novel (eek!), or her valuable discussion on writing, reading what she has to say is always a treat. I don’t know how she does all of it, in addition to teaching ballet and taking care of her family, and who knows what else–but she is an inspiration for sure! If I could nominate her back, I would. But I’m guessing that’s against the rules. 😉

very-inspiring-blogger-award1 Continue reading