Astronomical Poems

The Dachshunds, by William Jay Smith

The Dachshund leads a quiet life 
Not far above the ground;

He takes an elongated wife, 
They travel all around.

They leave the lighted metropole; 
Nor turn to look behind 
Upon the headlands of the soul, 
The tundras of the mind.

They climb together through the dusk 
To ask the Lost-and-Found 
For information on the stars 
Not far above the ground.

The Dachshunds seem to journey on: 
And following them, I 
Take up my monocle, the Moon, 
And gaze into the sky.

Pursuing them with comic art 
Beyond the cosmic goal, 
I see the whole within the part, 
The part within the whole;

See planets wheeling overhead, 
Mysterious and slow, 
While morning buckles on his red, 
And on the Dachshunds go.


Mother Goose's Garland, by Archibald MacLeish

Around, around the sun we go:
The moon goes round the earth.
We do not die of death:
We die of vertigo.


Escape at Bedtime, by Robert Louis Stevenson

The lights from the parlour and kitchen shone out
Through the blinds and the windows and bars;
And high overhead and all moving about,
There were thousands of millions of stars.
There ne'er were such thousands of leaves on a tree
Nor of people in church or the Park,
As the crowds of the stars that looked down upon me,
And that glittered and winked in the dark.

The Dog, and the Plough, and the Hunter, and all,
And the star of the sailor, and Mars,
These shone in the sky, and the pail by the wall
Would be half full of water and stars.
They saw me at last, and they chased me with cries,
And they soon had me packed into bed;
But the glory kept shining and bright in my eyes,
And the stars going round in my head.


Reason Has Moons, BY Ralph Hodgeson

Reason has moons, but moons not hers,
Lie mirror'd on her sea,
Confounding her astronomers,
But O! delighting me.


The Rabbitt's Song Outside the Tavern, by Elizabeth Coatsworth

We, who play under the pines,
We, who dance in the snow
That shines blue in the light of the moon,
Sometimes halt as we go-
Stand with our ears erect,
Our noses testing the air,
To gaze at the golden world
Behind the windows there.

Suns they have in a cave,
Stars, each on a tall white stem,
And the thought of a fox or an owl
Seems never to trouble them.
They laugh and eat and are warm,
Their food is ready at hand,
While hungry out in the cold
We little rabbits stand.

But they never dance as we dance!
They haven't the speed nor the grace.
We scorn the dog and the cat 
Who lie by their fireplace.
We scorn them licking their paws
Their eyes on an upraised spoon-
We who dance hungry and wild
Under a winter's moon.

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