Addison, Joseph

The ways of Heaven are dark and intricate, Puzzled in Mazes and perplex'd with errors: Our understanding traces 'em in vain, Lost and bewilder'd in the fruitless search; Nor sees with how much art the winding run, Nor where the regular confusion ends.


Act I, scene I

Alighieri, Dante

...Heaven calls you, and revolves around you, displaying to you its eternal beauties. . .

The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri Purgatory Canto XIV, L. 147

Browning, Robert

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?

The Complete Poetical Works of Browning Andrea del Sarto

Burnham, Robert Jr

Here, in the dark unknown immensity of the heavens, we shall meet the glories beyond description and witness scenes of inexpressible splendor. In the great black gulfs of space and in the realm of the innumerable stars, we shall find mysteries and wonders undreamed of.

Burnham's Celestial Handbook Chapter 2 (p. 13)

Chesterton, G.K.

Oh with what prayers and fasting Shall mortal man deserve To see that glimpse of Heaven...

The Coloured Lands The Joys of Science (p. 209)


If I had ascended the very heaven, and beheld completely the nature of the universe, and the beauty of the stars, the wonder of it would give me no pleasure, if I did not have you as a friendly, attentive, and eager reader to whom to tell it.

De amicita Laelius 23

Dickinson, Emily

What once was heaven, is zenith now. Where I proposed to go When time's brief masquerade was done, Is mapped, and charted too!

Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson XLVIII Old-Fashioned

Donne, John

And then that heaven, which spreads so farre, as that subtill men have, with some appearance of probabilitie, imagined, that in that heaven, in those manifold Sphere of the Planets and the Starres, there are many earths, many worlds, as big as this which we inhabit. . .

Donne's Sermons (p. 352) The Heavens and Earth Sermon 98 (p. 161)

Man has weav'd out a net, and this net throwne Upon the Heavens, and now they are his owne. . .

In Charles M. Coffin (ed.) The Complete Poetry and Selected Prose of John Donne An Anatomy of the World The First Anniversary

Grondal, Florence Armstrong

To the true lover of the stars, one universe or a million makes not a whit of difference. The silent song of the heavens is as sweet today, its mystery as alluring, its delights more marvelous, than in the days of yore when planets rolled out heavenly notes and stars shone through the seven spheres of pure, translucent crystal.

The Music of the Spheres Chapter IX (p. 200)

Herschel, William

The Heavens...are now seen to resemble a luxuriant garden, which contains the greatest variety of productions, in different flourishing beds; and one advantage we may at least reap from it is that we can, as it were, extend the range of our experience to an immense duration. For, to continue the simile I have borrowed from the vegetable kingdom, is it not almost the same thing, whether we live successively to witness the germination, blooming, foliage, fecundity, fading, withering, and conception of a plant, or whether a vast number of specimens, selected from every change through which the plant passes in the course of its existence be brought at once to our view?

In Timothy Ferris Galaxies Introduction (p. 1)


No man is so utterly dull and obtuse, with head so bent on Earth, as never to lift himself up and rise with all his soul to the contemplation of the starry heavens, especially when some fresh wonder shows a beacon-light in the sky. As long as the ordinary course of heaven runs on, custom robs it of its real size. Such is our constitution that objects of daily occurrence pass us unnoticed even when most worthy of our admiration. On the other hand, the sight even of trifling things is attractive if their appearance is unusual. So this concourse of stars, which paints with beauty the spacious firmament on high, gathers no concourse of the nation. But when there is any change in the wonted order, than all eyes are turned to the sky. ..So natural is it to admire what is strange rather than what is great.

Physical Science in the Time ofNero Book VII Chapter I (pp. 271, 272)

Shelley, Percy Bysshe

Heaven's ebon vault

Studded with stars unutterably bright,

Through which the moon's unclouded grandeur rolls,

Seems like a canopy which love has spread

To curtain her sleeping world.

The Complete Poetical Works of Shelley Queen Mab, IV

Simes, James

The prose of the heavens surpasses the brightest poetry of earth.

William Herschel and His Work Chapter V

Ocean of Ether: Star-Dust (p. 153)

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