Star-Swirls

Roberts, Isaac. Taken from his photograph of the Great Nebula in Andromeda, December 29, 1888.

The polar ice-caps are melting, the mountain glaciers
Drip into rivers; all feed the ocean;
Tides ebb and flow, but every year a little bit higher.
They will drown New York, they will drown London.
And this place, where I have planted trees and built a stone house,
Will be under sea. The poor trees will perish.
And little fish will flicker in and out the windows. I built it well,
Thick walls and Portland cement and gray granite,
The tower at least will hold against the sea’s buffeting; it will become
Geological, fossil and permanent.
What a pleasure it is to mix one’s mind with the geological
Time, or with astronomical relax it.
There is nothing like astronomy to pull the stuff out of man.
His stupid dreams and red-rooster importance: let him count the star-swirls.

Jeffers, Robinson. The Beginning and the End. New York: Random House, 1963. p. 18.

Image found in
Ball, Sir Robert S., Star-Land. London, Cassel and Co, 1892. p. 341, Fig. 88.

More information about Isaac Roberts here.

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