William Habington

(1605 - 1654 / England)

Nox Nocti Indicat Scientiam


WHEN I survey the bright
   Celestial sphere;
So rich with jewels hung, that Night
   Doth like an Ethiop bride appear:

   My soul her wings doth spread
   And heavenward flies,
Th' Almighty's mysteries to read
   In the large volumes of the skies.

   For the bright firmament
   Shoots forth no flame
So silent, but is eloquent
   In speaking the Creator's name.

   No unregarded star
   Contracts its light
Into so small a character,
   Removed far from our human sight,

   But if we steadfast look
   We shall discern
In it, as in some holy book,
   How man may heavenly knowledge learn.

   It tells the conqueror
   That far-stretch'd power,
Which his proud dangers traffic for,
   Is but the triumph of an hour:

   That from the farthest North,
   Some nation may,
Yet undiscover'd, issue forth,
   And o'er his new-got conquest sway:

   Some nation yet shut in
   With hills of ice
May be let out to scourge his sin,
   Till they shall equal him in vice.

   And then they likewise shall
   Their ruin have;
For as yourselves your empires fall,
   And every kingdom hath a grave.

   Thus those celestial fires,
   Though seeming mute,
The fallacy of our desires
   And all the pride of life confute:--

   For they have watch'd since first
   The World had birth:
And found sin in itself accurst,
   And nothing permanent on Earth.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: birth, pride, star, power, light, world, night, sky

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Nox Nocti Indicat Scientiam by William Habington )

Enter the verification code :

  • Steven Calascione (9/30/2013 8:20:00 AM)

    [i]Nox Nocti Indicat Scientiam[/i] (Castara: The Third Part,1640) . In chronological terms this follows Habington's poem [i]Against them who lay unchastity to the sex of Women[/i] (Castara: The Second Part,1635) written in response to John Donne's [i]Goe, and catch a falling starre[i]. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. The Nile, Ruth Whitman
  2. Beautiful Hitchhiker, Ronald Chapman
  3. She Walks, Aparna Chatterjee
  4. Rain, Ronald Chapman
  5. A BIG LIAR, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  6. Grandma's Garden, Ronald Chapman
  7. Poems In Blank Verse, Jonathan Goldman a.k.a JGthe ..
  8. My Angel, Ronald Chapman
  9. Why Have YOU Awoken Me?, Jonathan Goldman a.k.a JGthe ..
  10. Love, Tony Adah

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Young Love lies sleeping
In May-time of the year,
Among the lilies,
Lapped in the tender light:
White lambs come grazing,
White doves come building there:
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

[Hata Bildir]