Nox Nocti Indicat Scientiam
William Habington, Castara, 3rd edn. (London: T. Cotes for W. Cooke, 1640). STC 12585
2 Celestial sphere,
3So rich with jewels hung, that night
5My soul her wings doth spread
6 And heavenward flies,
7Th' Almighty's mysteries to read
8 In the large volumes of the skies.
9For the bright firmament
10 Shoots forth no flame
11So silent, but is eloquent
12 In speaking the Creator's name.
13No unregarded star
14 Contracts its light
15Into so small a character,
16 Remov'd far from our human sight,
17But if we steadfast look,
18 We shall discern
19In it, as in some holy book,
20 How man may heavenly knowledge learn.
21It tells the conqueror
22 That far-stretch'd power
23Which his proud dangers traffic for,
24 Is but the triumph of an hour.
26 Some nation may
27Yet undiscovered, issue forth
28 And o'er his new-got conquest sway.
29Some nation yet shut in
30 With hills of ice
31May be let out to scourge his sin
32 Till they shall equal him in vice.
33And then they likewise shall
34 Their ruin have;
35For as yourselves, your empires fall,
36 And every kingdom hath a grave.
37Thus those celestial fires,
38 Though seeming mute,
39The fallacy of our desires
40 And all the pride of life confute.
41For they have watch'd since first
42 The world had birth;
43And found sin in itself accurst,
44 And nothing permanent on earth.
Publication Start Year:
RPO poem Editors:
N. J. Endicott
2RP.1.331; RPO 1996-2000.