Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Flammarion engraving (artist unknown)


The Milky Way is stone and silent fire,
Flying ice and dust, and expanding gas,
But what we find within the heliosphere
Suggests a whilom laboratory
Where the essential elements were cast
And the residues made preparatory
For the distillation that's planet Earth:
Europa's water, Io's sulfur,
Gases from Saturn and Jupiter,
Engineered for the terrestrial birth.
The traveler sees, beyond a starry veil,
Cosmic clockwork, eternal music.
Kneeling, he lifts a hand as if to hail
His Maker, the tinkering mechanic.