Monday, May 18, 2009

The Sun

17. The Sun.

For all the kindreds and tribes and tongues of men—each upon their own meridian—from the Arctic Pole to the Equator, from the Equator to the Antarctic Pole, the eternal Sun strikes twelve at noon, and the glorious constellations, far up in the everlasting belfries of the skies, chime twelve at midnight; twelve for the pale student over his flickering lamp; twelve amid the naming wonders of Orion's belt if he crosses the meridian at that fatal hour; twelve by the weary couch of languishing humanity; twelve in the star-paved courts of the Empyrean; twelve for the heaving tides of the ocean; twelve for the weary arm of labor; twelve for the toiling brain; twelve for the watching, waking, broken heart; twelve for the meteor which blazes for a moment and expires; twelve for the comet, whose period is measured by centuries; twelve for every substantial, for every im. aginary thing, which exists in the sense, the intellect, or the fancy, and which, the speech or thought of man, at the given meridian, refers to the lapse of time.

Edward Everett, Mass., 1794-1665.

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