(A. D. 1638)

(We know that Galileo was old, blind, and in exile when Milton came to see him, but we know nothing about what they said to each other.)


The man who first into the heavens peered—

And dared to show the distant moons he spied

To men revolving round a world of pride—

Could see no more.  Though he had bravely steered

His way twixt earth and Heaven, now he feared

To move at all.  He’d influenced the tide

Of human thought, and drawn a starry-eyed

Young poet to his harbor.  Was he cheered

By the bright music of immortal verse?

Did his soul resonate in harmony?

Did Galileo wish to light or curse

The dark, eclipsing world?  Could Milton see

That he who would survey the heavenly heights

Must first be blind to earth’s distracting lights?