I heard a man of science tell:
The sun is ringing like a bell,
Within its thermonuclear heart
Tremors, vibrating bell-notes, start
And rising to the restless face
Echo its secrets out to space.
Philosophers in bygone years
Strained for the music of the spheres
Too pure for mortal ears to share;
But Herbert, as he knelt in prayer,
Musician, poet of the Word,
Church-bells beyond the stars he heard.
Can you then fuse, tempestuous sun,
Physics and poetry in one?
Is there a music we may find
Brought to us on the solar wind?
And if your tongue at last we learn
Will it come winged with words that burn?
A cosmic cry, conceived in fire,
Furnace of never-slaked desire,
Consuming agony of love
That moves the stars, but may not move
Your station nearer, to embrace
Our planet with its lovely face
Or touch just once this tender earth
And kill the life you called to birth.