When I heard the Learn'd Astronomer

Walt Whitman
(publ. 1865)

   WHEN I heard the learn'd astronomer;
   When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
   When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and 
         measure them;
   When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much 
         applause in the lecture-room,
   How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
   Till rising and gliding out, I wander'd off by myself,
   In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
   Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.