C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


An undevout astronomer is mad.


Astronomy is the science of the harmony of infinite expanse.

Lord John Russell.

  • And teach me how
  • To name the bigger light, and how the less,
  • That burn by day and night.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Ye realms, yet unreveal’d to human sight,
  • Ye gods who rule the regions of the night,
  • Ye gliding ghosts permit me to relate
  • The mystic wonders of your silent state.
  • Dryden.

    The narrow sectarian cannot read astronomy with impunity. The creeds of his church shrivel like dried leaves at the door of the observatory.


    The contemplation of celestial things will make a man both speak and think more sublimely and magnificently when he descends to human affairs.


  • These earthly god-fathers of heaven’s lights
  • That give a name to every fixed star
  • Have no more profit of their shining nights
  • Than those that walk, and wot not what they are.
  • Shakespeare.

  • The sun rejoicing round the earth, announced
  • Daily the wisdom, power and love of God.
  • The moon awoke, and from her maiden face,
  • Shedding her cloudy locks, looked meekly forth,
  • And with her virgin stars walked in the heavens—
  • Walked nightly there, conversing as she walked,
  • Of purity, and holiness, and God.
  • Robert Pollok.

    Astronomy is one of the sublimest fields of human investigation. The mind that grasps its facts and principles receives something of the enlargement and grandeur belonging to the science itself. It is a quickener of devotion.

    Horace Mann.

  • And God made two great lights, great for their use
  • To man, the greater to have rule by day,
  • The less by night, altern.
  • Milton.

  • I love to rove amidst the starry height,
  • To leave the little scenes of earth behind,
  • And let Imagination wing her flight
  • On eagle pinions swifter than the wind.
  • I love the planets in their course to trace;
  • To mark the comets speeding to the sun,
  • Then launch into immeasurable space,
  • Where, lost to human sight, remote they run.
  • I love to view the moon, when high she rides
  • Amidst the heav’ns, in borrowed lustre bright;
  • To fathom how she rules the subject tides,
  • And how she borrows from the sun her light.
  • O! these are wonders of th’ Almighty hand,
  • Whose wisdom first the circling orbits planned.
  • T. Rodd.

    It does at first appear that an astronomer rapt in abstraction, while he gazes on a star, must feel more exquisite delight than a farmer who is conducting his team.

    Isaac Disraeli.