Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE ASTRONOMICAL ALDERMAN, by HORACE SMITH



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THE ASTRONOMICAL ALDERMAN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The pedant or scholastikos became
Last Line: "and that's the reason no one sees him!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Smith, Horatio
Subject(s): Astronomy & Astronomers; Copernicus. Nicolaus (1473-1543)


THE pedant or scholastikos became
The butt of all the Grecian jokes; --
With us, poor Paddy bears the blame
Of blunders made by other folks;
Though we have certain civic sages
Termed Aldermen, who perpetrate
Bulls as legitimate and great,
As any that the classic pages
Of old Hierocles can show,
Or Mr. Miller's, commonly called Joe. --

One of these turtle-eating men,
Not much excelling in his spelling,
When ridicule he meant to brave,
Said he was more PH. than N.
Meaning thereby, more phool than nave.
Though they who knew our cunning Thraso,
Pronounced it flattery to say so.
His Civic brethren to express
His "double, double, toil and trouble,"
And bustling noisy emptiness,
Had christened him Sir Hubble Bubble.

This wight ventripotent was dining
Once at the Grocers' Hall, and lining
With calipee and calipash
That tomb omnivorous -- his paunch,
Then on the haunch
Inflicting many a horrid gash,
When having swallowed six or seven
Pounds, he fell into a mood
Of such supreme beatitude,
That it reminded him of Heaven,
And he began with mighty bonhomie
To talk Astronomy. --

"Sir," he exclaimed, between his bumpers,
"Copernicus and Tycho-Brahe,
And all those chaps, have had their day;
They've written monstrous lies, sir, thumpers! --
Move round the sun? -- it's talking treason;
The earth stands still -- it stands to reason. --
Round as a globe? stuff -- humbug -- fable!
It's a flat sphere, like this here table,
And the sun overhangs this sphere,
Ay -- just like that there chandelier."

"But," quoth his neighbour, "when the sun
From East to West his course has run,
How comes it that he shows his face
Next morning in his former place?"
"Ho! there's a pretty question, truly!"
Replied our wight, with an unruly
Burst of laughter and delight,
So much his triumph seemed to please him;
"Why, blockhead! he goes back at night,
And that's the reason no one sees him!"





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