Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
The Appointment
By Sully Prudhomme (1839–1907)
Translated by Arthur O’Shaughnessy

’TIS late; the astronomer in his lonely height,
Exploring all the dark, descries afar
Orbs that like distant isles of splendour are,
And mornings whitening in the infinite.
Like winnowed grain the worlds go by in flight,        5
Or swarm in glistening spaces nebular;
He summons one dishevelled wandering star,—
Return ten centuries hence on such a night.
The star will come. It dare not by one hour
Cheat Science, or falsify her calculation;        10
Men will have passed, but watchful in the tower
Man shall remain in sleepless contemplation;
And should all men have perished there in turn,
Truth in their place would watch that star’s return.

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