Science And Poetry

A poem by James Russell Lowell

He who first stretched his nerves of subtile wire
Over the land and through the sea-depths still,
Thought only of the flame-winged messenger
As a dull drudge that should encircle earth
With sordid messages of Trade, and tame
Blithe Ariel to a bagman. But the Muse
Not long will be defrauded. From her foe
Her misused wand she snatches; at a touch,
The Age of Wonder is renewed again,
And to our disenchanted day restores
The Shoes of Swiftness that give odds to Thought,
The Cloak that makes invisible; and with these
I glide, an airy fire, from shore to shore,
Or from my Cambridge whisper to Cathay.

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