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 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.

Walt Whitman

When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer

Authentication Score 3


Whitman, Walt. "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer." Leaves of Grass. New York: Self-published, 1867, I. 1. Originally published in Drum-Taps. New York: Peter Eckler, 1865, I. 1.