Selected American and British Poems


When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

by Walt Whitman
Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1865
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, (1865)
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 5.0
  • Word Count: 87
  • Genre: Poetry
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WHEN I heard the learn'd astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts, the diagrams, to add, divide,
and measure them,
When I sitting heard the learned 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.