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To Albert Einstein

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(On his Fifty-fourth Birthday)

Extend the vision! Now the skies Have fallen; now the living dead Have nothing for their faith but lies.

And darkness for their daily bread. Yet cleave the heavens, as you seize On the last stretch of light! Yet race Beyond the furthest galaxies And dream to find man’s home in space.

Let in the stars, minute, immense! Bring to our brute, besotted ears The strains beyond the ear of sense, The unheard music of the spheres.

In you and your prophetic speech, The clear voice clothed in mystery, Once more the word is made to reach More than the word can ever be.

Proclaim it! — like that other Jew Who cried our dream and its distress; Searching the skies, seeking, like you, Man’s home in time and timelessness.

Louis Untermeyer

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