Welcome to Poetry.com

Poetry.com is a huge collection of poems from famous and amateur poets from around the world — collaboratively published by a community of authors and contributing editors.

Navigate through our poetry database by subjects, alphabetically or simply search by keywords. You can submit a new poem, discuss and rate existing work, listen to poems using voice pronunciation and even translate pieces to many common and not-so-common languages.

Hymn to Science

Mark Akenside 1721 (Newcastle upon Tyne) – 1770

Science! thou fair effusive ray
  From the great source of mental day,
  Free, generous, and refin'd!
  Descend with all thy treasures fraught,
  Illumine each bewilder'd thought,
  And bless my lab'ring mind.

  But first with thy resistless light,
  Disperse those phantoms from my sight,
  Those mimic shades of thee;
  The scholiast's learning, sophist's cant,
  The visionary bigot's rant,
  The monk's philosophy.

  O! let thy powerful charms impart
  The patient head, the candid heart,
  Devoted to thy sway;
  Which no weak passions e'er mislead,
  Which still with dauntless steps proceed
  Where Reason points the way.

  Give me to learn each secret cause;
  Let number's, figure's, motion's laws
  Reveal'd before me stand;
  These to great Nature's scenes apply,
  And round the globe, and thro' the sky,
  Disclose her working hand.

  Next, to thy nobler search resign'd,
  The busy, restless, human mind
  Thro' ev'ry maze pursue;
  Detect Perception where it lies,
  Catch the ideas as they rise,
  And all their changes view.

  Say from what simple springs began
  The vast, ambitious thoughts of man,
  Which range beyond control;
  Which seek Eternity to trace,
  Dive thro' th' infinity of space,
  And strain to grasp the whole.

  Her secret stores let Memory tell,
  Bid Fancy quit her fairy cell,
  In all her colours drest;
  While prompt her sallies to control,
  Reason, the judge, recalls the soul
  To Truth's severest test.

  Then launch thro' Being's wide extent;
  Let the fair scale, with just ascent,
  And cautious steps, be trod;
  And from the dead, corporeal mass,
  Thro' each progressive order pass
  To Instinct, Reason, God.

  There, Science! veil thy daring eye;
  Nor dive too deep, nor soar too high,
  In that divine abyss;
  To Faith content thy beams to lend,
  Her hopes t' assure, her steps befriend,
  And light her way to bliss.

  Then downwards take thy flight agen;
  Mix with the policies of men,
  And social nature's ties:
  The plan, the genius of each state,
  Its interest and its pow'rs relate,
  Its fortunes and its rise.

  Thro' private life pursue thy course,
  Trace every action to its source,
  And means and motives weigh:
  Put tempers, passions in the scale,
  Mark what degrees in each prevail,
  And fix the doubtful sway.

  That last, best effort of thy skill,
  To form the life, and rule the will,
  Propitious pow'r! impart:
  Teach me to cool my passion's fires,
  Make me the judge of my desires,
  The master of my heart.

  Raise me above the vulgar's breath,
  Pursuit of fortune, fear of death,
  And all in life that's mean.
  Still true to reason be my plan,
  Still let my action speak the man,
  Thro' every various scene.

  Hail! queen of manners, light of truth;
  Hail! charm of age, and guide of youth;
  Sweet refuge of distress:
  In business, thou! exact, polite;
  Thou giv'st Retirement its delight,
  Prosperity its grace.

  Of wealth, pow'r, freedom, thou! the cause;
  Foundress of order, cities, laws,
  Of arts inventress, thou!
  Without thee what were human kind?
  How vast their wants, their thoughts how blind!
  Their joys how mean! how few!

  Sun of the soul! thy beams unveil!
  Let others spread the daring sail,
  On Fortune's faithless sea;
  While undeluded, happier I
  From the vain tumult timely fly,
  And sit in peace with thee.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)
Font size:
Collection  Edit     

Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:49 min read

Mark Akenside

Mark Akenside was an English poet and physician. more…

All Mark Akenside poems | Mark Akenside Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Mark Akenside poem with the community:



    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


    "Hymn to Science" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 May 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/26489/hymn-to-science>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

    Browse Poetry.com


    Are you a poetry master?

    A poem in which the first letters of each line spell a word is called _______.
    • A. a haiku
    • B. a sestina
    • C. an acrostic
    • D. an ode

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets