The Candle in the Dark

By Muhammad A. Tirmazi

Note: The title of this poem has been derived from the title of the book: “The Demon-haunted World – Science as a Candle in the Dark” by Carl Sagan.

The darkness does indeed haunt
The unknown does surely daunt
And Ignorance tempts one to flaunt
And concoct comforting fables
To replace the answers we want

Yet there is one way
To let Nature convey
Its mysteries and lay
Its beauty before one’s gaze
And help one seize the day

If one dares to learn
The language Nature yearns
To use to express and adorn
Its passions and wonders
One can, against the tide, burn

The heroes of the past
Those whose ideas last
Are not the conquerers who cast
The curse of mysery and death
In search of splendors shiny and vast

Pythagoras will be remembered long
After Hitler, Napoleon and Mao Xi Dong
Are lost to history and all the wrong
They committed drowned in oblivion
And Euclid’s legacy will be forever strong

The fluxions of the one who unweaved
The rainbow shall forever seed
Awe and wonder, and breed
Curiosity in generations to come
While none shall recall Victoria’s greed

The mathematical principles in print
Of Natural Philosophy that hint
At the workings of planets, glint
In an immortal shine. While none
Know of the master of mint.

In the same light shall forever shine
The identity that dares to align
The five symbols deemed divine
Of Euler, Hero, Babylon, Unity, India
In a melodious intertwine

This profound and beautiful embrace
Of logic and proof, a race
To unravel the secrets of space
Is perhaps the most noble of goals
We humans shall ever grace

No amount of inquisitions and popes
Can ever stifle the hopes
Of using science to grope
Into the darkness and discover
The candle that lights up our scope

The candle in the dark
Will always be a mark
Of humanity’s courage to embark
On a quest to understand the cosmos
From dark matter right down to the quark

For only if we continue to prod
Into the unknown and applaud
The triumphs of those who trod
And discovered wonders undreamt of,
Shall we know the mind of God


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