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<   No. 969   2005-09-21   >

Comic #969

1 Spanners: Okay, Paris and the aliens have been spaced. They'll hit that star there in a few days. Farewell, Paris. From the stars we come, and to the stars we return.
2 Serron: Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night...
3 Iki Piki: How eloquent... and touching...
4 Serron: Hmmm...? What...? I'm just reading the back of this cereal box. It's amazing what tripe they print there...

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And so we say goodbye to Paris.

Serron is actually quoting a poem written by Sarah Williams, published in 1868, The Old Astronomer.

Reach me down my Tycho Brahé, I would know him when we meet,
When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet;
He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how
We are working to completion, working on from then to now.

Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete,
Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet,
And remember men will scorn it, 'tis original and true,
And the obliquy of newness may fall bitterly on you.

But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn,
You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn,
What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and wiles;
What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles.

You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late,
But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant's fate.
Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

What, my boy, you are not weeping? You should save your eyes for sight;
You will need them, mine observer, yet for many another night.
I leave none but you, my pupil, unto whom my plans are known.
You "have none but me," you murmur, and I "leave you quite alone"?

Well then, kiss me, - since my mother left her blessing on my brow,
There has been a something wanting in my nature until now;
I can dimly comprehend it, - that I might have been more kind,
Might have cherished you more wisely, as the one I leave behind.

I "have never failed in kindness"? No, we lived too high for strife,—
Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life;
But your spirit is untainted, I can dedicate you still
To the service of our science: you will further it? you will!

There are certain calculations I should like to make with you,
To be sure that your deductions will be logical and true;
And remember, "Patience, Patience," is the watchword of a sage,
Not to-day nor yet to-morrow can complete a perfect age.

I have sown, like Tycho Brahé, that a greater man may reap;
But if none should do my reaping, 'twill disturb me in my sleep
So be careful and be faithful, though, like me, you leave no name;
See, my boy, that nothing turn you to the mere pursuit of fame.

I must say Good-bye, my pupil, for I cannot longer speak;
Draw the curtain back for Venus, ere my vision grows too weak:
It is strange the pearly planet should look red as fiery Mars,—
God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.


2014-12-03 Rerun commentary: You can make almost any situation seem more mundane by adding a box of breakfast cereal.

Evil warlord surveying the extent of his bloody conquests from the tallest tower of the Dark Castle? Sure - moody, dark, fantastic.

While sitting down to a bowl of All Bran Flakes? Now the guy seems like a regular Joe.

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