Beyond the sphere of Mars, in distant skies,
Revolves the mighty magnitude of Jove,
With kingly state, the rival of the Sun.
About him round four planetary moons,
On earth with wonder, all night long beheld;
Moon above moon his fair attendants dance.
The vast orb
Of Jupiter, whose gigantic bulk
Dances in ether, like the lightest leaf.
For signal honour made, behold! afar,
Four radiant moons surround the imperial star,
Full orbed or crescent, their soft silver light
Gladdens his regions in the gloomy night:
Nor this the fancy of deluded eyes;
Marked are their periods through sublimer skies:
Oft does the astronomer his tube display,
And view them in eclipse with pleased survey ;
To this the curious their discovery owe,
And light's swift motion, and its measure know.
Bright Jove, prodigious planet of the skies !
His orb presents, of huge amazing size,
In bulk none equals his enormous inass :
The whole joint system his contents surpass.
In ample compass Jove conducts his sphere,
And later finishes the tedious year :
Yet swiftly on its axle turned regains
The frequent aid of day to warm his plains.