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RIP Sir Patrick


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Dear all I wanted to drop in and say thank you on behalf of the Sky at Night team for all these tributes to our friend Patrick. I know he would have enjoyed reading them himself (while denying, of cou

we all looked up and smiled in awe some just listened, with fallen jaw For fifty years he conveyed his way that is until this final day. we've all strode out minds truly fired knowing well we've been

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 The Old Astronomer To His Pupil Sarah Williams

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What a sad day.

Even though he was obviously very frail and this day was inevitable, I still feel like I've lost a member of my family, and, I suppose we all have.

I truly hope he gets his wish and is reuntided with the fiance he lost in the war.

One of the few truly great people of our era and an inspiration to many many thousands of us over the years.

RIP Sir Patrick

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So sad to hear of Sir Patrick's passing. As a boy of 10 he inspired me to buy his Observers Book of Astronomy and that led me to my first scope (Prinz refractor from Dixons). I will always remember his unique eccentricity and brilliance with great fondness. We should name a star in his honour..

Dave

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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

The Old Astronomer To His Pupil

Sarah Williams

A wonderful verse 'onesmallstep' thanks for sharing it with us. It would not be found wanting as the great man's epitaph. :smiley:

I've just found and read the entire poem, and thought it would be nice to share it here today...

Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, 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 obloquy 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 Brahe, 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.

The Old Astronomer To His Pupil

Sarah Williams

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