by Harley White

HarleyWhiteCosmicJewelCluster 800

What is the fabric of this vision,
this stellar cluster in the air—
strings vibrating with grand precision
in symphony beyond compare?

Besides M-theory reflection,
NGC 4755
or the Jewel Box star collection,
is a bright sidereal hive

from the same huge cloud of creation
as seen in this image wide-field
abuzz with astral animation
in ESO depiction revealed.

The assemblage by gravity bound
mid the vast universal flux
with our own naked eye can be found
in the constellation of Crux.

Shown close, those colors of precious gems
caused its nickname by John Herschel
in view of the hues the grouping hems,
unlike Mozart listings Köchel

which are simply chronological
to catalog and convey them
for purposes pedagogical,
not vividly to portray them.

But lest I wander too far astray
into classic panegyric
where music of spheres is holding sway,
I’d best return to my lyric

about this ‘piece of jewelry’ fine,
‘superb’ and ‘fancy’, as noted
back in his 1830s headline
by astronomer devoted.

Lapis lazuli, coral, and pearl,
seem to scintillate overhead
in a setting the heavens unfurl
with cobbled lanes where poets tread.

Stars supergiant add splendid sheen
of pale blue and ruby-red tints
to this brilliant panoramic scene
which of infinite reaches hints.

While gazing at wonderments on high
might make mortal beings feel small,
still, of the treasures of earth and sky
our lives are most precious of all.

‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on,’
thus the Bard of Avon has said.
This is the stage that life is played on
where Nature’s great fabric is spread.

Yet may I fathom this vision deep,
ere my life is rounded with a sleep…

~ Harley White

* * * * * * * * *

Inspiration and image for poem ~ Wide field image of the Jewel Box (ground-based image)

Inspiration and image for poem ~ Wide field image of the Jewel Box

More info ~ NGC 4755 - Jewel Box - Open Cluster…

More info ~ Opening up a colorful cosmic Jewel Box…

More info ~ Jewel Box (star cluster)…

Further info ~ Open cluster…

Also ~ Köchel listing and pronunciation of Köchel (which rhymes with Hershel)…

Plus ~ “The Tempest”: Act 4, Scene 1 ~ by William Shakespeare

Image ~ Wide Field Image of the Jewel Box ~ This image of the well-known NGC 4755 cluster or Jewel Box was taken with the Wide Field Imager (WFI) on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory. It highlights the cluster and its rich surroundings in all their multicolored glory. The field of view is 20 arcminutes across. The picture is based on images obtained through B, V and I filters.

Credit: ESO


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