Galileo Galilei: Scene 7, A Walk in the Garden

Scene 7: A Walk in the Garden

Galileo: Both nature and holy scripture are the outward forms of Holy Spirit. Yet I think you might agree, the Bible is a book about how to go to Heaven -- not how the heavens go.
Barberini: Very clever, Galileo. Of course the mind of God is beyond what we can imagine. Even with your telescope, you cannot see that far.

In this scene, Galileo visits the garden of Cardinal Maffeo Barberini, a long-time close acquaintance. The Cardinal greets Galileo warmly, and reads a section of a poem he's composed for the astronomer, called "Dangerous Adulation."

When the moon shines and displays
Its golden procession, and its gleaming fires In its serene orbit
A strange pleasure draws us and rivets our gaze.
This one looks up at the shining evening star
And the terrible star of Mars
And the track colored with the luster of milk
That one sees your light, oh Cynosure.

Or another marvels at either the heart of the Scorpion
Or the torch of the Dog Star
Or the satellites of Jupiter
Or the ears of father Saturn
Discovered by your glass, O learned Galileo . . .


Not always, beyond the radiance that shines
Does it become clear to us:
We notice the black defects on the sun
(Who would believe it?)
By your art, Galileo.


"It goes on nineteen stanzas," the Cardinal continues. "I'll let you read it at your leisure."

the cardinal
(Nicholas Nelson as Cardinal Barberini, in rehearsal)