Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), Lector Amice Salve from the Mysterium Cosmographicum, 1621 edition.

Greetings, Friendly Reader

The World's design, Creation's how and why,
And whence God's numbers: laws that rule the sky—
The reason for six tracks, each interval,
And why the gap twixt Mars and Jove so gapes
Though neither of their spheres is principal—
Pythagoras will show with just five shapes.
We can, through his example, live again:
Two thousand years of error gone, explore
Still better, by Kopernik, than before!
Delay no more, but gather in my grain.

["The Secret of the Universe" 1621 edition]

translations©2002 Leonard Cottrell


Lector Amice Salve

Quid mundus, quae causa Deo, ratioque creandi,
Unde Deo numeri, quae tantae regula moli,
Quid faciat sex circuitus, quo quaelibet orbe
Intervalla cadant, cur tanto Iupiter et Mars,
Orbibus haud primis, interstinguantur hiatu:
Hic te Pythagoras docet omnia quinque figuris.
Scilicet exemplo docuit, nos posse renasci,
Bis mille erratis, dum fit Copernicus annis,
Hoc, melior Mundi speculator, nominis.
At tu Glandibus inventas noli postponere fruges.

[Mysterium Cosmographicum, 1621 edition]