Inspired by Martin's science fiction reference...
(Poem #241) The Green Hills of Earth
Let the sweet fresh breezes heal me As they rove around the girth Of our lovely mother planet Of the cool, green hills of Earth. We rot in the moulds of Venus, We retch at her tainted breath. Foul are her flooded jungles, Crawling with unclean death. [ --- the harsh bright soil of Luna --- --- Saturn's rainbow rings --- --- the frozen night of Titan --- ] We've tried each spinning space mote And reckoned its true worth: Take us back again to the homes of men On the cool, green hills of Earth. The arching sky is calling Spacemen back to their trade. ALL HANDS! STAND BY! FREE FALLING! And the lights below us fade. Out ride the sons of Terra, Far drives the thundering jet, Up leaps a race of Earthmen, Out, far, and onward yet --- We pray for one last landing On the globe that gave us birth; Let us rest our eyes on the friendly skies And the cool, green hills of Earth.
[Taken from Heinlein's brilliant short story of the same name] In the short story (which, btw, is one of the true classics of sf - read it!), today's poem is the work of Rhysling, the 'Blind Singer of the Spaceways'. I won't spoil the story for you by revealing the plot; suffice to say that the SFWA's annual poetry award is now called the Rhysling Award. Honour enough, wouldn't you say? As for the poem itself, I think it's quite strong enough to stand on its own. Apart from inspiring countless filks (indeed, the very concept of filk  can perhaps be traced back to Rhysling), it has a simplicity which sets it apart from the majority of poems with similar themes. I especially like the last stanza - every word seems perfect; any change would be for the worse. thomas.  "music that readers of science fiction enjoy playing and writing, usually with acid social commentary and humor, and sometimes sheer beauty that makes you cry and shiver." - definition courtesy Martin, who likes the stuff (I don't.). Flame him, not me. PS. The gap in the middle is not because I don't remember the words, but because Heinlein himself never expanded on these stanzas beyond the phrases featured in s.