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object:Lucretius
object:Titus Lucretius Carus
subject class:Poetry
subject class:Philosophy
class:author


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OBJECT INSTANCES [0] - TOPICS - AUTHORS - BOOKS - CHAPTERS - CLASSES - SEE ALSO - SIMILAR TITLES

TOPICS
SEE ALSO


AUTH

BOOKS
Of_The_Nature_Of_Things
The_Way_Things_are

IN CHAPTERS TITLE

IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME
1.01_-_Proem
1.02_-_Substance_Is_Eternal
1.03_-_The_Void
1.04_-_Nothing_Exists_Per_Se_Except_Atoms_And_The_Void
1.05_-_Character_Of_The_Atoms
1.06_-_Confutation_Of_Other_Philosophers
1.07_-_The_Infinity_Of_The_Universe
2.01_-_Proem
2.02_-_Atomic_Motions
2.03_-_Atomic_Forms_And_Their_Combinations
2.04_-_Absence_Of_Secondary_Qualities
2.05_-_Infinite_Worlds
3.01_-_Proem
3.02_-_Nature_And_Composition_Of_The_Mind
3.03_-_The_Soul_Is_Mortal
3.04_-_Folly_Of_The_Fear_Of_Death
3.05_-_Cerberus_And_Furies,_And_That_Lack_Of_Light
4.01_-_Proem
4.02_-_Existence_And_Character_Of_The_Images
4.03_-_The_Senses_And_Mental_Pictures
4.04_-_Some_Vital_Functions
4.05_-_The_Passion_Of_Love
5.01_-_Proem
5.02_-_Against_Teleological_Concept
5.03_-_The_World_Is_Not_Eternal
5.04_-_Formation_Of_The_World
5.05_-_Origins_Of_Vegetable_And_Animal_Life
5.06_-_Origins_And_Savage_Period_Of_Mankind
5.07_-_Beginnings_Of_Civilization
6.01_-_Proem
6.02_-_Great_Meteorological_Phenomena,_Etc
6.03_-_Extraordinary_And_Paradoxical_Telluric_Phenomena
6.04_-_The_Plague_Athens

IN CHAPTERS TEXT
01.02_-_Sri_Aurobindo_-_Ahana_and_Other_Poems
01.03_-_Mystic_Poetry
01.05_-_Rabindranath_Tagore:_A_Great_Poet,_a_Great_Man
1.01_-_Proem
1.02_-_Substance_Is_Eternal
1.03_-_The_Void
1.04_-_Nothing_Exists_Per_Se_Except_Atoms_And_The_Void
1.05_-_Character_Of_The_Atoms
1.06_-_Confutation_Of_Other_Philosophers
1.07_-_The_Infinity_Of_The_Universe
2.01_-_Proem
2.02_-_Atomic_Motions
2.03_-_Atomic_Forms_And_Their_Combinations
2.04_-_Absence_Of_Secondary_Qualities
2.05_-_Infinite_Worlds
2.0_-_THE_ANTICHRIST
2.2.1.01_-_The_World's_Greatest_Poets
30.01_-_World-Literature
3.01_-_Proem
3.02_-_Nature_And_Composition_Of_The_Mind
3.03_-_The_Soul_Is_Mortal
3.04_-_Folly_Of_The_Fear_Of_Death
3.05_-_Cerberus_And_Furies,_And_That_Lack_Of_Light
4.01_-_Proem
4.02_-_Existence_And_Character_Of_The_Images
4.03_-_The_Senses_And_Mental_Pictures
4.04_-_Some_Vital_Functions
4.05_-_The_Passion_Of_Love
5.01_-_Proem
5.02_-_Against_Teleological_Concept
5.03_-_The_World_Is_Not_Eternal
5.04_-_Formation_Of_The_World
5.05_-_Origins_Of_Vegetable_And_Animal_Life
5.06_-_Origins_And_Savage_Period_Of_Mankind
5.07_-_Beginnings_Of_Civilization
6.01_-_Proem
6.02_-_Great_Meteorological_Phenomena,_Etc
6.03_-_Extraordinary_And_Paradoxical_Telluric_Phenomena
6.04_-_The_Plague_Athens
Aeneid
BOOK_III._-_The_external_calamities_of_Rome
BOOK_II._--_PART_II._THE_ARCHAIC_SYMBOLISM_OF_THE_WORLD-RELIGIONS
BOOK_I._--_PART_I._COSMIC_EVOLUTION
BOOK_I._--_PART_III._SCIENCE_AND_THE_SECRET_DOCTRINE_CONTRASTED
Book_of_Imaginary_Beings_(text)
ENNEAD_03.07_-_Of_Time_and_Eternity.
ENNEAD_06.05_-_The_One_and_Identical_Being_is_Everywhere_Present_In_Its_Entirety.345
ENNEAD_06.07_-_How_Ideas_Multiplied,_and_the_Good.
Talks_With_Sri_Aurobindo_1
The_Act_of_Creation_text
The_Fearful_Sphere_of_Pascal
Timaeus

PRIMARY CLASS

author
SIMILAR TITLES
Lucretius

DEFINITIONS



QUOTES [2 / 2 - 351 / 351]


KEYS (10k)

   1 Sri Aurobindo
   1 Mortimer J Adler

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

  287 Lucretius
   3 Carlo Rovelli
   3 Bertrand Russell
   2 Umberto Eco
   2 Stephen Greenblatt
   2 Seneca
   2 George Santayana
   2 Arthur C Clarke
   2 Anonymous

1:1st row Homer, Shakespeare, Valmiki
2nd row Dante, Kalidasa, Aeschylus, Virgil, Milton
3rd row Goethe
...
I am not prepared to classify all the poets in the universe - it was the front bench or benches you asked for. By others I meant poets like Lucretius, Euripides, Calderon, Corneille, Hugo. Euripides (Medea, Bacchae and other plays) is a greater poet than Racine whom you want to put in the first ranks. If you want only the very greatest, none of these can enter - only Vyasa and Sophocles. Vyasa could very well claim a place beside Valmiki, Sophocles beside Aeschylus. The rest, if you like, you can send into the third row with Goethe, but it is something of a promotion about which one can feel some qualms. Spenser too, if you like; it is difficult to draw a line.

Shelley, Keats and Wordsworth have not been brought into consideration although their best work is as fine poetry as any written, but they have written nothing on a larger scale which would place them among the greatest creators. If Keats had finished Hyperion (without spoiling it), if Shelley had lived, or if Wordsworth had not petered out like a motor car with insufficient petrol, it might be different, but we have to take things as they are. As it is, all began magnificently, but none of them finished, and what work they did, except a few lyrics, sonnets, short pieces and narratives, is often flawed and unequal. If they had to be admitted, what about at least fifty others in Europe and Asia? ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Poetry And Art,
2:Reading list (1972 edition)[edit]
1. Homer - Iliad, Odyssey
2. The Old Testament
3. Aeschylus - Tragedies
4. Sophocles - Tragedies
5. Herodotus - Histories
6. Euripides - Tragedies
7. Thucydides - History of the Peloponnesian War
8. Hippocrates - Medical Writings
9. Aristophanes - Comedies
10. Plato - Dialogues
11. Aristotle - Works
12. Epicurus - Letter to Herodotus; Letter to Menoecus
13. Euclid - Elements
14.Archimedes - Works
15. Apollonius of Perga - Conic Sections
16. Cicero - Works
17. Lucretius - On the Nature of Things
18. Virgil - Works
19. Horace - Works
20. Livy - History of Rome
21. Ovid - Works
22. Plutarch - Parallel Lives; Moralia
23. Tacitus - Histories; Annals; Agricola Germania
24. Nicomachus of Gerasa - Introduction to Arithmetic
25. Epictetus - Discourses; Encheiridion
26. Ptolemy - Almagest
27. Lucian - Works
28. Marcus Aurelius - Meditations
29. Galen - On the Natural Faculties
30. The New Testament
31. Plotinus - The Enneads
32. St. Augustine - On the Teacher; Confessions; City of God; On Christian Doctrine
33. The Song of Roland
34. The Nibelungenlied
35. The Saga of Burnt Njal
36. St. Thomas Aquinas - Summa Theologica
37. Dante Alighieri - The Divine Comedy;The New Life; On Monarchy
38. Geoffrey Chaucer - Troilus and Criseyde; The Canterbury Tales
39. Leonardo da Vinci - Notebooks
40. Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince; Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy
41. Desiderius Erasmus - The Praise of Folly
42. Nicolaus Copernicus - On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
43. Thomas More - Utopia
44. Martin Luther - Table Talk; Three Treatises
45. François Rabelais - Gargantua and Pantagruel
46. John Calvin - Institutes of the Christian Religion
47. Michel de Montaigne - Essays
48. William Gilbert - On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies
49. Miguel de Cervantes - Don Quixote
50. Edmund Spenser - Prothalamion; The Faerie Queene
51. Francis Bacon - Essays; Advancement of Learning; Novum Organum, New Atlantis
52. William Shakespeare - Poetry and Plays
53. Galileo Galilei - Starry Messenger; Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences
54. Johannes Kepler - Epitome of Copernican Astronomy; Concerning the Harmonies of the World
55. William Harvey - On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals; On the Circulation of the Blood; On the Generation of Animals
56. Thomas Hobbes - Leviathan
57. René Descartes - Rules for the Direction of the Mind; Discourse on the Method; Geometry; Meditations on First Philosophy
58. John Milton - Works
59. Molière - Comedies
60. Blaise Pascal - The Provincial Letters; Pensees; Scientific Treatises
61. Christiaan Huygens - Treatise on Light
62. Benedict de Spinoza - Ethics
63. John Locke - Letter Concerning Toleration; Of Civil Government; Essay Concerning Human Understanding;Thoughts Concerning Education
64. Jean Baptiste Racine - Tragedies
65. Isaac Newton - Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy; Optics
66. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz - Discourse on Metaphysics; New Essays Concerning Human Understanding;Monadology
67.Daniel Defoe - Robinson Crusoe
68. Jonathan Swift - A Tale of a Tub; Journal to Stella; Gulliver's Travels; A Modest Proposal
69. William Congreve - The Way of the World
70. George Berkeley - Principles of Human Knowledge
71. Alexander Pope - Essay on Criticism; Rape of the Lock; Essay on Man
72. Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu - Persian Letters; Spirit of Laws
73. Voltaire - Letters on the English; Candide; Philosophical Dictionary
74. Henry Fielding - Joseph Andrews; Tom Jones
75. Samuel Johnson - The Vanity of Human Wishes; Dictionary; Rasselas; The Lives of the Poets
   ~ Mortimer J Adler,

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:There can be no centre ~ Lucretius
2:Lucretius underestimation ~ Anonymous
3:All things obey fixed laws. ~ Lucretius
4:Nothing comes from nothing. ~ Lucretius
5:Fear is the mother of all gods. ~ Lucretius
6:Truths kindle light for truths. ~ Lucretius
7:The sum of all sums is eternity. ~ Lucretius
8:Fear holds dominion over mortality ~ Lucretius
9:All life is a struggle in the dark. ~ Lucretius
10:A property is that which not at all ~ Lucretius
11:How many evils has religion caused! ~ Lucretius
12:Only religion can lead to such evil. ~ Lucretius
13:So much wrong could religion induce. ~ Lucretius
14:Such crimes has superstition caused. ~ Lucretius
15:Those vestiges of natures left behind ~ Lucretius
16:Constant dripping hollows out a stone. ~ Lucretius
17:Continual dropping wears away a stone. ~ Lucretius
18:Life is one long struggle in the dark. ~ Lucretius
19:Nothing can be created out of nothing. ~ Lucretius
20:One Man's food is another Man's Poison ~ Lucretius
21:Such evil deeds could religion prompt. ~ Lucretius
22:Tantum Religio Potuit Suadere Malorum. ~ Lucretius
23:There can be no centre
in infinity. ~ Lucretius
24:Thus, then, the All that is is limited ~ Lucretius
25:For I thought Epicurus and Lucretius ~ Robert Frost
26:How is it that the sky feeds the stars? ~ Lucretius
27:I own with reason: for, if men but knew ~ Lucretius
28:La naturaleza consta de cuerpos y vacío ~ Lucretius
29:Nothing from nothing ever yet was born. ~ Lucretius
30:Victory puts us on a level with heaven. ~ Lucretius
31:And since the mind is of a man one part, ~ Lucretius
32:For common instinct of our race declares ~ Lucretius
33:I prove the supreme law of Gods and sky, ~ Lucretius
34:Mother of Rome, delight of Gods and men, ~ Lucretius
35:All things keep on in everlasting motion, ~ Lucretius
36:And thus thou canst remark that every act ~ Lucretius
37:Gently touching with the charm of poetry. ~ Lucretius
38:How many evils have flowed from religion. ~ Lucretius
39:Now come: that thou mayst able be to know ~ Lucretius
40:When bodies spring apart, because the air ~ Lucretius
41:A falling drop at last will carve a stone. ~ Lucretius
42:Tears for the mourners who are left behind ~ Lucretius
43:And many kinds of creatures must have died, ~ Lucretius
44:Falling drops will at last wear away stone. ~ Lucretius
45:Men conceal the past scenes of their lives. ~ Lucretius
46:Our life must once have end; in vain we fly ~ Lucretius
47:There is no place in nature for extinction. ~ Lucretius
48:The sum total of all sums total is eternal. ~ Lucretius
49:All nature, then, as self-sustained, consists ~ Lucretius
50:Confess then, naught from nothing can become, ~ Lucretius
51:But yet creation's neither crammed nor blocked ~ Lucretius
52:Meantime, when once we know from nothing still ~ Lucretius
53:Nada puede tocar ni ser tocado si no es cuerpo ~ Lucretius
54:Nor can those motions that bring death prevail ~ Lucretius
55:See with what force yon river's crystal stream ~ Lucretius
56:Such heinous acts could superstition prompt.12 ~ Lucretius
57:The mask is torn off, while the reality remains ~ Lucretius
58:The sum of things there is no power can change, ~ Lucretius
59:Nothing exists but amalgams of matter and space. ~ Lucretius
60:O goddess, bestow on my words an immortal charm. ~ Lucretius
61:The fall of dropping water wears away the Stone. ~ Lucretius
62:But since I've taught that bodies of matter, made ~ Lucretius
63:Fear was the first thing on Earth to create gods. ~ Lucretius
64:It is doubtful what fortune to-morrow will bring. ~ Lucretius
65:Vineyards and shining harvests, pastures, arbors, ~ Lucretius
66:What is food to one man is bitter poison to others ~ Lucretius
67:So potent was religion in persuading to evil deeds. ~ Lucretius
68:To none is life given in freehold; to all on lease. ~ Lucretius
69:Nay, the greatest wits and poets, too, cease to live; ~ Lucretius
70:These [the senses] we trust, first, last, and always. ~ Lucretius
71:What is food to one man may be fierce poison to others ~ Lucretius
72:Air, I should explain, becomes wind when it is agitated. ~ Lucretius
73:What once sprung from the earth sinks back into the earth. ~ Lucretius
74:For thee the wonder-working earth puts forth sweet flowers. ~ Lucretius
75:Those things that are in the light we behold from darkness. ~ Lucretius
76:And life is given to none freehold, but is leasehold for all ~ Lucretius
77:The water hollows out the stone, not by force but drop by drop. ~ Lucretius
78:And life is given to none freehold, but it is leasehold for all. ~ Lucretius
79:The body searches for that which has injured the mind with love. ~ Lucretius
80:The mind like a sick body can be healed and changed by medicine. ~ Lucretius
81:We notice that the mind grows with the body, and with it decays. ~ Lucretius
82:Never trust the calm sea when she shows her false alluring smile. ~ Lucretius
83:Religious questions have often led to wicked and impious actions. ~ Lucretius
84:The first beginnings of things cannot be distinguished by the eye. ~ Lucretius
85:The first-beginnings of things cannot be distinguished by the eye. ~ Lucretius
86:There is so much wrong with the world. (tanta stat praedita culpa) ~ Lucretius
87:The sum total of all sums total is eternal (meaning the universe). ~ Lucretius
88:It is great wealth to a soul to live frugally with a contented mind. ~ Lucretius
89:Not they who reject the gods are profane, but those who accept them. ~ Lucretius
90:Men are eager to tread underfoot what they have once too much feared. ~ Lucretius
91:жодна річ із нічого не постає і в свій час у ніщо обернутись не може. ~ Lucretius
92:How wretched are the minds of men, and how blind their understandings. ~ Lucretius
93:Such are the heights of wickedness to which men are driven by religion. ~ Lucretius
94:We plainly perceive that the mind strengthens and decays with the body. ~ Lucretius
95:By protracting life, we do not deduct one jot from the duration of death. ~ Lucretius
96:The wailing of the newborn infant is mingled with the dirge for the dead. ~ Lucretius
97:Lucretius’ maxim: ‘Where I am, death is not; where death is, I am not. ~ Irvin D Yalom
98:Tis pleasant to stand on shore and watch others labouring in a stormy sea. ~ Lucretius
99:The drops of rain make a hole in the stone not by violence but by oft falling. ~ Lucretius
100:The drops of rain make a hole in the stone ,not by violence, but by off falling ~ Lucretius
101:It's easier to avoid the snares of love than to escape once you are in that net. ~ Lucretius
102:We, peopling the void air, make gods to whom we impute the ills we ought to bear. ~ Lucretius
103:True piety lies rather in the power to contemplate the universe with a quiet mind. ~ Lucretius
104:Human life lay foul before men's eyes, crushed to the dust beneath religion's weight. ~ Lucretius
105:Things stand apart so far and differ, that What's food for one is poison for another. ~ Lucretius
106:He does not see that all things slowly weaken and fall to ruin,2 worn out by ages past. ~ Lucretius
107:If within wood hide flame and smoke and ash then wood consists of things unlike itself. ~ Lucretius
108:It is pleasant, when the sea runs high, to view from land the great distress of another. ~ Lucretius
109:Mother of Aeneas, pleasure of men and gods. -Aeneadum genetrix, hominum divomque voluptas ~ Lucretius
110:Rather, there must be seeds, unseen, combined 895 in many ways and common to many things. ~ Lucretius
111:as Lucretius wrote: “our appetite for life is voracious, our thirst for life insatiable ~ Carlo Rovelli
112:No matter how difficult a task may look.. Persistence and steady action will get you through ~ Lucretius
113:Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum. (To such heights of evil are men driven by religion.) ~ Lucretius
114:“We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.” ~ Lucretius
115:One thing is made of another, and nature allows no new creation except at the price of death. ~ Lucretius
116:Man's greatest wealth is to live on a little with contented mind; for little is never lacking. ~ Lucretius
117:For whatever changes and leaves its natural bounds
is instant death of that which was before. ~ Lucretius
118:We cannot conceive of matter being formed of nothing, since things require a seed to start from. ~ Lucretius
119:Words pass through walls and slip past lock and key,
and numbing cold seeps to our very bones. ~ Lucretius
120:And so, through the blank of void, all things must fall at equal speed, though not of equal weight. ~ Lucretius
121:Yet a little while, and (the happy hour) will be over, nor ever more shall we be able to recall it. ~ Lucretius
122:In the midst of the fountain of wit there arises something bitter, which stings in the very flowers. ~ Lucretius
123:So far as it goes, a small thing may give analogy of great things, and show the tracks of knowledge. ~ Lucretius
124:Au seuil de la science est assis ce principe : Rien n’est sorti de rien. Rien n’est l’œuvre des dieux. ~ Lucretius
125:Nature repairs one thing from another and allows nothing to be born without the aid of another's death. ~ Lucretius
126:...There is not anything which returns to nothing, but all things return dissolved into their elements. ~ Lucretius
127:Death is nothing to us, it matters not one jot, since the nature of the mind is understood to be mortal. ~ Lucretius
128:Every person tries to flee himself—yet despite ourselves, we remain attached to this self which we hate. ~ Lucretius
129:The greatest wealth is to live content with little, for there is never want where the mind is satisfied. ~ Lucretius
130:[N]ature repairs one thing from another and allows nothing to be born without the aid of another's death. ~ Lucretius
131:Pleasant it to behold great encounters of warfare arrayed over the plains, with no part of yours in peril. ~ Lucretius
132:Violence and injury enclose in their net all that do such things, and generally return upon him who began. ~ Lucretius
133:From the heart of this fountain of delights wells up some bitter taste to choke them even amid the flowers. ~ Lucretius
134:Look at a man in the midst of doubt & danger and you will learn in his hour of adversity what he really is. ~ Lucretius
135:There is nothing that exists so great or marvelous that over time mankind does not admire it less and less. ~ Lucretius
136:From the heart of the fountain of delight rises a jet of bitterness that tortures us among the very flowers. ~ Lucretius
137:If the world is the product of nothing but natural forces and natural law, divine intervention is impossible. ~ Lucretius
138:Therefore there is not anything which returns to nothing, but all things return dissolved into their elements. ~ Lucretius
139:All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician, and ridiculous to the philosopher. ~ Lucretius
140:From the very fountain of enchantment there arises a taste of bitterness to spread anguish amongst the flowers. ~ Lucretius
141:Whenever a thing changes and quits its proper limits, This change is at once the death of that which was before ~ Lucretius
142:the wild olive delights bearded goats as much as if it gave off------1290 flavours of ambrosia dipped in nectar. ~ Lucretius
143:Violence and wrong enclose all who commit them in their meshes and do mostly recoil on him from whom they begin. ~ Lucretius
144:Lucretius and Cicero testify to the view that people dream about the things that concern them in waking life. ~ Sigmund Freud
145:Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum! - Translated: How many evils has religion caused! ~ Lucretius, De Rerum Natura. I. 102
146:What can give us more sure knowledge than our senses? How else can we distinguish between the true and the false? ~ Lucretius
147:Whenever anything changes and quits its proper limits, this change is at once the death of that which was before. ~ Lucretius
148:Sweet it is, when on the high seas the winds are lashing the waters, to gaze from the land on another's struggles. ~ Lucretius
149:From the midst of the very fountain of pleasure, something of bitterness arises to vex us in the flower of enjoyment. ~ Lucretius
150:So, little by little, time brings out each several thing into view, and reason raises it up into the shores of light. ~ Lucretius
151:Fear is the mother of all gods ... Nature does all things spontaneously, by herself, without the meddling of the gods. ~ Lucretius
152:The highest summits and those elevated above the level of other things are mostly blasted by envy as by a thunderbolt. ~ Lucretius
153:Time changes the nature of the whole world; Everything passes from one state to another And nothing stays like itself. ~ Lucretius
154:It is pleasurable, when winds disturb the waves of a great sea, to gaze out from land upon the great trials of another. ~ Lucretius
155:The nature of the universe has by no means been made through divine power, seeing how great are the faults that mar it. ~ Lucretius
156:Too often in time past, religion has brought forth criminal and shameful actions... How many evils has religion caused? ~ Lucretius
157:The atoms in it must be used over and over again; thus the death of one thing becomes necessary for the birth of another. ~ Lucretius
158:Though the dungeon, the scourge, and the executioner be absent, the guilty mind can apply the goad and scorch with blows. ~ Lucretius
159:You may complete as many generations as you please during your life; none the less will that everlasting death await you. ~ Lucretius
160:Matter's basic elements are solid,
Completely so, and that they fly through time
Invincible, indestructible for ever. ~ Lucretius
161:It must not be claimed that anyone can sense time by itself apart from the movement of things. LUCRETIUS, De rerum natura1 ~ Carlo Rovelli
162:Lucretius, who follows [Epicurus] in denouncing love, sees no harm in sexual intercourse provided it is divorced from passion. ~ Lucretius
163:Epicurus ... whose genius surpassed all humankind, extinguished the light of others, as the stars are dimmed by the rising sun. ~ Lucretius
164:All things keep on in everlasting motion,
Out of the infinite come the particles,
Speeding above, below, in endless dance. ~ Lucretius
165:It is pleasant, when the sea is high and the winds are dashing the waves about, to watch from the shores the struggles of another. ~ Lucretius
166:You alone govern the nature of things. Without you nothing emerges into the light of day, without you nothing is joyous or lovely. ~ Lucretius
167:Out beyond our world there are, elsewhere, other assemblages of matter making other worlds. Ours is not the only one in air's embrace. ~ Lucretius
168:Why dost thou not retire like a guest sated with the banquet of life, and with calm mind embrace, thou fool, a rest that knows no care? ~ Lucretius
169:Do we not see all humans unaware Of what they want, and always searching everywhere, And changing place, as if to drop the load they bear? ~ Lucretius
170:O misere menti degli uomini, o uomini ciechi!
In quale tenebrosa esistenza e fra quanto grandi pericoli si trascorre questa breve vita! ~ Lucretius
171:yet a place
There is upon some distant mountain side
Whence all doth seem to be at rest and lie
As but a glimmer on the plain below. ~ Lucretius
172:My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race. ~ Bertrand Russell
173:When the body is assailed by the strong force of time and the limbs weaken from exhausted force, genius breaks down, and mind and speech fail. ~ Lucretius
174:Lucretius hit it on the nail when he said that religion was the by-product of fear—a reaction to a mysterious and often hostile universe. ~ Arthur C Clarke
175:... we in the light sometimes fear what is no more to be feared than the things children in the dark hold in terror and imagine will come true. ~ Lucretius
176:To ask for power is forcing uphill a stone which after all rolls back again from the summit and seeks in headlong haste the levels of the plain. ~ Lucretius
177:The old must always make way for the new, and one thing must be built out of the ruins of another. There is no murky pit of hell awaiting anyone. ~ Lucretius
178:Nothing can dwindle to nothing, as Nature restores one thing from the stuff of another, nor does she allow a birth, without a corresponding death. ~ Lucretius
179:Burning fevers flee no swifter from your body if you toss under figured counterpanes and coverlets of crimson than if you must lie in rude homespun. ~ Lucretius
180:To fear death, then, is foolish, since death is the final and complete annihilation of personal identity, the ultimate release from anxiety and pain. ~ Lucretius
181:If men saw that a term was set to their troubles, they would find strength in some way to withstand the hocus-pocus and intimidations of the prophets. ~ Lucretius
182:This fright, this night of the mind must be dispelled, not by the rays of the sun, nor day’s bright spears, 60 but by the face of nature and her laws. ~ Lucretius
183:Lucretius wants to write the poem of matter, but he warns us from the start that the reality of matter is that it’s made of invisible particles. He ~ Italo Calvino
184:What came from the earth returns back to the earth, and the spirit that was sent from heaven, again carried back, is received into the temple of heaven. ~ Lucretius
185:Some species increase, others diminish, and in a short space the generations of living creatures are changed and, like runners, pass on the torch of life. ~ Lucretius
186:... deprived of pain, and also deprived of danger, able to do what it wants, [Nature] does not need us, nor understands our deserts, and it cannot be angry. ~ Lucretius
187:It is a pleasure for to sit at ease Upon the land, and safely for to see How other folks are tossed on the seas That with the blustering winds turmoiled be. ~ Lucretius
188:If the matter of death is reduced to sleep and rest, what can there be so bitter in it, that any one should pine in eternal grief for the decease of a friend? ~ Lucretius
189:Visible objects therefore do not perish utterly, since nature repairs one thing from another and allows nothing to be born without the aid of another's death. ~ Lucretius
190:Under what law each thing was created, and how necessary it is for it to continue under this, and how it cannot annul the strong rules that govern its lifetime. ~ Lucretius
191:All things around, convulsed with violent thunder, seem to tremble, and the mighty walls of the capacious world appear at once to have started and burst asunder. ~ Lucretius
192:For there is a VOID in things; a truth which it will be useful for you, in reference to many points, to know; and which will prevent you from wandering in doubt. ~ Lucretius
193:The vivid force of his mind prevailed, and he fared forth far beyond the flaming ramparts of the heavens and traversed the boundless universe in thought and mind. ~ Lucretius
194:harsh verdict of the great philosopher Lucretius: all religions were fundamentally immoral, because the superstitions they peddled wrought more evil than good. ~ Arthur C Clarke
195:It is entirely possible to have an interest in alchemy, religious history and other assorted old-fashioned things while maintaining a perfectly materialistic stance. ~ Lucretius
196:Watch a man in times of adversity to discover what kind of man he is; for then at last words of truth are drawn from the depths of his heart, and the mask is torn off. ~ Lucretius
197:Were a man to order his life by the rules of true reason, a frugal substance joined to a contented mind is for him great riches; for never is there any lack of a little. ~ Lucretius
198:Globed from the atoms falling slow or swift I see the suns, I see the systems lift Their forms; and even the systems and the suns Shall go back slowly to the eternal drift. ~ Lucretius
199:If God can do anything he can make a stone so heavy that even he can't lift it. Then there is something God cannot do, he cannot lift the stone. Therefore God does not exist. ~ Lucretius
200:Longtemps dans la poussière, écrasée, asservie, Sous la religion l’on vit ramper la vie ; Horrible, secouant sa tête dans les cieux, Planait sur les mortels l’épouvantail des dieux. ~ Lucretius
201:For fools admire and love those things they see hidden in verses turned all upside down, and take for truth what sweetly strokes the ears and comes with sound of phrases fine imbued. ~ Lucretius
202:Clearly, this never happens, since each thing sprung of its own specific seed and parent, grows always true to type, as we observe. The process, of course, must follow clear-cut laws. ~ Lucretius
203:Never again will your dear children race for the prize of your first kisses and touch your heart with pleasure too profound for words.
You will not care because you will not exist. ~ Lucretius
204:Rest, brother, rest. Have you done ill or well Rest, rest, There is no God, no gods who dwell Crowned with avenging righteousness on high Nor frowning ministers of their hate in hell. ~ Lucretius
205:No single thing abides; but all things flow. Fragment to fragment clings - the things thus grow Until we know them and name them. By degrees They melt, and are no more the things we know. ~ Lucretius
206:Forbear to spew out reason from your mind, but rather ponder everything with keen judgment; and if it seems true, own yourself vanquished, but, if it is false, gird up your loins to fight. ~ Lucretius
207:...if one thing frightens people, it is that so much happens, on earth and out in space, the reasons for which seem somehow to escape them, and they fill in the gap by putting it down to the gods. ~ Lucretius
208:The dreadful fear of hell is to be driven out, which disturbs the life of man and renders it miserable, overcasting all things with the blackness of darkness, and leaving no pure, unalloyed pleasure. ~ Lucretius
209:Furthermore, as the body suffers the horrors of disease and the pangs of pain, so we see the mind stabbed with anguish, grief and fear. What more natural than that it should likewise have a share in death? ~ Lucretius
210:No fact is so simple that it is not harder to believe than to doubt at the first presentation. Equally, there is nothing so mighty or so marvelous that the wonder it evokes does not tend to diminish in time. ~ Lucretius
211:fear in sooth holds so in check all mortals, because they see many operations go on in earth and heaven, the causes of which they can in no way understand, believing them therefore to be done by power divine. ~ Lucretius
212:For envy, like lightning, generally strikes at the top Or any point which sticks out from the ordinary level. LUCRETIUS, De Rerum Natura Our envy always outlives the felicity of its object. ~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld
213:For as children tremble and fear everything in the blind darkness, so we in the light sometimes fear what is no more to be feared than the things children in the dark hold in terror and imagine will come true. ~ Lucretius
214:Thanks largely to Greenblatt’s marvellous book The Swerve, I have only recently come to know Lucretius, and to appreciate the extent to which I am, and always have been without knowing it, a Lucretian/Epicurean. ~ Matt Ridley
215:It's easier to avoid the snares of love than to escape once you are in that net whose cords and knots are strong; but even so, enmeshed, entangled, you can still get out unless, poor fool, you stand in your own way. ~ Lucretius
216:To truly take the measure of a man, you must observe him in the midst of trial and tribulation-then, from the bottom of their hearts, men say what they believe; the mask is torn away, and what remains cannot deceive. ~ Lucretius
217:So it is more useful to watch a man in times of peril, and in adversity to discern what kind of man he is; for then at last words of truth are drawn from the depths of his heart, and the mask is torn off, reality remains. ~ Lucretius
218:Since therefore I see that the chiefest members and parts of the world are destroyed and begotten anew, I may be sure that for heaven and earth as well there has been a time of beginning and there will be a time of destruction. ~ Lucretius
219:For though I were ignorant of the basic stuff, still, just from heaven’s behavior, I would dare affirm, and assert on many other grounds, that gods most certainly never made the world 180 for you and me: it stands too full of flaws. ~ Lucretius
220:To begin, this thing he calls “homoeomeria”— take bones: you see, they’re made of little bones, 835 wee, tiny ones; and from wee, tiny guts, guts are created; and blood comes into being when lots of little drops of blood foregather. ~ Lucretius
221:Nature obliges everything to change about. One thing crumbles and falls in the weakness of age; Another grows in its place from a negligible start. So time alters the whole nature of the world And earth passes from one state to another. ~ Lucretius
222:But centaurs never existed; there could never be So to speak a double nature in a single body Or a double body composed of incongruous parts With a consequent disparity in the faculties. The stupidest person ought to be convinced of that. ~ Lucretius
223:First, then, I say, that the mind, which we often call the intellect, in which is placed the conduct and government of life, is not less an integral part of man himself, than the hand, and foot, and eyes, are portions of the whole animal. ~ Lucretius
224:The gods and their tranquil abodes appear, which no winds disturb, nor clouds bedew with showers, nor does the white snow, hardened by frost, annoy them; the heaven, always pure, is without clouds, and smiles with pleasant light diffused. ~ Lucretius
225:Here there is left a tenuous subterfuge, 875 which Anaxagoras seizes: think of things as mixtures of everything, all concealed but one that shows—the one that’s mixed in largest measure and close to the surface and placed right at the top. ~ Lucretius
226:Thus the sum of things is ever being reviewed, and mortals dependent one upon another. Some nations increase, others diminish, and in a short space the generations of living creatures are changed and like runners pass on the torch of life. ~ Lucretius
227:Pleasant it is, when over a great sea the winds trouble the waters, to gaze from shore upon another's tribulation: not because any man's troubles are a delectable joy, but because to perceive from what ills you are free yourself is pleasant. ~ Lucretius
228:Beauty and strength were, both of them, much esteemed; Then wealth was discovered and soon after gold Which quickly became more honoured than strength or beauty. For men, however strong or beautiful, Generally follow the train of a richer man. ~ Lucretius
229:Thus the sum of things is ever being renewed, and mortals live dependent one upon another. Some nations increase, others diminish, and in a short space the generations of living creatures are changed and like runners pass on the torch of life. ~ Lucretius
230:Trees don't live in the sky, and clouds don't swim
In the salt seas, and fish don't leap in wheatfields,
Blood isn't found in wood, nor sap in rocks.
By fixed arrangement, all that live and grows
Submits to limit and restrictions. ~ Lucretius
231:Pleasant it is, when over a great sea the winds trouble the waters, to gaze from shore upon another's great tribulation: not because any man's troubles are a delectable joy, but because to perceive from what ills you are free yourself is pleasant. ~ Lucretius
232:Long time men lay oppress'd with slavish fear Religion's tyranny did domineer ... At length a mighty one of Greece began To assert the natural liberty of man, By senseless terrors and vain fancies let To slavery. Straight the conquered phantoms fled. ~ Lucretius
233:Time by itself does not exist; but from things themselves there results a sense of what has already taken place, what is now going on and what is to ensue. It must not be claimed that anyone can sense time by itself apart from the movement of things. ~ Lucretius
234:Even if I knew nothing of the atoms, I would venture to assert on the evidence of the celestial phenomena themselves, supported by many other arguments, that the universe was certainly not created for us by divine power: it is so full of imperfections. ~ Lucretius
235:In De Rerum Natura, Lucretius pointed out a very central truth concerning the examined life. That is, that the man of science who concerns himself solely with science, who cannot enjoy and be enriched by art, is a misshapen man. An incomplete man. ~ William Styron
236:One wonders what the proper high-brow Romans ... read into the strange utterances of Lucretius or Apuleius or Tertullian, Augustine or Athanasius. The uncanny voice of Iberian Spain, the weirdness of old Carthage, the passion of Libya and North Africa. ~ D H Lawrence
237:Certainly it was no design of the atoms to place themselves in a particular order, nor did they decide what motions each should have. But atoms were struck with blows in many ways and carried along by their own weight from infinite times up to the present. ~ Lucretius
238:Did men but know that there was a fixed limit to their woes, they would be able, in some measure, to defy the religious fictions and menaces of the poets; but now, since we must fear eternal punishment at death, there is no mode, no means, of resisting them. ~ Lucretius
239:Il faut avant tout chasser et détruire cette crainte de l'Achéron ( le fleuve des enfers ) qui, pénétrant jusqu'au fond de notre être, empoisonne la vie humaine, colore toute chose de la noirceur de la mort et ne laisse subsister aucun plaisir limpide et pur. ~ Lucretius
240:For men know not what the nature of the soul is; whether it is engendered with us, or whether, on the contrary, it is infused into us at our birth, whether it perishes with us, dissolved by death, or whether it haunts the gloomy shades and vast pools of Orcus. ~ Lucretius
241:Again see you not that even stones are conquered by time, that high towers fall and rocks moulder away, that shrines and idols of gods are worn down with decay, and that holy divinity cannot prolong the bounds of fate or struggle against the fixed laws of nature? ~ Lucretius
242:Nature impelled men to make sounds with their tongues And they found it useful to give names to things Much for the same reason that we see children now Have recourse to gestures because they cannot speak And point their fingers at things which appear before them. ~ Lucretius
243:Anything made out of destructible matter Infinite time would have devoured before. But if the atoms that make and replenish the world Have endured through the immense span of the past Their natures are immortal-that is clear. Never can things revert to nothingness! ~ Lucretius
244:Lucretius was passionate, and much more in need of exhortations to prudence than Epicurus was. He committed suicide, and appears to have suffered from periodic insanity - brought on, so some averred, by the pains of love or the unintended effects of a love philtre. ~ Lucretius
245:this terror then and drakness of mind must be dispelled not by the rays of the sun and glittering shafts of day, but by the aspect and the law of nature; the warp whose design we shall begin with this first principle, nothing is ever gotten out of nothing by divine power. ~ Lucretius
246:For piety lies not in being often seen turning a veiled head to stones, nor in approaching every altar, nor in lying prostratebefore the temples of the gods, nor in sprinkling altars with the blood of beastsbut rather in being able to look upon all things with a mind at peace. ~ Lucretius
247:Huts they made then, and fire, and skins for clothing, And a woman yielded to one man in wedlock... ... Common, to see the offspring they had made; The human race began to mellow then. Because of fire their shivering forms no longer Could bear the cold beneath the covering sky. ~ Lucretius
248:Herein you must look far and deep and take a wide view to every quarter, that you may remember that the sum of things is unfathomable, and see how small, how infinitely small a part of the whole sum is one single heaven--not so large a part, as is a single man of the whole earth. ~ Lucretius
249:If anyone decided to call the sea Neptune, and corn Ceres, and to misapply the name of Bacchus rather than to give liquor its right name, so be it; and let him dub the round world "Mother of the Gods" so long as he is careful not really to infest his mind with base superstitions. ~ Lucretius
250:In the works of Lucretius, we find two reasons why we shouldn't worry about death. If you have had a successful life, Lucretius tell us, there's no reason to mind its end. And, if you haven't had a good time, "Why do you seek to add more years, which would also pass but ill?" ~ Alain de Botton
251:And in declaring true every theory that does not contravene the evidence of the senses, Epicurus does not blink the fact that the philosopher may arrive at more than one explanation for a given phenomenon—in some cases, even at explanations that are mutually exclusive or contradictory. ~ Lucretius
252:And part of the soil is called to wash away In storms and streams shave close and gnaw the rocks. Besides, whatever the earth feeds and grows Is restored to earth. And since she surely is The womb of all things and their common grave, Earth must dwindle, you see and take on growth again. ~ Lucretius
253:so-called worst-case event, when it happened, exceeded the worst case at the time. I have called this mental defect the Lucretius problem, after the Latin poetic philosopher who wrote that the fool believes that the tallest mountain in the world will be equal to the tallest one he has observed. ~ Anonymous
254:Though you outlive as many generations as you will,
Nevertheless, Eternal Death is waiting for you still.
It is no shorter, that eternity that lies in store
For the man who with the setting sun today will rise no more,
Than for the man whose sun has set months, even years, before. ~ Lucretius
255:There is no murky pit of hell awaiting anyone ... Mind cannot arise alone without body, or apart from sinews and blood ... You must admit, therefore, that when then body has perished, there is an end also of the spirit diffused through it. It is surely crazy to couple a mortal object with an eternal... ~ Lucretius
256:Since you must admit that there is nothing outside the universe, it can have no limit and is accordingly without end or measure. It makes no odds in which part of it you may take your stand; whatever spot anyone may occupy, the universe stretches away from him just the same in all directions without limit. ~ Lucretius
257:As Lucretius says: 'Thus ever from himself doth each man flee.' But what does he gain if he does not escape from himself? He ever follows himself and weighs upon himself as his own most burdensome companion. And so we ought to understand that what we struggle with is the fault, not of the places, but of ourselves ~ Seneca
258:... even if Lucretius was wrong, and the soul is immortal, it is nevertheless steadily changing its interests and its possessions.Our lives are mortal if our soul is not; and the sentiment which reconciled Lucretius to death is as much needed if we are to face many deaths, as if we are to face only one. ~ George Santayana
259:If atom stocks are inexhaustible, Greater than power of living things to count, If Nature's same creative power were present too To throw the atoms into unions - exactly as united now, Why then confess you must That other worlds exist in other regions of the sky, And different tribes of men, kinds of wild beasts. ~ Lucretius
260:Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas,              
atque metus omnis et inexorabile fatum
subiecit pedibus strepitumque Acherontis auari.
Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas,              
atque metus omnis et inexorabile fatum
subiecit pedibus strepitumque Acherontis auari.
(on Lucretius) ~ Virgil
261:For it is unknown what is the real nature of the soul, whether it be born with the bodily frame or be infused at the moment of birth, whether it perishes along with us, when death separates the soul and body, or whether it visits the shades of Pluto and bottomless pits, or enters by divine appointment into other animals. ~ Lucretius
262:As Lucretius says: 'Thus ever from himself doth each man flee.' But what does he gain if he does not escape from himself? He ever follows himself and weighs upon himself as his own most burdensome companion. And so we ought to understand that what we struggle with is the fault, not of the places, but of ourselves ~ Seneca the Younger
263:Si donc les corps premiers sont, comme je l'ai montré, solides et sans vide, ils sont nécessairement doués d'éternité. Du reste si la matière n'avait pas été éternelle, depuis longtemps déjà les choses seraient toutes et tout entières retournées au néant, et c'est du néant que serait né de nouveau tout ce que nous voyons. ~ Lucretius
264:Why shed tears that you must die? For if your past life has been one of enjoyment, and if all your pleasures have not passed through your mind, as through a sieve, and vanished, leaving not a rack behind, why then do you not, like a thankful guest, rise cheerfully from life's feast, and with a quiet mind go take your rest. ~ Lucretius
265:Your life is death already, though you live
And though you see, except that half your time
You waste in sleep, and the other half you snore
With eyes wide open, forever seeing dreams,
Forever in panic, forever lacking wit
To find out what the trouble is, depressed,
Or drunk, or drifting aimlessly around. ~ Lucretius
266:Humanity, at any rate, does have free will, and in a most ingenious way Epicurus derived free will from the doctrine of the swerve of the atom, saying in effect that the power to make a deliberate choice of action was inherent in the atom itself, which demonstrated that power by unaccountably swerving from its “normal” path. ~ Lucretius
267:At this stage you must admit that whatever is seen to be sentient is nevertheless composed of atoms that are insentient. The phenomena open to our observation do not contradict this conclusion or conflict with it. Rather they lead us by the hand and compel us to believe that the animate is born, as I maintain, of the insentient ~ Lucretius
268:At this stage you must admit that whatever is seen to be sentient is nevertheless composed of atoms that are insentient. The phenomena open to our observation so not contradict this conclusion or conflict with it. Rather they lead us by the hand and compel us to believe that the animate is born, as I maintain, of the insentient. ~ Lucretius
269:Again, if all movement is always interconnected, the new arising from the old in a determinate order - if the atoms never swerve so as to originate some new movement that will snap the bonds of fate, the everlasting sequence of cause and effect - what is the source of the free will possessed by living things throughout the earth? ~ Lucretius
270:A joy it is, when the strong winds of storm
Sir up the waters of a mighty sea,
To watch from the shore the troubles of another.
No pleasure this in any man’s distress,
But joy to see the ills from which you are spared,
And joy to see great armies locked in conflict
Across the plains, yourself free from the danger ~ Lucretius
271:Epicureanism was a philosophy that brought peace and quiet rather than inspiration and exhilaration; based on a theory of the exclusive validity of sense perception and on an ethical doctrine that pleasure was the criterion of the good, it lent itself not only to a dull and flat dialectic but also to gross misinterpretation. Although, ~ Lucretius
272:hunc igitur terrorem animi tenebrasque necessest
non radii solis neque lucida tela diei
discutiant, sed naturae species ratioque.
(1.146ff.)

Therefore it is necessary that neither the rays of the sun nor the shining spears of Day should shatter this terror and darkness of the mind, but the aspect and reason of nature... ~ Lucretius
273:Assuredly whatsoever things are fabled to exist in deep Acheron, these all exist in this life. There is no wretched Tantalus, fearing the great rock that hangs over him in the air and frozen with vain terror. Rather, it is in this life that fear of the gods oppresses mortals without cause, and the rock they fear is any that chance may bring. ~ Lucretius
274:It was certainly not by design that the particles fell into order, they did not work out what they were going to do, but because many of them by many chances struck one another in the course of infinite time and encountered every possible form and movement, that they found at last the disposition they have, and that is how the universe was created. ~ Lucretius
275:Religion is based ... mainly upon fear ... fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race. ~ Bertrand Russell
276:I return to the newborn world, and the soft-soil fields, What their first birthing lifted to the shores Of light, and trusted to the wayward winds. First the Earth gave the shimmer of greenery And grasses to deck the hills; then over the meadows The flowering fields are bright with the color of springtime, And for all the trees that shoot into the air. ~ Lucretius
277:For as in the dead of night children are prey
to hosts of terrors, so we sometimes by day
are fearful of things that should no more concern us
than bogeys that frighten children in the dark.
This fright, this night of the mind must be dispelled
not by the rays of the sun, nor day's bright spears,
but by the face of nature and her laws. ~ Lucretius
278:When the supreme violence of a furious wind upon the sea sweeps over the waters the chief admiral of a fleet along with his mighty legions, does he not crave the gods' peace with vows and in his panic seek with prayers the peace of the winds and favouring breezes. Nonetheless, he is caught up in the furious hurricane and driven upon the shoals of death. ~ Lucretius
279:Mortal, what hast thou of such grave concern
That thou indulgest in too sickly plaints?
Why this bemoaning and beweeping death?
For if thy life aforetime and behind
To thee was grateful, and not all thy good
Was heaped as in sieve to flow away
And perish unavailingly, why not,
Even like a banqueter, depart the hall,
Laden with life? ~ Lucretius
280:The ancient Ionians were the first we know of to argue systematically that laws and forces of Nature, rather than gods, are responsible for the order and even the existence of the world. As Lucretius summarized their views, “Nature free at once and rid of her haughty lords is seen to do all things spontaneously of herself without the meddling of the gods. ~ Carl Sagan
281:For as children tremble and fear everything in the blind darkness, so we in the light sometimes fear what is no more to be feared than the things that children in the dark hold in terror and imagine will come true. This terror, therefore, and darkness of mind must be dispelled not by the rays of the sun and glittering shafts of daylight, but by the aspect and law of nature. ~ Lucretius
282:An almost infallible means of saving yourself from the desire of self-destruction is always to have something to do.
Creech, the commentator on Lucretius, marked upon his manuscripts: “N. B. Must hang myself when I have finished.” He kept his word with himself that he might have the pleasure of ending like his author. If he had undertaken a commentary upon Ovid he would have lived longer. ~ Voltaire
283:...pero nada hay más dulce que ocupar los excelsos templos serenos que la doctrina de los sabios erige en las cumbres seguras, desde donde puedes bajar la mirada hasta los hombres, y verlos extraviarse confusos y buscar errantes el camino de la vida, rivalizar en talento, contender en nobleza, esforzarse día y noche con empeñado trabajo, elevarse a la opulencia y adueñarse del poder. Oh míseras mentes humanas! ~ Lucretius
284:It must not be supposed that atoms of every sort can be linked in every variety of combination. If that were so, you would see monsters coming into being everywhere. Hybrid growths of man and beast would arise. Lofty branches would spread here and there from a living body. Limbs of land-beast and sea-beast would often be conjoined. Chimeras breathing flame from hideous jaws would be reared by nature throughout the all-generating earth. ~ Lucretius
285:Again we are all sprung from the same seed, all have the same father, by whom mother earth the giver of increase, when she has taken in from him the liquid drops of moisture, conceives and bears goodly crops and joyous trees and the race of man, bears all kinds of brute beasts, in that she supplies food with which all feed their bodies and lead a pleasant life and continue their race; wherefore with good cause she has gotten the name of mother. ~ Lucretius
286:Lucretius expresses this, wonderfully: . . . we are all born from the same celestial seed; all of us have the same father, from which the earth, the mother who feeds us, receives clear drops of rain, producing from them bright wheat and lush trees, and the human race, and the species of beasts, offering up the foods with which all bodies are nourished, to lead a sweet life and generate offspring . . . (De rerum natura, bk. II, lines 991–97) It ~ Carlo Rovelli
287:My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race. I cannot, however, deny that it has made some contributions to civilisation. It helped in early days to fix the calendar, and it caused Egyptian priests to chronicle eclipses with such care that in time they became able to predict them. These two services I am prepared to acknowledge, but I do not know of any others. ~ Bertrand Russell
288:Lucretius wrote in The Nature of Things:        Especially since this world is the product of Nature,        the happenstance        Of the seeds of things colliding into each other by pure chance        In every possible way, no aim in view, at random, blind,        Till sooner or later certain atoms suddenly combined        So that they lay the warp to weave the cloth of mighty things:        Of earth, of sea, of sky, of all species of living beings. ~ Marcelo Gleiser
289:The whole of life but labours in the dark.
For just as children tremble and fear all
In the viewless dark, so even we at times
Dread in the light so many things that be
No whit more fearsome than what children feign,
Shuddering, will be upon them in the dark.
This terror then, this darkness of the mind,
Not sunrise with its flaring spokes of light,
Nor glittering arrows of morning can disperse,
But only nature's aspect and her law. ~ Lucretius
290:The supply of matter in the universe was never more tightly packed than it is now, or more widely spread out. For nothing is ever added to it or subtracted from it. It follows that the movement of atoms today is no different from what it was in bygone ages and always will be. So the things that have regularly come into being will continue to come into being in the same manner; they will be and grow and flourish so far as each is allowed by the laws of nature. ~ Lucretius
291:Today the doctrine of metaphysical free will appears to us as one of those archaic relics of traditional religion that Epicurus and Lucretius should have done their utmost to combat. Moral freedom and determinism are by no means incompatible. Man is himself a causal agent in nature and is morally responsible when he acts “freely,” i.e., from his own settled character and in his own capacity as an individual, provided he is exempt from external force or pressure. ~ Epicurus
292:The Greeks saw the advance of civilization bringing new ills. Their sour parable of technological progress was the familiar myth of Prometheus. Punished for affronting the gods by stealing fire for men’s use, Prometheus was chained to a rock so an eagle could feed on his liver, which grew back each night. According to Lucretius, necessity had led men to invent, and then inventions spawned frivolous needs that equipped and encouraged them to slaughter one another in war. ~ Daniel J Boorstin
293:[Writing to Lucretius, on Epicurus' belief that the soul was no different from the rest of the cosmos; made of atoms] "Death is therefore nothing to us, and does not concern us at all, since it appears that the substance of the soul is perishable. When the separation of body and soul, whose union is the essence of our being, is consummated, it is clear that absolutely nothing will be able to reach us and awaken our sensibility, not even if earth mixes with sea, and sea with heaven. ~ Carl Zimmer
294:In the same way now, since this reasoning
seems generally too bitter for those men
who have not tried it and the common crowd
shrinks back in fear, I wanted to explain
my argument to you in these verses,
sweet-spoken Pierian song, as if I were
sprinkling it with poetry’s sweet honey,
if, with such a method, I could perhaps
get your attention on my verse, until
you perceive the entire nature of things—------1310
how it is shaped and what its structure is. ~ Lucretius

295:this determinism says that in every case the result is determined by the previous condition of the subject we are looking at. Our free will at the best is like that of Lucretius's atoms — which at quite uncertain times and places deviate in an uncertain manner from their course.

the atoms can swerve so there’s always the small possibility even for air molecules of not being forced to follow the determined laws.

- ESSAY FOR THE ERANUS CLUB ON SCIENCE AND FREE WILL ~ James Clerk Maxwell
296:Many animals even now spring out of the soil, Coalescing from the rains and the heat of the sun. Small wonder, then, if more and bigger creatures, Full-formed, arose from the new young earth and sky. The breed, for instance, of the dappled birds Shucked off their eggshells in the springtime, as Crickets in summer will slip their slight cocoons All by themselves, and search for food and life. Earth gave you, then, the first of mortal kinds, For all the fields were soaked with warmth and moisture. ~ Lucretius
297:(On the temperature of water in wells) The reason why the water in wells becomes colder in summer is that the earth is then rarefied by the heat, and releases into the air all the heat-particles it happens to have. So, the more the earth is drained of heat, the colder becomes the moisture that is concealed in the ground. On the other hand, when all the earth condenses and contracts and congeals with the cold, then, of course, as it contracts, it squeezes out into the wells whatever heat it holds. ~ Lucretius
298:That also which before was from the earth, passes back into the earth, and that which was sent from the borders of ether, is carried back and taken in again by the quarters of heaven. Death does not extinguish things in such a way as to destroy the bodies of matter, but only breaks up the union amongst them, and then joins anew the different elements with others; and thus it comes to pass that all things change their shapes and alter their colors and receive sensations and in a moment yield them up... ~ Lucretius
299:The greatest obstacle to pleasure is not pain; it is delusion. The principal enemies of human happiness are inordinate desire—the fantasy of attaining something that exceeds what the finite mortal world allows—and gnawing fear. Even the dreaded plague, in Lucretius’ account—and his work ends with a graphic account of a catastrophic plague epidemic in Athens—is most horrible not only for the suffering and death that it brings but also and still more for the “perturbation and panic” that it triggers. ~ Stephen Greenblatt
300:Poor humanity, to saddle the gods with such a responsibility and throw in a vindictive temper. What griefs they hatch for themselves, what festering sores for us, what tears for our prosperity! This is not piety, this oft-repeated show of bowing a veiled head before a graven image; this bustling to every altar; this kow-towing and prostration on the ground with palms outspread before the shrines of the gods; this deluging of vow on vow. True piety lies rather in the power to contemplate the universe with a quiet mind. ~ Lucretius
301:That is especially true,
since our whole life is struggling in the dark.
For just as children in the dead of night
tremble and are afraid of everything,
so we, too, in the daylight, sometimes fear------80
things which should no more frighten us than those

which scare children in the dark, those terrors
they believe will happen. Therefore, this fear,
this darkness in the mind, must be dispelled,
not by the sun’s rays or shafts of daylight,------[60]
but by the face of nature and by reason. ~ Lucretius

302:My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race. I cannot, however, deny that it has made some contributions to civilization. It helped in early days to fix the calendar, and it caused Egyptian priests to chronicle eclipses with such care that in time they became able to predict them. These two services I am prepared to acknowledge, but I do not know of any others. ~ Bertrand Russell, Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization? (1930)
303:Fear in sooth holds so in check all mortals, becasue thay see many operations go on in earth and heaven, the causes of which they can in no way understand, believing them therefore to be done by power divine. for these reasons when we shall have seen that nothing can be produced from nothing, we shall then more correctly ascertain that which we are seeking, both the elements out of which every thing can be produced and the manner in which every thing can be produced in which all things are done without the hands of the gods. ~ Lucretius
304:fear in sooth holds so in check all mortals, becasue thay see many operations go on in earth and heaven, the causes of which they can in no way understand, believing them therefore to be done by power divine. for these reasons when we shall have seen that nothing can be produced from nothing, we shall then more correctly ascertain that which we are seeking, both the elements out of which every thing can be produced and the manner in which every thing can be produced in which all things are done without the hands of the gods. ~ Lucretius
305:A man leaves his great house because he's bored
With life at home, and suddenly returns,
Finding himself no happier abroad.
He rushes off to his villa driving like mad,
You'ld think he's going to a house on fire,
And yawns before he's put his foot inside,
Or falls asleep and seeks oblivion,
Or even rushes back to town again.
So each man flies from himself (vain hope, because
It clings to him the more closely against his will)
And hates himself because he is sick in mind
And does not know the cause of his disease. ~ Lucretius
306:Tempests, and bright lightnings, are to be sung; their nature is to be told, and from what cause they pursue their course; lest, having foolishly divided the heaven into parts, you should be anxious as to the quarter from which the flying flame may come, or to what region it may betake itself; and tremble to think how it penetrates through walled enclosures, and how, having exercised its power, it extricates itself from them. Of which phenomena the multitude can by no means see the causes, and think that they are accomplished by supernatural power. ~ Lucretius
307:Perhaps Gregor Mendel was inspired by Lucretius: “It may also happen at times that children take a after their grandparents, or recall the features of great-grandparents. This is because the parents’ bodies often preserve a quantity of latent seeds, grouped in many combinations, which derive from an ancestral stock handed down from generation to generation. From these Venus evokes a random assortment of characters, reproducing ancestral traits of expression, voice or hair; for these characters are determined by specific seeds no less than our faces and bodily members. ~ Lucretius
308:Certainly it was no design of the atoms to place themselves in a particular order, nor did they decide what motions each should have. But atoms were struck with blows in many ways and carried along by their own weight from infinite times up to the present. They have been accustomed to move and to meet in all manner of ways. For this reason, it came to pass that being spread abroad through a vast time and trying every sort of combination and motion, at length those come together that produce great things, like earth and sea and sky and the generation of living creatures. ~ Lucretius
309:But if anyone were to conduct his life by reason He would find great riches in living a peaceful life And being contented; one is never short of a little But men want always to be powerful and famous So that their fortune rests on a solid foundation And they can spend a placid life in opulence. There isn't a hope of it; to attain great honours You have to struggle along a dangerous way And even when you reach the top there is envy Which can strike you down like lightning into Tartarus. For envy, like lightning, generally strikes at the top Or any point which sticks out from the ordinary level. ~ Lucretius
310:The young no longer want to study anything, learning is in decline, the whole world walks on its head, blind men lead others equally blind and cause them to plunge into the abyss, birds leave the nest before they can fly, the jackass plays the lyre, oxen dance. Mary no longer loves the contemplative life and Martha no longer loves the active life, Leah is sterile, Rachel has a carnal eye, Cato visits brothels, Lucretius becomes a
woman. Everything is on the wrong path. In those days, thank God, I acquired from my master the desire to learn and a sense of the straight way, which remains even when the path is tortuous. ~ Umberto Eco
311:All rebel thought, as we
have seen, is expressed either in rhetoric or in a closed universe. The rhetoric of ramparts in Lucretius, the
convents and isolated castles of Sade, the island or the lonely rock of the romantics, the solitary heights of
Nietzsche, the primeval seas of Lautreamont, the parapets of Rimbaud, the terrifying castles of the
surrealists, which spring up in a storm of flowers, the prison, the nation behind barbed wire, the
concentration camps, the empire of free slaves, all illustrate, after their own fashion, the same need for
coherence and unity. In these sealed worlds, man can reign and have knowledge at last. ~ Albert Camus
312:نلاحظ أنّ متطلّبات طبيعتنا الجسدية قليلةٌ فعلًا، وهي لا تزيد عن ما هو لازم لتبديد الألم، وكذلك لإبعاد الكثير من الملذات عنا. لا تسعى الطبيعة عادةً إلى شيءٍ أكثر إشباعاً، أو تتذمّر إنْ لم يكن ثمة صور ذهبيّة للشبّان قرب المنزل وهم يحملون مصابيح متألقة في أيديهم اليمنى لإضاءة الولائم التي تجري طوال الليل. ما الذي سيختلف لو لم تبرق الكرة بأضواء فضيّة برّاقة إلى جانب الذهبيّة، أو يكن ثمة عوارض منقوشة ومطليّة تهتز بفعل موسيقى آلة اللوت؟ لن تُضيّع الطبيعة هذه المباهج لو استلقى الناس مع رفاقهم على العشب الرطب قرب جدولٍ يجري تحت أغصان شجرة عالية، فيُنعشون أجسادهم بلذائذ ذات تكلفة ضئيلة. وستزداد روعة الأمر لو كان الطقس مبتسماً لهم، وصار ثوب العشب مرقّطاً بالأزهار. ~ Lucretius
313:His aversion to religion, in the sense usually attached to the term, was of the same kind with that of Lucretius: he regarded it with the feelings due not to a mere mental delusion, but to a great moral evil. He looked upon it as the greatest enemy of morality: first, by setting up factitious excellencies - belief in creeds, devotional feelings, and ceremonies, not connected with the good of human kind - and causing these to be accepted as substitutes for genuine virtue: but above all, by radically vitiating the standard of morals; making it consist in doing the will of a being, on whom it lavishes indeed all the phrases of adulation, but whom in sober truth it depicts as eminently hateful. ~ John Stuart Mill
314:postremo pereunt imbres, ubi eos pater aether
in gremium matris terrai praecipitavit;
at nitidae surgunt fruges ramique virescunt
arboribus, crescunt ipsae fetuque gravantur.
hinc alitur porro nostrum genus atque ferarum,
hinc laetas urbes pueris florere videmus
frondiferasque novis avibus canere undique silvas,
hinc fessae pecudes pinguis per pabula laeta
corpora deponunt et candens lacteus umor
uberibus manat distentis, hinc nova proles
artubus infirmis teneras lasciva per herbas
ludit lacte mero mentes perculsa novellas.
haud igitur penitus pereunt quaecumque videntur,
quando alit ex alio reficit natura nec ullam
rem gigni patitur nisi morte adiuta aliena. ~ Lucretius
315:...nothing is more blissful than to occupy the heights effectively fortified by the teaching of the wise, tranquil sanctuaries from which you can look down upon others and see them wandering everywhere in their random search for the way of life, competing for intellectual eminence, disputing about rank, and striving night and day with prodigious effort to scale the summit of wealth and to secure power. O minds of mortals, blighted by your blindness! Amid what deep darkness and daunting dangers life’s little day is passed! To think that you should fail to see that nature importantly demands only that the body may be rid of pain, and that the mind, divorced from anxiety and fear, may enjoy a feeling of contentment! ~ Lucretius
316:They make one journey after another and change spectacle for spectacle. As Lucretius says, 'Thus each man ever flees himself.' But to what end, if he does not escape himself? He pursues and dogs himself as his own most tedious companion. And so we must realize that our difficulty is not the fault of the places but of ourselves. We are weak in enduring anything, and cannot put up with toil or pleasure or ourselves or anything for long. This weakness has driven some men to their deaths; because by frequently changing their aims they kept falling back on the same things and had left themselves no room for novelty. They began to be sick of life and the world itself, and out of their enervating self-indulgence arose the feeling 'How long must I face the same things? ~ Seneca
317:Humana ante oculos foede cum vita iaceret in terris oppressa gravi sub religione quae caput a caeli regionibus ostendebat horribili super aspectu mortalibus instants, primum Graius homo mortalis tollere contra est oculos ausus primusque obsistere contra, quem neque fama deum nec fulmina nec minitanti murmure compressit caelum, sed eo magis acrem irritat animi virtutem, effringere ut arta naturae primus portarum claustra cupiret. Ergo vivida vis animi pervicit, et extra processit longe flammantia moenia mundi atque omne immensum peragravit mente animoque, unde refert nobis victor quid possit oriri, quid nequeat, finita potestas denique cuique quanam sit ratione atque alte terminus haerens.
Quare religio pedibus subiecta vicissim obteritur, nos exaequat victoria caelo. ~ Lucretius
318:The quintessential emblem of religion — and the clearest manifestation of the perversity that lies at its core — is the sacrifice of a child by a parent.

Almost all religious faiths incorporate the myth of such a sacrifice, and some have actually made it real. Lucretius had in mind the sacrifice of Iphigenia by her father Agamemnon, but he may also have been aware of the Jewish story of Abraham and Isaac and other comparable Near Eastern stories for which the Romans of his times had a growing taste. Writing around 50 BCE he could not, of course, have anticipated the great sacrifice myth that would come to dominate the Western world, but he would not have been surprised by it or by the endlessly reiterated, prominently displayed images of the bloody, murdered son. ~ Stephen Greenblatt
319:In the past men were handsome and great (now they are children and dwarfs), but this is merely one of the many facts that demonstrate the disaster of an aging world. The young no longer want to study anything, learning is in decline, the whole world walks on its head, blind men lead others equally blind and cause them to plunge into the abyss, birds leave the nest before they can fly, the jackass plays the lyre, oxen dance. Mary no longer loves the contemplative life and Martha no longer loves the active life, Leah is sterile, Rachel has a carnal eye, Cato visits brothels, Lucretius becomes a woman. Everything is on the wrong path. In those days, thank God, I acquired from my master the desire to learn and a sense of the straight way, which remains even when the path is tortuous. ~ Umberto Eco
320:Ancient [Graeco-Roman] religion was tolerant and non-sectarian. In this it was unlike ancient philosophy. The adherents of Epicurean and Stoic philosophy fought long and acrimonious feuds, as one can see by reading Lucretius. The reason for this difference between religion and philosophy is that philosophers maintained various factual propositions about the world—that it was made of 'breath' or atoms, that it was finite or infinite, and so on—whereas ancient religions only presupposed the existence of forces capable of being persuaded by prayer and sacrifice. Since Roman religion offered no dogmas about the universe, there was nothing for people to contradict or to argue about. Philosophers, on the other hand, had elaborate systems which they defended to the last detail with grotesque ingenuity. ~ R. M. Ogilvie, The Romans and Their Gods (1969), p. 3
321:You see that stones are worn away by time,
Rocks rot, and twoers topple, even the shrines
And images of the gods grow very tired,
Develop crack or wrinkles, their holy wills
Unable to extend their fated term,
To litigate against the Laws of Nature.
And don't we see the monuments of men
Collapse, as if to ask us, "Are not we
As frail as those whom we commemorate?"?
Boulders come plunging down from the mountain heights,
Poor weaklings with no power to resist
The thrust that says to them, Your time has come!
But they would be rooted in steadfastness
Had they endured from time beyond all time,
As far back as infinity. Look about you!
Whatever it is that holds in its embrace
All earth, if it projects, as some men say,
All things out of itself, and takes them back
When they have perished, must itself consist
Of mortal elements. The parts must add
Up to the sum. Whatever gives away
Must lose in the procedure, and gain again
Whenever it takes back. ~ Lucretius
322:But the creator of things,------1890 nature herself, was the first example of sowing seed and the start of grafting, for berries and acorns fell down from trees and, in due season, produced underneath a crowd of seedlings. Then from nature, too, they got the idea of setting young shoots into branches and planting new saplings in the ground through all their fields. After that, they kept trying various ways of tilling pleasant fields and saw that with tender care------1900 and gentle cultivation earth would tame wild fruits. Day by day, men forced the forests to move further up the mountains, yielding------[1370] lower parts to farming, so they could have meadows, lakes, streams, grain fields, and rich vineyards on hills and plains, and dark bands of olives could run between, marking the divisions, spreading over hillocks, plains, and valleys, just as you now see all land divided with various fine things—men make it shine------1910 by arranging sweet orchard trees in rows, and, with fertile shrubs planted all around, keep them fenced in. ~ Lucretius
323:When human life lay foul for all to see
Upon the earth, crushed by the burden of religion,
Religion which from heaven’s firmament
Displayed its face, its ghastly countenance,
Lowering above mankind, the first who dared
Raise mortal eyes against it, first to take
His stand against it, was a man of Greece.
He was not cowed by fables of the gods
Or thunderbolts or heaven’s threatening roar,
But they the more spurred on his ardent soul
Yearning to be the first to break apart
The bolts of nature’s gates and throw them open.
Therefore his lively intellect prevailed
And forth he marched, advancing onwards far
Beyond the flaming ramparts of the world,
And voyaged in mind throughout infinity,
Whence he victorious back in triumph brings
Report of what can be and what cannot
And in what manner each thing has a power
That’s limited, and deep-set boundary stone.
Wherefore religion in its turn is cast
Beneath the feet of men and trampled down,
And us his victory has made peers of heaven. ~ Lucretius
324:E tenebris tantis tam clarum extollere lumen
qui primus potuisti inlustrans commoda vitae,
te sequor, o Graiae gentis decus, inque tuis nunc
ficta pedum pono pressis vestigia signis,
non ita certandi cupidus quam propter amorem
quod te imitari aveo; quid enim contendat hirundo
cycnis, aut quid nam tremulis facere artubus haedi
consimile in cursu possint et fortis equi vis?
tu, pater, es rerum inventor, tu patria nobis
suppeditas praecepta, tuisque ex, inclute, chartis,
floriferis ut apes in saltibus omnia libant,
omnia nos itidem depascimur aurea dicta,
aurea, perpetua semper dignissima vita.
nam simul ac ratio tua coepit vociferari
naturam rerum divina mente coorta
diffugiunt animi terrores, moenia mundi
discedunt. totum video per inane geri res.
apparet divum numen sedesque quietae,
quas neque concutiunt venti nec nubila nimbis
aspergunt neque nix acri concreta pruina
cana cadens violat semper[que] innubilus aether
integit et large diffuso lumine ridet:
omnia suppeditat porro natura neque ulla
res animi pacem delibat tempore in ullo. ~ Lucretius
325:To start with, we know that in every part, in all directions and on either side, above and below and throughout all space,------1480 there is no limit, as I have explained,------[1050] and facts themselves announce it on their own— the nature of deep space is very clear. Since infinite space lies empty on all sides and seeds in countless numbers fly around through the deep universe in various ways, driven by eternal motion, we must not, in any way, now think it probable that only this one sphere of earth and sky have been created, that beyond us here------1490 all those many particles of matter do nothing at all, especially since earth was made by nature. Seeds of things themselves, jostling freely here and there in various ways and forced to random, confused collisions,------[1060] produced nothing—then finally those ones suddenly united which could become, every time, the beginnings of great things, land, sea, sky, the race of living beings. And so, to repeat myself, you must grant------1500 that there are other aggregates of matter similar to this in other places, which aether clutches in its keen embrace. ~ Lucretius
326:Lucretius, I. 936-47: Veluti pueris absinthia tetra medentes Cum dare conantur, prius oras pocula circura Contingunt mellis dulci flavoque liquore, Ut puerorum aetas improvida ludificetur Labrorum tenus, interea perpotet amarum Absinthi laticem, deceptaque non capiatur, Sed potius tali pacto recreata valescat: Sic ego nunc ... volui tibi suaviloquenti Carmine Pierio rationem exponere nostram, Et quasi musaeo dulci contingere melle. [2] Lucretius, i. 922-34, 948-50: Acri Percussit thyrso laudis spes magna meum cor Et simul incussit suavem mi in pectus amorem Musarum, quo nunc instinctus mente vigenti Avia Pieridum peragro loca nullius ante Trita solo: iuvat integros accedere fontes, Atque haurire; iuvatque novos decerpere flores, Insignemque meo capiti petere inde coronam, Unde prius nulli velarint tempora musae. Primum, quod magnis doceo de rebus, et artis Religionum animum nodis exsolvere pergo: Deinde, quod obscura de re tam lucida pango Carmina, musaeo contingens cuncta lepore.... Si tibi forte animum tali ratione tenere Versibus in nostris possem, dum perspicis omnem Naturam rerum, qua constet compta figura. ~ George Santayana
327:We were nobodies, two young lit. students chatting away in a rickety old house in a small town at the edge of the world, a place where nothing of any significance had ever happened and presumably never would, we had barely started out on our lives and knew nothing about anything, but what we read was not nothing, it concerned matters of the utmost significance and was written by the greatest thinkers and writers in Western culture, and that was basically a miracle, all you had to do was fill in a library lending slip and you had access to what Plato, Sappho or Aristophanes had written in the incomprehensibly distant mists of time, or Homer, Sophocles, Ovid, Lucullus, Lucretius or Dante, Vasari, da Vinci, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Cervantes or Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Lukács, Arendt or those who wrote in the modern day, Foucault, Barthes, Lévi-Strauss, Deleuze, Serres. Not to mention the millions of novels, plays and collections of poetry which were available. All one lending slip and a few days away. We didn’t read any of these to be able to summarise the contents, as we did with the literature on the syllabus, but because they could give us something. ~ Karl Ove Knausg rd
328:I have called this mental defect the Lucretius problem, after the Latin poetic philosopher who wrote that the fool believes that the tallest mountain in the world will be equal to the tallest one he has observed. We consider the biggest object of any kind that we have seen in our lives or hear about as the largest item that can possibly exist. And we have been doing this for millenia. In Pharaonic Egypt, which happens to be the first complete top-down nation-state managed by bureaucrats, scribes tracked the high-water mark of the Nile and used it as an estimate for a future worst-case scenario.

The same can be seen in the Fukushima nuclear reactor, which experienced a catastrophic failure in 2011 when a tsunami struck. It had been built to withstand the worst past historical earthquake, with the builders not imagining much worse--and not thinking that the worst past event had to be a surprise, as it had no precedent. Likewise, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Fragilista Doctor Alan Greenspan, in his apology to Congress offered the classic "It never happened before." Well, nature, unlike Fragilista Greenspan, prepares for what has not happened before, assuming worse harm is possible. ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
329:1st row Homer, Shakespeare, Valmiki
2nd row Dante, Kalidasa, Aeschylus, Virgil, Milton
3rd row Goethe
...
I am not prepared to classify all the poets in the universe - it was the front bench or benches you asked for. By others I meant poets like Lucretius, Euripides, Calderon, Corneille, Hugo. Euripides (Medea, Bacchae and other plays) is a greater poet than Racine whom you want to put in the first ranks. If you want only the very greatest, none of these can enter - only Vyasa and Sophocles. Vyasa could very well claim a place beside Valmiki, Sophocles beside Aeschylus. The rest, if you like, you can send into the third row with Goethe, but it is something of a promotion about which one can feel some qualms. Spenser too, if you like; it is difficult to draw a line.

Shelley, Keats and Wordsworth have not been brought into consideration although their best work is as fine poetry as any written, but they have written nothing on a larger scale which would place them among the greatest creators. If Keats had finished Hyperion (without spoiling it), if Shelley had lived, or if Wordsworth had not petered out like a motor car with insufficient petrol, it might be different, but we have to take things as they are. As it is, all began magnificently, but none of them finished, and what work they did, except a few lyrics, sonnets, short pieces and narratives, is often flawed and unequal. If they had to be admitted, what about at least fifty others in Europe and Asia? ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Poetry And Art,
330:We will only understand the Torah if we recall that every other religion in the ancient world worshiped nature. That is where they found God, or more precisely, the gods: in the sun, the moon, the stars, the storm, the rain that fed the earth and the earth that gave forth food.

Even in the 21st century, people for whom science has taken the place of religion still worship nature. For them we are physical beings. For them there is no such thing as a soul, merely electrical impulses in the brain. For them there is no real freedom: we are what we are because of genetic and epigenetic causes over which we have no real control. Freewill, they say, is an illusion. Human life, they believe, is not sacred, nor are we different in kind from other animals. Nature is all there is. Such was the view of Lucretius in ancient Rome and Epicurus in pre-Christian Greece, and it is the view of scientific atheists today.

The faith of Abraham and his descendants is different. God, we believe, is beyond nature, because He created nature. And because He made us in His image, there is something in us that is beyond nature also. We are free. We are creative. We can conceive of possibilities that have not yet existed, and act so as to make them real. We can adapt to our environment, but we can also adapt our environment to us. Like every other animal we have desires, but unlike any other animal we are capable of standing outside our desires and choosing which to satisfy and which not. We can distinguish between what is and what ought to be. We can ask the question “Why? ~ Jonathan Sacks
331:Through unpathed haunts of the Pierides,
Trodden by step of none before. I joy
To come on undefiled fountains there,
To drain them deep; I joy to pluck new flowers,
To seek for this my head a signal crown
From regions where the Muses never yet
Have garlanded the temples of a man:
First, since I teach concerning mighty things,
And go right on to loose from round the mind
The tightened coils of dread Religion;
Next, since, concerning themes so dark, I frame
Song so pellucid, touching all throughout
Even with the Muses' charm- which, as 'twould seem,
Is not without a reasonable ground:
For as physicians, when they seek to give
Young boys the nauseous wormwood, first do touch
The brim around the cup with the sweet juice
And yellow of the honey, in order that
The thoughtless age of boyhood be cajoled
As far as the lips, and meanwhile swallow down
The wormwood's bitter draught, and, though befooled,
Be yet not merely duped, but rather thus
Grow strong again with recreated health:
So now I too (since this my doctrine seems
In general somewhat woeful unto those
Who've had it not in hand, and since the crowd
Starts back from it in horror) have desired
To expound our doctrine unto thee in song
Soft-speaking and Pierian, and, as 'twere,
To touch it with sweet honey of the Muse-
If by such method haply I might hold
The mind of thee upon these lines of ours,
Till thou dost learn the nature of all things
And understandest their utility.


author class:Lucretius
~ afield, thriving in sturdy thought,, Proem

332:Another fallacy comes creeping in whose errors you should be meticulous in trying to avoid. Don't think our eyes, our bright and shining eyes, were made for us to look ahead with. Don't suppose our thigh bones fitted our shin bones and our shins our ankles so that we might take steps. Don't think that arms dangled from shoulders and branched out in hands with fingers at their ends, both right and left, for us to do whatever need required for our survival. All such argument, all such interpretation is perverse, fallacious, puts the cart before the horse. No bodily thing was born for us to use. Nature had no such aim, but what was born creates the use. There could be no such thing as sight before the eyes were formed. No speech before the tongue was made, but tongues began long before speech were uttered. and the ears were fashioned long before a sound was heard. And all the organs I feel sure, were there before their use developed. They could not evolve for the sake of use be so designed. But battling hand to hand and slashing limbs, fouling the foe in blood, these antedate the flight of shining javelins. Nature taught men out to dodge a wound before they learned the fit of shield to arm. Rest certainly is older in the history of man than coverlets or mattresses, and thirst was quenched before the days of cups or goblets. Need has created use as man contrives device for his comfort. but all these cunning inventions are far different from all those things much older, which supply their function from their form. The limbs, the sense, came first, their usage afterwards. Never think they could have been created for the sake of being used. ~ Lucretius
333:Defining philosophy as “an activity, attempting by means of discussion and reasoning, to make life happy,” he believed that happiness is gained through the achievement of moral self-sufficiency (autarkeia) and freedom from disturbance (ataraxia). The main obstacles to the goal of tranquillity of mind are our unnecessary fears and desires, and the only way to eliminate these is to study natural science. The most serious disturbances of all are fear of death, including fear of punishment after death, and fear of the gods. Scientific inquiry removes fear of death by showing that the mind and spirit are material and mortal, so that they cannot live on after we die: as Epicurus neatly and logically puts it: “Death…is nothing to us: when we exist, death is not present; and when death is present, we do not exist. Consequently it does not concern either the living or the dead, since for the living it is non-existent and the dead no longer exist” (Letter to Menoeceus 125). As for fear of the gods, that disappears when scientific investigation proves that the world was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, that the gods live outside the world and have no inclination or power to intervene in its affairs, and that irregular phenomena such as lightning, thunder, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes have natural causes and are not manifestations of divine anger. Every Epicurean would have agreed with Katisha in the Mikado when she sings: But to him who’s scientific There’s nothing that’s terrific In the falling of a flight of thunderbolts! So the study of natural science is the necessary means whereby the ethical end is attained. And that is its only justification: Epicurus is not interested in scientific knowledge for its own sake, as is clear from his statement that “if we were not disturbed by our suspicions concerning celestial phenomena, and by our fear that death concerns us, and also by our failure to understand the limits of pains and desires, we should have no need of natural science” (Principal Doctrines 11). Lucretius’ attitude is precisely the same as his master’s: all the scientific information in his poem is presented with the aim of removing the disturbances, especially fear of death and fear of the gods, that prevent the attainment of tranquillity of mind. It is very important for the reader of On the Nature of Things to bear this in mind all the time, particularly since the content of the work is predominantly scientific and no systematic exposition of Epicurean ethics is provided.25 Epicurus despised philosophers who do not make it their business to improve people’s moral condition: “Vain is the word of a philosopher by whom no human suffering is cured. For just as medicine is of no use if it fails to banish the diseases of the body, so philosophy is of no use if it fails to banish the suffering of the mind” (Usener fr. 221). It is evident that he would have condemned the majority of modern philosophers and scientists. ~ Lucretius
334:Worthy the majesty of these great finds?
Or who in words so strong that he can frame
The fit laudations for deserts of him
Who left us heritors of such vast prizes,
By his own breast discovered and sought out?-
There shall be none, methinks, of mortal stock.
For if must needs be named for him the name
Demanded by the now known majesty
Of these high matters, then a god was he,-
Hear me, illustrious Memmius- a god;
Who first and chief found out that plan of life
Which now is called philosophy, and who
By cunning craft, out of such mighty waves,
Out of such mighty darkness, moored life
In havens so serene, in light so clear.
Compare those old discoveries divine
Of others: lo, according to the tale,
Ceres established for mortality
The grain, and Bacchus juice of vine-born grape,
Though life might yet without these things abide,
Even as report saith now some peoples live.
But man's well-being was impossible
Without a breast all free. Wherefore the more
That man doth justly seem to us a god,
From whom sweet solaces of life, afar
Distributed o'er populous domains,
Now soothe the minds of men. But if thou thinkest
Labours of Hercules excel the same,
Much farther from true reasoning thou farest.
For what could hurt us now that mighty maw
Of Nemeaean Lion, or what the Boar
Who bristled in Arcadia? Or, again,
O what could Cretan Bull, or Hydra, pest
Of Lerna, fenced with vipers venomous?
Or what the triple-breasted power of her
The three-fold Geryon

The sojourners in the Stymphalian fens
So dreadfully offend us, or the Steeds
Of Thracian Diomedes breathing fire
From out their nostrils off along the zones
Bistonian and Ismarian? And the Snake,
The dread fierce gazer, guardian of the golden
And gleaming apples of the Hesperides,
Coiled round the tree-trunk with tremendous bulk,
O what, again, could he inflict on us
Along the Atlantic shore and wastes of sea?-
Where neither one of us approacheth nigh
Nor no barbarian ventures. And the rest
Of all those monsters slain, even if alive,
Unconquered still, what injury could they do?
None, as I guess. For so the glutted earth
Swarms even now with savage beasts, even now
Is filled with anxious terrors through the woods
And mighty mountains and the forest deeps-
Quarters 'tis ours in general to avoid.
But lest the breast be purged, what conflicts then,
What perils, must bosom, in our own despite!
O then how great and keen the cares of lust
That split the man distraught! How great the fears!
And lo, the pride, grim greed, and wantonness-
How great the slaughters in their train! and lo,
Debaucheries and every breed of sloth!
Therefore that man who subjugated these,
And from the mind expelled, by words indeed,
Not arms, O shall it not be seemly him
To dignify by ranking with the gods?-
And all the more since he was wont to give,
Concerning the immortal gods themselves,
Many pronouncements with a tongue divine,
And to unfold by his pronouncements all
The nature of the world.


author class:Lucretius
~ can build with puissant breast a song, Proem

335:Roll up its waste of waters, from the land
To watch another's labouring anguish far,
Not that we joyously delight that man
Should thus be smitten, but because 'tis sweet
To mark what evils we ourselves be spared;
'Tis sweet, again, to view the mighty strife
Of armies embattled yonder o'er the plains,
Ourselves no sharers in the peril; but naught
There is more goodly than to hold the high
Serene plateaus, well fortressed by the wise,
Whence thou may'st look below on other men
And see them ev'rywhere wand'ring, all dispersed
In their lone seeking for the road of life;
Rivals in genius, or emulous in rank,
Pressing through days and nights with hugest toil
For summits of power and mastery of the world.
O wretched minds of men! O blinded hearts!
In how great perils, in what darks of life
Are spent the human years, however brief!-
O not to see that Nature for herself
Barks after nothing, save that pain keep off,
Disjoined from the body, and that mind enjoy
Delightsome feeling, far from care and fear!
Therefore we see that our corporeal life
Needs little, altogether, and only such
As takes the pain away, and can besides
Strew underneath some number of delights.
More grateful 'tis at times (for Nature craves
No artifice nor luxury), if forsooth
There be no golden images of boys
Along the halls, with right hands holding out
The lamps ablaze, the lights for evening feasts,
And if the house doth glitter not with gold
Nor gleam with silver, and to the lyre resound
No fretted and gilded ceilings overhead,
Yet still to lounge with friends in the soft grass
Beside a river of water, underneath
A big tree's boughs, and merrily to refresh
Our frames, with no vast outlay- most of all
If the weather is laughing and the times of the year
Besprinkle the green of the grass around with flowers.
Nor yet the quicker will hot fevers go,
If on a pictured tapestry thou toss,
Or purple robe, than if 'tis thine to lie
Upon the poor man's bedding. Wherefore, since
Treasure, nor rank, nor glory of a reign
Avail us naught for this our body, thus
Reckon them likewise nothing for the mind:
Save then perchance, when thou beholdest forth
Thy legions swarming round the Field of Mars,
Rousing a mimic warfare- either side
Strengthened with large auxiliaries and horse,
Alike equipped with arms, alike inspired;
Or save when also thou beholdest forth
Thy fleets to swarm, deploying down the sea:
For then, by such bright circumstance abashed,
Religion pales and flees thy mind; O then
The fears of death leave heart so free of care.
But if we note how all this pomp at last
Is but a drollery and a mocking sport,
And of a truth man's dread, with cares at heels,
Dreads not these sounds of arms, these savage swords
But among kings and lords of all the world
Mingles undaunted, nor is overawed
By gleam of gold nor by the splendour bright
Of purple robe, canst thou then doubt that this
Is aught, but power of thinking?- when, besides
The whole of life but labours in the dark.
For just as children tremble and fear all
In the viewless dark, so even we at times
Dread in the light so many things that be
No whit more fearsome than what children feign,
Shuddering, will be upon them in the dark.
This terror then, this darkness of the mind,
Not sunrise with its flaring spokes of light,
Nor glittering arrows of morning can disperse,
But only Nature's aspect and her law.


author class:Lucretius
~ sweet, when, down the mighty main, the winds, Proem

336:Reading list (1972 edition)[edit]
1. Homer – Iliad, Odyssey
2. The Old Testament
3. Aeschylus – Tragedies
4. Sophocles – Tragedies
5. Herodotus – Histories
6. Euripides – Tragedies
7. Thucydides – History of the Peloponnesian War
8. Hippocrates – Medical Writings
9. Aristophanes – Comedies
10. Plato – Dialogues
11. Aristotle – Works
12. Epicurus – Letter to Herodotus; Letter to Menoecus
13. Euclid – Elements
14. Archimedes – Works
15. Apollonius of Perga – Conic Sections
16. Cicero – Works
17. Lucretius – On the Nature of Things
18. Virgil – Works
19. Horace – Works
20. Livy – History of Rome
21. Ovid – Works
22. Plutarch – Parallel Lives; Moralia
23. Tacitus – Histories; Annals; Agricola Germania
24. Nicomachus of Gerasa – Introduction to Arithmetic
25. Epictetus – Discourses; Encheiridion
26. Ptolemy – Almagest
27. Lucian – Works
28. Marcus Aurelius – Meditations
29. Galen – On the Natural Faculties
30. The New Testament
31. Plotinus – The Enneads
32. St. Augustine – On the Teacher; Confessions; City of God; On Christian Doctrine
33. The Song of Roland
34. The Nibelungenlied
35. The Saga of Burnt Njál
36. St. Thomas Aquinas – Summa Theologica
37. Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy;The New Life; On Monarchy
38. Geoffrey Chaucer – Troilus and Criseyde; The Canterbury Tales
39. Leonardo da Vinci – Notebooks
40. Niccolò Machiavelli – The Prince; Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy
41. Desiderius Erasmus – The Praise of Folly
42. Nicolaus Copernicus – On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
43. Thomas More – Utopia
44. Martin Luther – Table Talk; Three Treatises
45. François Rabelais – Gargantua and Pantagruel
46. John Calvin – Institutes of the Christian Religion
47. Michel de Montaigne – Essays
48. William Gilbert – On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies
49. Miguel de Cervantes – Don Quixote
50. Edmund Spenser – Prothalamion; The Faerie Queene
51. Francis Bacon – Essays; Advancement of Learning; Novum Organum, New Atlantis
52. William Shakespeare – Poetry and Plays
53. Galileo Galilei – Starry Messenger; Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences
54. Johannes Kepler – Epitome of Copernican Astronomy; Concerning the Harmonies of the World
55. William Harvey – On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals; On the Circulation of the Blood; On the Generation of Animals
56. Thomas Hobbes – Leviathan
57. René Descartes – Rules for the Direction of the Mind; Discourse on the Method; Geometry; Meditations on First Philosophy
58. John Milton – Works
59. Molière – Comedies
60. Blaise Pascal – The Provincial Letters; Pensees; Scientific Treatises
61. Christiaan Huygens – Treatise on Light
62. Benedict de Spinoza – Ethics
63. John Locke – Letter Concerning Toleration; Of Civil Government; Essay Concerning Human Understanding;Thoughts Concerning Education
64. Jean Baptiste Racine – Tragedies
65. Isaac Newton – Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy; Optics
66. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz – Discourse on Metaphysics; New Essays Concerning Human Understanding;Monadology
67. Daniel Defoe – Robinson Crusoe
68. Jonathan Swift – A Tale of a Tub; Journal to Stella; Gulliver's Travels; A Modest Proposal
69. William Congreve – The Way of the World
70. George Berkeley – Principles of Human Knowledge
71. Alexander Pope – Essay on Criticism; Rape of the Lock; Essay on Man
72. Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu – Persian Letters; Spirit of Laws
73. Voltaire – Letters on the English; Candide; Philosophical Dictionary
74. Henry Fielding – Joseph Andrews; Tom Jones
75. Samuel Johnson – The Vanity of Human Wishes; Dictionary; Rasselas; The Lives of the Poets ~ Mortimer J Adler
337:Reading list (1972 edition)[edit]
1. Homer - Iliad, Odyssey
2. The Old Testament
3. Aeschylus - Tragedies
4. Sophocles - Tragedies
5. Herodotus - Histories
6. Euripides - Tragedies
7. Thucydides - History of the Peloponnesian War
8. Hippocrates - Medical Writings
9. Aristophanes - Comedies
10. Plato - Dialogues
11. Aristotle - Works
12. Epicurus - Letter to Herodotus; Letter to Menoecus
13. Euclid - Elements
14.Archimedes - Works
15. Apollonius of Perga - Conic Sections
16. Cicero - Works
17. Lucretius - On the Nature of Things
18. Virgil - Works
19. Horace - Works
20. Livy - History of Rome
21. Ovid - Works
22. Plutarch - Parallel Lives; Moralia
23. Tacitus - Histories; Annals; Agricola Germania
24. Nicomachus of Gerasa - Introduction to Arithmetic
25. Epictetus - Discourses; Encheiridion
26. Ptolemy - Almagest
27. Lucian - Works
28. Marcus Aurelius - Meditations
29. Galen - On the Natural Faculties
30. The New Testament
31. Plotinus - The Enneads
32. St. Augustine - On the Teacher; Confessions; City of God; On Christian Doctrine
33. The Song of Roland
34. The Nibelungenlied
35. The Saga of Burnt Njal
36. St. Thomas Aquinas - Summa Theologica
37. Dante Alighieri - The Divine Comedy;The New Life; On Monarchy
38. Geoffrey Chaucer - Troilus and Criseyde; The Canterbury Tales
39. Leonardo da Vinci - Notebooks
40. Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince; Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy
41. Desiderius Erasmus - The Praise of Folly
42. Nicolaus Copernicus - On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
43. Thomas More - Utopia
44. Martin Luther - Table Talk; Three Treatises
45. François Rabelais - Gargantua and Pantagruel
46. John Calvin - Institutes of the Christian Religion
47. Michel de Montaigne - Essays
48. William Gilbert - On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies
49. Miguel de Cervantes - Don Quixote
50. Edmund Spenser - Prothalamion; The Faerie Queene
51. Francis Bacon - Essays; Advancement of Learning; Novum Organum, New Atlantis
52. William Shakespeare - Poetry and Plays
53. Galileo Galilei - Starry Messenger; Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences
54. Johannes Kepler - Epitome of Copernican Astronomy; Concerning the Harmonies of the World
55. William Harvey - On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals; On the Circulation of the Blood; On the Generation of Animals
56. Thomas Hobbes - Leviathan
57. René Descartes - Rules for the Direction of the Mind; Discourse on the Method; Geometry; Meditations on First Philosophy
58. John Milton - Works
59. Molière - Comedies
60. Blaise Pascal - The Provincial Letters; Pensees; Scientific Treatises
61. Christiaan Huygens - Treatise on Light
62. Benedict de Spinoza - Ethics
63. John Locke - Letter Concerning Toleration; Of Civil Government; Essay Concerning Human Understanding;Thoughts Concerning Education
64. Jean Baptiste Racine - Tragedies
65. Isaac Newton - Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy; Optics
66. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz - Discourse on Metaphysics; New Essays Concerning Human Understanding;Monadology
67.Daniel Defoe - Robinson Crusoe
68. Jonathan Swift - A Tale of a Tub; Journal to Stella; Gulliver's Travels; A Modest Proposal
69. William Congreve - The Way of the World
70. George Berkeley - Principles of Human Knowledge
71. Alexander Pope - Essay on Criticism; Rape of the Lock; Essay on Man
72. Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu - Persian Letters; Spirit of Laws
73. Voltaire - Letters on the English; Candide; Philosophical Dictionary
74. Henry Fielding - Joseph Andrews; Tom Jones
75. Samuel Johnson - The Vanity of Human Wishes; Dictionary; Rasselas; The Lives of the Poets
   ~ Mortimer J Adler,
338:Ralph Isham,1753 And Later
Know you him, O, him,
Who lived in those days?
He wore a gay coat,
And he stepped along, jauntily, jauntily,
The streets of London town;
In 1753.
Where he is buried, who knows?
Who was his father, who knows?
Who are his children, who knows?
But, oh! on sunny mornings
How gayly he tripped along
The bright streets of London.
A trim cane he had,
And he gracefully took snuff from a very neat snuff-box.
My, but he was courtly.
He saluted walking, smiling, pretty ladies,
And they curtsied sweetly before him.
He was a gay man.
He read his Addison and he read his Pope;
He quoted his Thomson and he quoted his Young.
Lord, how he stood up for Virgil and the classics!
He had heard of Sam Johnson;
'Rough and learned fellow, Johnson, ' said he.
God, God, quietly, quietly now he lies somewhere, in some
churchyard, in sunny mornings, lies in quiet nights,
terrifyingly still.
He jested in the taverns, and was well applauded.
Oh, but he could quote his Horace.
Many was the play he was finely witty about.
He was pained in death, died slowly;
The morning he died was rainy; later the sun came, and the
afternoon was lovely; people said, many, many of them in
London: 'How lovely this afternoon is.'
He lies now in some churchyard of England.
Somewhere there are copies of Pope with his name in them
and a few marks of his.
And where is his snuff, and his snuff-box, and his cane, and his
smile, and his bow?
Where are the sunny mornings he was gay in, and jauntily
32
walked in?
Ralph Isham, —well, now, are not many, many greater than he
dead, and as quiet as can be?
What was he to himself?
There, there is something.
And the ladies, who curtsied to him on sunny mornings, in what
churchyards are they?
Where are their laces, their brocades, their ribbons, their figures
and their smiles; and oh, yes, their beauty?
God, how many things die.
Ralph Isham was slim, rather wicked, married rather happily.
His wife died early, and where is she?
Ralph Isham read Seneca, and Epicurus, and Plato, and had read
many philosophers and many poets on death.
Who knows that Ralph Isham is dead?
There was Ralph Isham, there was London, there were ladies,
there were authors, some in books of English literature,
studied by dapper youths in colleges in the Middle West
of these States.
Pope is studied in Kansas;
Thomson is studied in Kansas;
The name of Young is heard in Topeka;
And the name of Ralph Isham, who loved Pope, who loved
Thomson, who knew Young, is not heard in Topeka.
Ralph Isham came along with his cane, came down the street,
with trees on both sides of the street.
He was feeling well then; he meant to go to the play that afternoon;
he had bought a copy of Dryden that morning.
So here he is with his cane, coming gayly down the street.
And the churchyard he's in, what is the name of that churchyard?
Churchyards are lovable; so, too, is Ralph Isham lovable across the years;
Though, now, he had lain with chambermaids, and barmaids,
and servant girls, whom he had seen as sprightly, pretty,
likable young misses.
These young misses have no regrets now, anyway.
And Ralph Isham had no wish to be cruel.
He knew his Lucretius, and knew the teaching that matter
it is which man is made of, and matter dies and dies.
Ralph Isham has been seen as dead.
On sunny mornings, millions of people have walked the streets of London,
and have not thought of him at all;
And on dark, rainy nights, millions of people walking streets,
33
have thought of many things, but not at all of Ralph Isham.
And what is Ralph Isham now?
Oh, what, oh, what is he?
What is Ralph Isham, gay Londoner, who 1ived in 1753?
What, what is he?
~ Eli Siegel
339:Of horrible heat- the which are nowhere, nor
Indeed can be: but in this life is fear
Of retributions just and expiations
For evil acts: the dungeon and the leap
From that dread rock of infamy, the stripes,
The executioners, the oaken rack,
The iron plates, bitumen, and the torch.
And even though these are absent, yet the mind,
With a fore-fearing conscience, plies its goads
And burns beneath the lash, nor sees meanwhile
What terminus of ills, what end of pine
Can ever be, and feareth lest the same
But grow more heavy after death. Of truth,
The life of fools is Acheron on earth.
This also to thy very self sometimes
Repeat thou mayst: "Lo, even good Ancus left
The sunshine with his eyes, in divers things
A better man than thou, O worthless hind;
And many other kings and lords of rule
Thereafter have gone under, once who swayed
O'er mighty peoples. And he also, he-
Who whilom paved a highway down the sea,
And gave his legionaries thoroughfare
Along the deep, and taught them how to cross
The pools of brine afoot, and did contemn,
Trampling upon it with his cavalry,
The bellowings of ocean- poured his soul
From dying body, as his light was ta'en.
And Scipio's son, the thunderbolt of war,
Horror of Carthage, gave his bones to earth,
Like to the lowliest villein in the house.
Add finders-out of sciences and arts;
Add comrades of the Heliconian dames,
Among whom Homer, sceptered o'er them all
Now lies in slumber sunken with the rest.
Then, too, Democritus, when ripened eld
Admonished him his memory waned away,
Of own accord offered his head to death.
Even Epicurus went, his light of life
Run out, the man in genius who o'er-topped
The human race, extinguishing all others,
As sun, in ether arisen, all the stars.
Wilt thou, then, dally, thou complain to go?-
For whom already life's as good as dead,
Whilst yet thou livest and lookest?- who in sleep
Wastest thy life- time's major part, and snorest
Even when awake, and ceasest not to see
The stuff of dreams, and bearest a mind beset
By baseless terror, nor discoverest oft
What's wrong with thee, when, like a sotted wretch,
Thou'rt jostled along by many crowding cares,
And wanderest reeling round, with mind aswim."
If men, in that same way as on the mind
They feel the load that wearies with its weight,
Could also know the causes whence it comes,
And why so great the heap of ill on heart,
O not in this sort would they live their life,
As now so much we see them, knowing not
What 'tis they want, and seeking ever and ever
A change of place, as if to drop the burden.
The man who sickens of his home goes out,
Forth from his splendid halls, and straight- returns,
Feeling i'faith no better off abroad.
He races, driving his Gallic ponies along,
Down to his villa, madly,- as in haste
To hurry help to a house afire.- At once
He yawns, as soon as foot has touched the threshold,
Or drowsily goes off in sleep and seeks
Forgetfulness, or maybe bustles about
And makes for town again. In such a way
Each human flees himself- a self in sooth,
As happens, he by no means can escape;
And willy-nilly he cleaves to it and loathes,
Sick, sick, and guessing not the cause of ail.
Yet should he see but that, O chiefly then,
Leaving all else, he'd study to divine
The nature of things, since here is in debate
Eternal time and not the single hour,
Mortal's estate in whatsoever remains
After great death.
And too, when all is said,
What evil lust of life is this so great
Subdues us to live, so dreadfully distraught
In perils and alarms? one fixed end
Of life abideth for mortality;
Death's not to shun, and we must go to meet.
Besides we're busied with the same devices,
Ever and ever, and we are at them ever,
And there's no new delight that may be forged
By living on. But whilst the thing we long for
Is lacking, that seems good above all else;
Thereafter, when we've touched it, something else
We long for; ever one equal thirst of life
Grips us agape. And doubtful 'tis what fortune
The future times may carry, or what be
That chance may bring, or what the issue next
Awaiting us. Nor by prolonging life
Take we the least away from death's own time,
Nor can we pluck one moment off, whereby
To minish the aeons of our state of death.
Therefore, O man, by living on, fulfil
As many generations as thou may:
Eternal death shall there be waiting still;
And he who died with light of yesterday
Shall be no briefer time in death's No-more
Than he who perished months or years before.


author class:Lucretius
~ out-belching from his mouth the surge, Cerberus And Furies, And That Lack Of Light

340:Was then far hardier in the old champaign,
As well he should be, since a hardier earth
Had him begotten; builded too was he
Of bigger and more solid bones within,
And knit with stalwart sinews through the flesh,
Nor easily seized by either heat or cold,
Or alien food or any ail or irk.
And whilst so many lustrums of the sun
Rolled on across the sky, men led a life
After the roving habit of wild beasts.
Not then were sturdy guiders of curved ploughs,
And none knew then to work the fields with iron,
Or plant young shoots in holes of delved loam,
Or lop with hooked knives from off high trees
The boughs of yester-year. What sun and rains
To them had given, what earth of own accord
Created then, was boon enough to glad
Their simple hearts. Mid acorn-laden oaks
Would they refresh their bodies for the nonce;
And the wild berries of the arbute-tree,
Which now thou seest to ripen purple-red
In winter time, the old telluric soil
Would bear then more abundant and more big.
And many coarse foods, too, in long ago
The blooming freshness of the rank young world
Produced, enough for those poor wretches there.
And rivers and springs would summon them of old
To slake the thirst, as now from the great hills
The water's down-rush calls aloud and far
The thirsty generations of the wild.
So, too, they sought the grottos of the Nymphs-
The woodland haunts discovered as they ranged-
From forth of which they knew that gliding rills
With gush and splash abounding laved the rocks,
The dripping rocks, and trickled from above
Over the verdant moss; and here and there
Welled up and burst across the open flats.
As yet they knew not to enkindle fire
Against the cold, nor hairy pelts to use
And clothe their bodies with the spoils of beasts;
But huddled in groves, and mountain-caves, and woods,
And 'mongst the thickets hid their squalid backs,
When driven to flee the lashings of the winds
And the big rains. Nor could they then regard
The general good, nor did they know to use
In common any customs, any laws:
Whatever of booty fortune unto each
Had proffered, each alone would bear away,
By instinct trained for self to thrive and live.
And Venus in the forests then would link
The lovers' bodies; for the woman yielded
Either from mutual flame, or from the man's
Impetuous fury and insatiate lust,
Or from a bribe- as acorn-nuts, choice pears,
Or the wild berries of the arbute-tree.
And trusting wondrous strength of hands and legs,
They'd chase the forest-wanderers, the beasts;
And many they'd conquer, but some few they fled,
A-skulk into their hiding-places

With the flung stones and with the ponderous heft
Of gnarled branch. And by the time of night
O'ertaken, they would throw, like bristly boars,
Their wildman's limbs naked upon the earth,
Rolling themselves in leaves and fronded boughs.
Nor would they call with lamentations loud
Around the fields for daylight and the sun,
Quaking and wand'ring in shadows of the night;
But, silent and buried in a sleep, they'd wait
Until the sun with rosy flambeau brought
The glory to the sky. From childhood wont
Ever to see the dark and day begot
In times alternate, never might they be
Wildered by wild misgiving, lest a night
Eternal should posses the lands, with light
Of sun withdrawn forever. But their care
Was rather that the clans of savage beasts
Would often make their sleep-time horrible
For those poor wretches; and, from home y-driven,
They'd flee their rocky shelters at approach
Of boar, the spumy-lipped, or lion strong,
And in the midnight yield with terror up
To those fierce guests their beds of out-spread leaves.

And yet in those days not much more than now
Would generations of mortality
Leave the sweet light of fading life behind.
Indeed, in those days here and there a man,
More oftener snatched upon, and gulped by fangs,
Afforded the beasts a food that roared alive,
Echoing through groves and hills and forest trees,
Even as he viewed his living flesh entombed
Within a living grave; whilst those whom flight
Had saved, with bone and body bitten, shrieked,
Pressing their quivering palms to loathsome sores,
With horrible voices for eternal death-
Until, forlorn of help, and witless what
Might medicine their wounds, the writhing pangs
Took them from life. But not in those far times
Would one lone day give over unto doom
A soldiery in thousands marching on
Beneath the battle-banners, nor would then
The ramping breakers of the main seas dash
Whole argosies and crews upon the rocks.
But ocean uprisen would often rave in vain,
Without all end or outcome, and give up
Its empty menacings as lightly too;
Nor soft seductions of a serene sea
Could lure by laughing billows any man
Out to disaster: for the science bold
Of ship-sailing lay dark in those far times.
Again, 'twas then that lack of food gave o'er
Men's fainting limbs to dissolution: now
'Tis plenty overwhelms. Unwary, they
Oft for themselves themselves would then outpour
The poison; now, with nicer art, themselves
They give the drafts to others.


author class:Lucretius
~ man, Origins And Savage Period Of Mankind

341:So clear a torch aloft, who first shed light
Upon the profitable ends of man,
O thee I follow, glory of the Greeks,
And set my footsteps squarely planted now
Even in the impress and the marks of thine-
Less like one eager to dispute the palm,
More as one craving out of very love
That I may copy thee!- for how should swallow
Contend with swans or what compare could be
In a race between young kids with tumbling legs
And the strong might of the horse? Our father thou,
And finder-out of truth, and thou to us
Suppliest a father's precepts; and from out
Those scriven leaves of thine, renowned soul
(Like bees that sip of all in flowery wolds),
We feed upon thy golden sayings all-
Golden, and ever worthiest endless life.
For soon as ever thy planning thought that sprang
From god-like mind begins its loud proclaim
Of nature's courses, terrors of the brain
Asunder flee, the ramparts of the world
Dispart away, and through the void entire
I see the movements of the universe.
Rises to vision the majesty of gods,
And their abodes of everlasting calm
Which neither wind may shake nor rain-cloud splash,
Nor snow, congealed by sharp frosts, may harm
With its white downfall: ever, unclouded sky
O'er roofs, and laughs with far-diffused light.
And nature gives to them their all, nor aught
May ever pluck their peace of mind away.
But nowhere to my vision rise no more
The vaults of Acheron, though the broad earth
Bars me no more from gazing down o'er all
Which under our feet is going on below
Along the void. O, here in these affairs
Some new divine delight and trembling awe
Takes hold through me, that thus by power of thine
Nature, so plain and manifest at last,
Hath been on every side laid bare to man!

And since I've taught already of what sort
The seeds of all things are, and how, distinct
In divers forms, they flit of own accord,
Stirred with a motion everlasting on,
And in what mode things be from them create,
Now, after such matters, should my verse, meseems,
Make clear the nature of the mind and soul,
And drive that dread of Acheron without,
Headlong, which so confounds our human life
Unto its deeps, pouring o'er all that is
The black of death, nor leaves not anything
To prosper- a liquid and unsullied joy.
For as to what men sometimes will affirm:
That more than Tartarus (the realm of death)
They fear diseases and a life of shame,
And know the substance of the soul is blood,
Or rather wind (if haply thus their whim),
And so need naught of this our science, then
Thou well may'st note from what's to follow now
That more for glory do they braggart forth
Than for belief. For mark these very same:
Exiles from country, fugitives afar
From sight of men, with charges foul attaint,
Abased with every wretchedness, they yet
Live, and where'er the wretches come, they yet
Make the ancestral sacrifices there,
Butcher the black sheep, and to gods below
Offer the honours, and in bitter case
Turn much more keenly to religion.
Wherefore, it's surer testing of a man
In doubtful perils- mark him as he is
Amid adversities; for then alone
Are the true voices conjured from his breast,
The mask off-stripped, reality behind.
And greed, again, and the blind lust of honours
Which force poor wretches past the bounds of law,
And, oft allies and ministers of crime,
To push through nights and days of the hugest toil
To rise untrammelled to the peaks of power-
These wounds of life in no mean part are kept
Festering and open by this fright of death.
For ever we see fierce Want and foul Disgrace
Dislodged afar from secure life and sweet,
Like huddling Shapes before the doors of death.
And whilst, from these, men wish to scape afar,
Driven by false terror, and afar remove,
With civic blood a fortune they amass,
They double their riches, greedy, heapers-up
Of corpse on corpse they have a cruel laugh
For the sad burial of a brother-born,
And hatred and fear of tables of their kin.
Likewise, through this same terror, envy oft
Makes them to peak because before their eyes
That man is lordly, that man gazed upon
Who walks begirt with honour glorious,
Whilst they in filth and darkness roll around;
Some perish away for statues and a name,
And oft to that degree, from fright of death,
Will hate of living and beholding light
Take hold on humankind that they inflict
Their own destruction with a gloomy heart-
Forgetful that this fear is font of cares,
This fear the plague upon their sense of shame,
And this that breaks the ties of comradry
And oversets all reverence and faith,
Mid direst slaughter. For long ere to-day
Often were traitors to country and dear parents
Through quest to shun the realms of Acheron.
For just as children tremble and fear all
In the viewless dark, so even we at times
Dread in the light so many things that be
No whit more fearsome than what children feign,
Shuddering, will be upon them in the dark.
This terror, then, this darkness of the mind,
Not sunrise with its flaring spokes of light,
Nor glittering arrows of morning sun disperse,
But only Nature's aspect and her law.


author class:Lucretius
~ who first uplifted in such dark, Proem

342:Mortal miasma in Cecropian lands
Whilom reduced the plains to dead men's bones,
Unpeopled the highways, drained of citizens
The Athenian town. For coming from afar,
Rising in lands of Aegypt, traversing
Reaches of air and floating fields of foam,
At last on all Pandion's folk it swooped;
Whereat by troops unto disease and death
Were they o'er-given. At first, they'd bear about
A skull on fire with heat, and eyeballs twain
Red with suffusion of blank glare. Their throats,
Black on the inside, sweated oozy blood;
And the walled pathway of the voice of man
Was clogged with ulcers; and the very tongue,
The mind's interpreter, would trickle gore,
Weakened by torments, tardy, rough to touch.
Next when that Influence of bane had chocked,
Down through the throat, the breast, and streamed had
E'en into sullen heart of those sick folk,
Then, verily, all the fences of man's life
Began to topple. From the mouth the breath
Would roll a noisome stink, as stink to heaven
Rotting cadavers flung unburied out.
And, lo, thereafter, all the body's strength
And every power of mind would languish, now
In very doorway of destruction.
And anxious anguish and ululation (mixed
With many a groan) companioned alway
The intolerable torments. Night and day,
Recurrent spasms of vomiting would rack
Alway their thews and members, breaking down
With sheer exhaustion men already spent.
And yet on no one's body couldst thou mark
The skin with o'er-much heat to burn aglow,
But rather the body unto touch of hands
Would offer a warmish feeling, and thereby
Show red all over, with ulcers, so to say,
Inbranded, like the "sacred fires" o'erspread
Along the members. The inward parts of men,
In truth, would blaze unto the very bones;
A flame, like flame in furnaces, would blaze
Within the stomach. Nor couldst aught apply
Unto their members light enough and thin
For shift of aid- but coolness and a breeze
Ever and ever. Some would plunge those limbs
On fire with bane into the icy streams,
Hurling the body naked into the waves;
Many would headlong fling them deeply down
The water-pits, tumbling with eager mouth
Already agape. The insatiable thirst
That whelmed their parched bodies, lo, would make
A goodly shower seem like to scanty drops.
Respite of torment was there none. Their frames
Forspent lay prone. With silent lips of fear
Would Medicine mumble low, the while she saw
So many a time men roll their eyeballs round,
Staring wide-open, unvisited of sleep,
The heralds of old death. And in those months
Was given many another sign of death:
The intellect of mind by sorrow and dread
Deranged, the sad brow, the countenance
Fierce and delirious, the tormented ears
Beset with ringings, the breath quick and short
Or huge and intermittent, soaking sweat
A-glisten on neck, the spittle in fine gouts
Tainted with colour of crocus and so salt,
The cough scarce wheezing through the rattling throat.
Aye, and the sinews in the fingered hands
Were sure to contract, and sure the jointed frame
To shiver, and up from feet the cold to mount
Inch after inch: and toward the supreme hour
At last the pinched nostrils, nose's tip
A very point, eyes sunken, temples hollow,
Skin cold and hard, the shuddering grimace,
The pulled and puffy flesh above the brows!-
O not long after would their frames lie prone
In rigid death. And by about the eighth
Resplendent light of sun, or at the most
On the ninth flaming of his flambeau, they
Would render up the life. If any then
Had 'scaped the doom of that destruction, yet
Him there awaited in the after days
A wasting and a death from ulcers vile
And black discharges of the belly, or else
Through the clogged nostrils would there ooze along
Much fouled blood, oft with an aching head:
Hither would stream a man's whole strength and flesh.
And whoso had survived that virulent flow
Of the vile blood, yet into thews of him
And into his joints and very genitals
Would pass the old disease. And some there were,
Dreading the doorways of destruction
So much, lived on, deprived by the knife
Of the male member; not a few, though lopped
Of hands and feet, would yet persist in life,
And some there were who lost their eyeballs: O
So fierce a fear of death had fallen on them!
And some, besides, were by oblivion
Of all things seized, that even themselves they knew
No longer. And though corpse on corpse lay piled
Unburied on ground, the race of birds and beasts
Would or spring back, scurrying to escape
The virulent stench, or, if they'd tasted there,
Would languish in approaching death. But yet
Hardly at all during those many suns
Appeared a fowl, nor from the woods went forth
The sullen generations of wild beasts-
They languished with disease and died and died.
In chief, the faithful dogs, in all the streets
Outstretched, would yield their breath distressfully
For so that Influence of bane would twist
Life from their members. Nor was found one sure
And universal principle of cure:
For what to one had given the power to take
The vital winds of air into his mouth,
And to gaze upward at the vaults of sky,
The same to others was their death and doom.
In those affairs, O awfullest of all,
O pitiable most was this, was this:
Whoso once saw himself in that disease
Entangled, ay, as damned unto death,
Would lie in wanhope, with a sullen heart,
Would, in fore-vision of his funeral,
Give up the ghost, O then and there. For, lo,
At no time did they cease one from another
To catch contagion of the greedy plague,-
As though but woolly flocks and horned herds;
And this in chief would heap the dead on dead:
For who forbore to look to their own sick,
O these (too eager of life, of death afeard)
Would then, soon after, slaughtering Neglect
Visit with vengeance of evil death and base-
Themselves deserted and forlorn of help.
But who had stayed at hand would perish there
By that contagion and the toil which then
A sense of honour and the pleading voice
Of weary watchers, mixed with voice of wail
Of dying folk, forced them to undergo.
This kind of death each nobler soul would meet.
The funerals, uncompanioned, forsaken,
Like rivals contended to be hurried through.
   .  .  .  .  .  .
And men contending to ensepulchre
Pile upon pile the throng of their own dead:
And weary with woe and weeping wandered home;
And then the most would take to bed from grief.
Nor could be found not one, whom nor disease
Nor death, nor woe had not in those dread times
Attacked.
By now the shepherds and neatherds all,
Yea, even the sturdy guiders of curved ploughs,
Began to sicken, and their bodies would lie
Huddled within back-corners of their huts,
Delivered by squalor and disease to death.
O often and often couldst thou then have seen
On lifeless children lifeless parents prone,
Or offspring on their fathers', mothers' corpse
Yielding the life. And into the city poured
O not in least part from the countryside
That tribulation, which the peasantry
Sick, sick, brought thither, thronging from every quarter,
Plague-stricken mob. All places would they crowd,
All buildings too; whereby the more would death
Up-pile a-heap the folk so crammed in town.
Ah, many a body thirst had dragged and rolled
Along the highways there was lying strewn
Besides Silenus-headed water-fountains,-
The life-breath choked from that too dear desire
Of pleasant waters. Ah, everywhere along
The open places of the populace,
And along the highways, O thou mightest see
Of many a half-dead body the sagged limbs,
Rough with squalor, wrapped around with rags,
Perish from very nastiness, with naught
But skin upon the bones, well-nigh already
Buried- in ulcers vile and obscene filth.
All holy temples, too, of deities
Had Death becrammed with the carcasses;
And stood each fane of the Celestial Ones
Laden with stark cadavers everywhere-
Places which warders of the shrines had crowded
With many a guest. For now no longer men
Did mightily esteem the old Divine,
The worship of the gods: the woe at hand
Did over-master. Nor in the city then
Remained those rites of sepulture, with which
That pious folk had evermore been wont
To buried be. For it was wildered all
In wild alarms, and each and every one
With sullen sorrow would bury his own dead,
As present shift allowed. And sudden stress
And poverty to many an awful act
Impelled; and with a monstrous screaming they
Would, on the frames of alien funeral pyres,
Place their own kin, and thrust the torch beneath
Oft brawling with much bloodshed round about
Rather than quit dead bodies loved in life.


author class:Lucretius
~ such a manner of disease, 'twas such, The Plague Athens

343:By what arrangements all things come to pass
Through the blue regions of the mighty world,-
How we can know what energy and cause
Started the various courses of the sun
And the moon's goings, and by what far means
They can succumb, the while with thwarted light,
And veil with shade the unsuspecting lands,
When, as it were, they blink, and then again
With open eye survey all regions wide,
Resplendent with white radiance- I do now
Return unto the world's primeval age
And tell what first the soft young fields of earth
With earliest parturition had decreed
To raise in air unto the shores of light
And to entrust unto the wayward winds.

In the beginning, earth gave forth, around
The hills and over all the length of plains,
The race of grasses and the shining green;
The flowery meadows sparkled all aglow
With greening colour, and thereafter, lo,
Unto the divers kinds of trees was given
An emulous impulse mightily to shoot,
With a free rein, aloft into the air.
As feathers and hairs and bristles are begot
The first on members of the four-foot breeds
And on the bodies of the strong-y-winged,
Thus then the new Earth first of all put forth
Grasses and shrubs, and afterward begat
The mortal generations, there upsprung-
Innumerable in modes innumerable-
After diverging fashions. For from sky
These breathing-creatures never can have dropped,
Nor the land-dwellers ever have come up
Out of sea-pools of salt. How true remains,
How merited is that adopted name
Of earth- "The Mother!"- since from out the earth
Are all begotten. And even now arise
From out the loams how many living things-
Concreted by the rains and heat of the sun.
Wherefore 'tis less a marvel, if they sprang
In Long Ago more many, and more big,
Matured of those days in the fresh young years
Of earth and ether. First of all, the race
Of the winged ones and parti-coloured birds,
Hatched out in spring-time, left their eggs behind;
As now-a-days in summer tree-crickets
Do leave their shiny husks of own accord,
Seeking their food and living. Then it was
This earth of thine first gave unto the day
The mortal generations; for prevailed
Among the fields abounding hot and wet.
And hence, where any fitting spot was given,
There 'gan to grow womb-cavities, by roots
Affixed to earth. And when in ripened time
The age of the young within (that sought the air
And fled earth's damps) had burst these wombs, O then
Would Nature thither turn the pores of earth
And make her spurt from open veins a juice
Like unto milk; even as a woman now
Is filled, at child-bearing, with the sweet milk,
Because all that swift stream of aliment
Is thither turned unto the mother-breasts.
There earth would furnish to the children food;
Warmth was their swaddling cloth, the grass their bed
Abounding in soft down. Earth's newness then
Would rouse no dour spells of the bitter cold,
Nor extreme heats nor winds of mighty powers-
For all things grow and gather strength through time
In like proportions; and then earth was young.

Wherefore, again, again, how merited
Is that adopted name of Earth- The Mother!-
Since she herself begat the human race,
And at one well-nigh fixed time brought forth
Each breast that ranges raving round about
Upon the mighty mountains and all birds
Aerial with many a varied shape.
But, lo, because her bearing years must end,
She ceased, like to a woman worn by eld.
For lapsing aeons change the nature of
The whole wide world, and all things needs must take
One status after other, nor aught persists
Forever like itself. All things depart;
Nature she changeth all, compelleth all
To transformation. Lo, this moulders down,
A-slack with weary eld, and that, again,
Prospers in glory, issuing from contempt.
In suchwise, then, the lapsing aeons change
The nature of the whole wide world, and earth
Taketh one status after other. And what
She bore of old, she now can bear no longer,
And what she never bore, she can to-day.

In those days also the telluric world
Strove to beget the monsters that upsprung
With their astounding visages and limbs-
The Man-woman- a thing betwixt the twain,
Yet neither, and from either sex remote-
Some gruesome Boggles orphaned of the feet,
Some widowed of the hands, dumb Horrors too
Without a mouth, or blind Ones of no eye,
Or Bulks all shackled by their legs and arms
Cleaving unto the body fore and aft,
Thuswise, that never could they do or go,
Nor shun disaster, nor take the good they would.
And other prodigies and monsters earth
Was then begetting of this sort- in vain,
Since Nature banned with horror their increase,
And powerless were they to reach unto
The coveted flower of fair maturity,
Or to find aliment, or to intertwine
In works of Venus. For we see there must
Concur in life conditions manifold,
If life is ever by begetting life
To forge the generations one by one:
First, foods must be; and, next, a path whereby
The seeds of impregnation in the frame
May ooze, released from the members all;
Last, the possession of those instruments
Whereby the male with female can unite,
The one with other in mutual ravishments.

And in the ages after monsters died,
Perforce there perished many a stock, unable
By propagation to forge a progeny.
For whatsoever creatures thou beholdest
Breathing the breath of life, the same have been
Even from their earliest age preserved alive
By cunning, or by valour, or at least
By speed of foot or wing. And many a stock
Remaineth yet, because of use to man,
And so committed to man's guardianship.
Valour hath saved alive fierce lion-breeds
And many another terrorizing race,
Cunning the foxes, flight the antlered stags.
Light-sleeping dogs with faithful heart in breast,
However, and every kind begot from seed
Of beasts of draft, as, too, the woolly flocks
And horned cattle, all, my Memmius,
Have been committed to guardianship of men.
For anxiously they fled the savage beasts,
And peace they sought and their abundant foods,
Obtained with never labours of their own,
Which we secure to them as fit rewards
For their good service. But those beasts to whom
Nature has granted naught of these same things-
Beasts quite unfit by own free will to thrive
And vain for any service unto us
In thanks for which we should permit their kind
To feed and be in our protection safe-
Those, of a truth, were wont to be exposed,
Enshackled in the gruesome bonds of doom,
As prey and booty for the rest, until
Nature reduced that stock to utter death.

But Centaurs ne'er have been, nor can there be
Creatures of twofold stock and double frame,
Compact of members alien in kind,
Yet formed with equal function, equal force
In every bodily part- a fact thou mayst,
However dull thy wits, well learn from this:
The horse, when his three years have rolled away,
Flowers in his prime of vigour; but the boy
Not so, for oft even then he gropes in sleep
After the milky nipples of the breasts,
An infant still. And later, when at last
The lusty powers of horses and stout limbs,
Now weak through lapsing life, do fail with age,
Lo, only then doth youth with flowering years
Begin for boys, and clothe their ruddy cheeks
With the soft down. So never deem, percase,
That from a man and from the seed of horse,
The beast of draft, can Centaurs be composed
Or e'er exist alive, nor Scyllas be-
The half-fish bodies girdled with mad dogs-
Nor others of this sort, in whom we mark
Members discordant each with each; for ne'er
At one same time they reach their flower of age
Or gain and lose full vigour of their frame,
And never burn with one same lust of love,
And never in their habits they agree,
Nor find the same foods equally delightsome-
Sooth, as one oft may see the bearded goats
Batten upon the hemlock which to man
Is violent poison. Once again, since flame
Is wont to scorch and burn the tawny bulks
Of the great lions as much as other kinds
Of flesh and blood existing in the lands,
How could it be that she, Chimaera lone,
With triple body- fore, a lion she;
And aft, a dragon; and betwixt, a goat-
Might at the mouth from out the body belch
Infuriate flame? Wherefore, the man who feigns
Such beings could have been engendered
When earth was new and the young sky was fresh
(Basing his empty argument on new)
May babble with like reason many whims
Into our ears: he'll say, perhaps, that then
Rivers of gold through every landscape flowed,
That trees were wont with precious stones to flower,
Or that in those far aeons man was born
With such gigantic length and lift of limbs
As to be able, based upon his feet,
Deep oceans to bestride; or with his hands
To whirl the firmament around his head.
For though in earth were many seeds of things
In the old time when this telluric world
First poured the breeds of animals abroad,
Still that is nothing of a sign that then
Such hybrid creatures could have been begot
And limbs of all beasts heterogeneous
Have been together knit; because, indeed,
The divers kinds of grasses and the grains
And the delightsome trees- which even now
Spring up abounding from within the earth-
Can still ne'er be begotten with their stems
Begrafted into one; but each sole thing
Proceeds according to its proper wont
And all conserve their own distinctions based
In Nature's fixed decree.


author class:Lucretius
~ to what remains!- Since I've resolved, Origins Of Vegetable And Animal Life

344:The seeds of all things are, and how distinct
In divers forms they flit of own accord,
Stirred with a motion everlasting on,
And in what mode things be from them create,
And since I've taught what the mind's nature is,
And of what things 'tis with the body knit
And thrives in strength, and by what mode uptorn
That mind returns to its primordials,
Now will I undertake an argument-
One for these matters of supreme concern-
That there exist those somewhats which we call
The images of things: these, like to films
Scaled off the utmost outside of the things,
Flit hither and thither through the atmosphere,
And the same terrify our intellects,
Coming upon us waking or in sleep,
When oft we peer at wonderful strange shapes
And images of people lorn of light,
Which oft have horribly roused us when we lay
In slumber- that haply nevermore may we
Suppose that souls get loose from Acheron,
Or shades go floating in among the living,
Or aught of us is left behind at death,
When body and mind, destroyed together, each
Back to its own primordials goes away.

And thus I say that effigies of things,
And tenuous shapes from off the things are sent,
From off the utmost outside of the things,
Which are like films or may be named a rind,
Because the image bears like look and form
With whatso body has shed it fluttering forth-
A fact thou mayst, however dull thy wits,
Well learn from this: mainly, because we see
Even 'mongst visible objects many be
That send forth bodies, loosely some diffused-
Like smoke from oaken logs and heat from fires-
And some more interwoven and condensed-
As when the locusts in the summertime
Put off their glossy tunics, or when calves
At birth drop membranes from their body's surface,
Or when, again, the slippery serpent doffs
Its vestments 'mongst the thorns- for oft we see
The breres augmented with their flying spoils:
Since such takes place, 'tis likewise certain too
That tenuous images from things are sent,
From off the utmost outside of the things.
For why those kinds should drop and part from things,
Rather than others tenuous and thin,
No power has man to open mouth to tell;
Especially, since on outsides of things
Are bodies many and minute which could,
In the same order which they had before,
And with the figure of their form preserved,
Be thrown abroad, and much more swiftly too,
Being less subject to impediments,
As few in number and placed along the front.
For truly many things we see discharge
Their stuff at large, not only from their cores
Deep-set within, as we have said above,
But from their surfaces at times no less-
Their very colours too. And commonly
The awnings, saffron, red and dusky blue,
Stretched overhead in mighty theatres,
Upon their poles and cross-beams fluttering,
Have such an action quite; for there they dye
And make to undulate with their every hue
The circled throng below, and all the stage,
And rich attire in the patrician seats.
And ever the more the theatre's dark walls
Around them shut, the more all things within
Laugh in the bright suffusion of strange glints,
The daylight being withdrawn. And therefore, since
The canvas hangings thus discharge their dye
From off their surface, things in general must
Likewise their tenuous effigies discharge,
Because in either case they are off-thrown
From off the surface. So there are indeed
Such certain prints and vestiges of forms
Which flit around, of subtlest texture made,
Invisible, when separate, each and one.
Again, all odour, smoke, and heat, and such
Streams out of things diffusedly, because,
Whilst coming from the deeps of body forth
And rising out, along their bending path
They're torn asunder, nor have gateways straight
Wherethrough to mass themselves and struggle abroad.
But contrariwise, when such a tenuous film
Of outside colour is thrown off, there's naught
Can rend it, since 'tis placed along the front
Ready to hand. Lastly those images
Which to our eyes in mirrors do appear,
In water, or in any shining surface,
Must be, since furnished with like look of things,
Fashioned from images of things sent out.
There are, then, tenuous effigies of forms,
Like unto them, which no one can divine
When taken singly, which do yet give back,
When by continued and recurrent discharge
Expelled, a picture from the mirrors' plane.
Nor otherwise, it seems, can they be kept
So well conserved that thus be given back
Figures so like each object.
Now then, learn
How tenuous is the nature of an image.
And in the first place, since primordials be
So far beneath our senses, and much less
E'en than those objects which begin to grow
Too small for eyes to note, learn now in few
How nice are the beginnings of all things-
That this, too, I may yet confirm in proof:
First, living creatures are sometimes so small
That even their third part can nowise be seen;
Judge, then, the size of any inward organ-
What of their sphered heart, their eyes, their limbs,
The skeleton?- How tiny thus they are!
And what besides of those first particles
Whence soul and mind must fashioned be?- Seest not
How nice and how minute? Besides, whatever
Exhales from out its body a sharp smell-
The nauseous absinth, or the panacea,
Strong southernwood, or bitter centaury-
If never so lightly with thy [fingers] twain
Perchance [thou touch] a one of them

Then why not rather know that images
Flit hither and thither, many, in many modes,
Bodiless and invisible?
But lest
Haply thou holdest that those images
Which come from objects are the sole that flit,
Others indeed there be of own accord
Begot, self-formed in earth's aery skies,
Which, moulded to innumerable shapes,
Are borne aloft, and, fluid as they are,
Cease not to change appearance and to turn
Into new outlines of all sorts of forms;
As we behold the clouds grow thick on high
And smirch the serene vision of the world,
Stroking the air with motions. For oft are seen
The giants' faces flying far along
And trailing a spread of shadow; and at times
The mighty mountains and mountain-sundered rocks
Going before and crossing on the sun,
Whereafter a monstrous beast dragging amain
And leading in the other thunderheads.
Now [hear] how easy and how swift they be
Engendered, and perpetually flow off
From things and gliding pass away.

For ever every outside streams away
From off all objects, since discharge they may;
And when this outside reaches other things,
As chiefly glass, it passes through; but where
It reaches the rough rocks or stuff of wood,
There 'tis so rent that it cannot give back
An image. But when gleaming objects dense,
As chiefly mirrors, have been set before it,
Nothing of this sort happens. For it can't
Go, as through glass, nor yet be rent- its safety,
By virtue of that smoothness, being sure.
'Tis therefore that from them the images
Stream back to us; and howso suddenly
Thou place, at any instant, anything
Before a mirror, there an image shows;
Proving that ever from a body's surface
Flow off thin textures and thin shapes of things.
Thus many images in little time
Are gendered; so their origin is named
Rightly a speedy. And even as the sun
Must send below, in little time, to earth
So many beams to keep all things so full
Of light incessant; thus, on grounds the same,
From things there must be borne, in many modes,
To every quarter round, upon the moment,
The many images of things; because
Unto whatever face of things we turn
The mirror, things of form and hue the same
Respond. Besides, though but a moment since
Serenest was the weather of the sky,
So fiercely sudden is it foully thick
That ye might think that round about all murk
Had parted forth from Acheron and filled
The mighty vaults of sky- so grievously,
As gathers thus the storm-clouds' gruesome night,
Do faces of black horror hang on high-
Of which how small a part an image is
There's none to tell or reckon out in words.

Now come; with what swift motion they are borne,
These images, and what the speed assigned
To them across the breezes swimming on-
So that o'er lengths of space a little hour
Alone is wasted, toward whatever region
Each with its divers impulse tends- I'll tell
In verses sweeter than they many are;
Even as the swan's slight note is better far
Than that dispersed clamour of the cranes
Among the southwind's aery clouds. And first,
One oft may see that objects which are light
And made of tiny bodies are the swift;
In which class is the sun's light and his heat,
Since made from small primordial elements
Which, as it were, are forward knocked along
And through the interspaces of the air
To pass delay not, urged by blows behind;
For light by light is instantly supplied
And gleam by following gleam is spurred and driven.
Thus likewise must the images have power
Through unimaginable space to speed
Within a point of time,- first, since a cause
Exceeding small there is, which at their back
Far forward drives them and propels, where, too,
They're carried with such winged lightness on;
And, secondly, since furnished, when sent off,
With texture of such rareness that they can
Through objects whatsoever penetrate
And ooze, as 'twere, through intervening air.
Besides, if those fine particles of things
Which from so deep within are sent abroad,
As light and heat of sun, are seen to glide
And spread themselves through all the space of heaven
Upon one instant of the day, and fly
O'er sea and lands and flood the heaven, what then
Of those which on the outside stand prepared,
When they're hurled off with not a thing to check
Their going out? Dost thou not see indeed
How swifter and how farther must they go
And speed through manifold the length of space
In time the same that from the sun the rays
O'erspread the heaven? This also seems to be
Example chief and true with what swift speed
The images of things are borne about:
That soon as ever under open skies
Is spread the shining water, all at once,
If stars be out in heaven, upgleam from earth,
Serene and radiant in the water there,
The constellations of the universe-
Now seest thou not in what a point of time
An image from the shores of ether falls
Unto the shores of earth? Wherefore, again,
And yet again, 'tis needful to confess
With wondrous


author class:Lucretius
~ I've taught already of what sort, Existence And Character Of The Images

345:In his own footprints, I do follow through
His reasonings, and with pronouncements teach
The covenant whereby all things are framed,
How under that covenant they must abide
Nor ever prevail to abrogate the aeons'
Inexorable decrees- how (as we've found),
In class of mortal objects, o'er all else,
The mind exists of earth-born frame create
And impotent unscathed to abide
Across the mighty aeons, and how come
In sleep those idol-apparitions
That so befool intelligence when we
Do seem to view a man whom life has left.
Thus far we've gone; the order of my plan
Hath brought me now unto the point where I
Must make report how, too, the universe
Consists of mortal body, born in time,
And in what modes that congregated stuff
Established itself as earth and sky,
Ocean, and stars, and sun, and ball of moon;
And then what living creatures rose from out
The old telluric places, and what ones
Were never born at all; and in what mode
The human race began to name its things
And use the varied speech from man to man;
And in what modes hath bosomed in their breasts
That awe of gods, which halloweth in all lands
Fanes, altars, groves, lakes, idols of the gods.
Also I shall untangle by what power
The steersman Nature guides the sun's courses,
And the meanderings of the moon, lest we,
Percase, should fancy that of own free will
They circle their perennial courses round,
Timing their motions for increase of crops
And living creatures, or lest we should think
They roll along by any plan of gods.
For even those men who have learned full well
That godheads lead a long life free of care,
If yet meanwhile they wonder by what plan
Things can go on (and chiefly yon high things
Observed o'erhead on the ethereal coasts),
Again are hurried back unto the fears
Of old religion and adopt again
Harsh masters, deemed almighty- wretched men,
Unwitting what can be and what cannot,
And by what law to each its scope prescribed,
Its boundary stone that clings so deep in Time.

But for the rest, lest we delay thee here
Longer by empty promises- behold,
Before all else, the seas, the lands, the sky:
O Memmius, their threefold nature, lo,
Their bodies three, three aspects so unlike,
Three frames so vast, a single day shall give
Unto annihilation! Then shall crash
That massive form and fabric of the world
Sustained so many aeons! Nor do I
Fail to perceive how strange and marvellous
This fact must strike the intellect of man,-
Annihilation of the sky and earth
That is to be,- and with what toil of words
'Tis mine to prove the same; as happens oft
When once ye offer to man's listening ears
Something before unheard of, but may not
Subject it to the view of eyes for him
Nor put it into hand- the sight and touch,
Whereby the opened highways of belief
Lead most directly into human breast
And regions of intelligence. But yet
I will speak out. The fact itself, perchance,
Will force belief in these my words, and thou
Mayst see, in little time, tremendously
With risen commotions of the lands all things
Quaking to pieces- which afar from us
May she, the steersman Nature, guide: and may
Reason, O rather than the fact itself,
Persuade us that all things can be o'erthrown
And sink with awful-sounding breakage down!

But ere on this I take a step to utter
Oracles holier and soundlier based
Than ever the Pythian pronounced for men
From out the tripod and the Delphian laurel,
I will unfold for thee with learned words
Many a consolation, lest perchance,
Still bridled by religion, thou suppose
Lands, sun, and sky, sea, constellations, moon,
Must dure forever, as of frame divine-
And so conclude that it is just that those,
(After the manner of the Giants), should all
Pay the huge penalties for monstrous crime,
Who by their reasonings do overshake
The ramparts of the universe and wish
There to put out the splendid sun of heaven,
Branding with mortal talk immortal things-
Though these same things are even so far removed
From any touch of deity and seem
So far unworthy of numbering with the gods,
That well they may be thought to furnish rather
A goodly instance of the sort of things
That lack the living motion, living sense.
For sure 'tis quite beside the mark to think
That judgment and the nature of the mind
In any kind of body can exist-
Just as in ether can't exist a tree,
Nor clouds in the salt sea, nor in the fields
Can fishes live, nor blood in timber be,
Nor sap in boulders: fixed and arranged
Where everything may grow and have its place.
Thus nature of mind cannot arise alone
Without the body, nor have its being far
From thews and blood. Yet if 'twere possible?-
Much rather might this very power of mind
Be in the head, the shoulders, or the heels,
And, born in any part soever, yet
In the same man, in the same vessel abide
But since within this body even of ours
Stands fixed and appears arranged sure
Where soul and mind can each exist and grow,
Deny we must the more that they can dure
Outside the body and the breathing form
In rotting clods of earth, in the sun's fire,
In water, or in ether's skiey coasts.
Therefore these things no whit are furnished
With sense divine, since never can they be
With life-force quickened.
Likewise, thou canst ne'er
Believe the sacred seats of gods are here
In any regions of this mundane world;
Indeed, the nature of the gods, so subtle,
So far removed from these our senses, scarce
Is seen even by intelligence of mind.
And since they've ever eluded touch and thrust
Of human hands, they cannot reach to grasp
Aught tangible to us. For what may not
Itself be touched in turn can never touch.
Wherefore, besides, also their seats must be
Unlike these seats of ours,- even subtle too,
As meet for subtle essence- as I'll prove
Hereafter unto thee with large discourse.
Further, to say that for the sake of men
They willed to prepare this world's magnificence,
And that 'tis therefore duty and behoof
To praise the work of gods as worthy praise,
And that 'tis sacrilege for men to shake
Ever by any force from out their seats
What hath been stablished by the Forethought old
To everlasting for races of mankind,
And that 'tis sacrilege to assault by words
And overtopple all from base to beam,-
Memmius, such notions to concoct and pile,
Is verily- to dote. Our gratefulness,
O what emoluments could it confer
Upon Immortals and upon the Blessed
That they should take a step to manage aught
For sake of us? Or what new factor could,
After so long a time, inveigle them-
The hitherto reposeful- to desire
To change their former life? For rather he
Whom old things chafe seems likely to rejoice
At new; but one that in fore-passed time
Hath chanced upon no ill, through goodly years.
O what could ever enkindle in such an one
Passion for strange experiment? Or what
The evil for us, if we had ne'er been born?-
As though, forsooth, in darkling realms and woe
Our life were lying till should dawn at last
The day-spring of creation! Whosoever
Hath been begotten wills perforce to stay
In life, so long as fond delight detains;
But whoso ne'er hath tasted love of life,
And ne'er was in the count of living things,
What hurts it him that he was never born?
Whence, further, first was planted in the gods
The archetype for gendering the world
And the fore-notion of what man is like,
So that they knew and pre-conceived with mind
Just what they wished to make? Or how were known
Ever the energies of primal germs,
And what those germs, by interchange of place,
Could thus produce, if nature's self had not
Given example for creating all?
For in such wise primordials of things,
Many in many modes, astir by blows
From immemorial aeons, in motion too
By their own weights, have evermore been wont
To be so borne along and in all modes
To meet together and to try all sorts
Which, by combining one with other, they
Are powerful to create, that thus it is
No marvel now, if they have also fallen
Into arrangements such, and if they've passed
Into vibrations such, as those whereby
This sum of things is carried on to-day
By fixed renewal. But knew I never what
The seeds primordial were, yet would I dare
This to affirm, even from deep judgments based
Upon the ways and conduct of the skies-
This to maintain by many a fact besides-
That in no wise the nature of all things
For us was fashioned by a power divine-
So great the faults it stands encumbered with.
First, mark all regions which are overarched
By the prodigious reaches of the sky:
One yawning part thereof the mountain-chains
And forests of the beasts do have and hold;
And cliffs, and desert fens, and wastes of sea
(Which sunder afar the beaches of the lands)
Possess it merely; and, again, thereof
Well-nigh two-thirds intolerable heat
And a perpetual fall of frost doth rob
From mortal kind. And what is left to till,
Even that the force of Nature would o'errun
With brambles, did not human force oppose,-
Long wont for livelihood to groan and sweat
Over the two-pronged mattock and to cleave
The soil in twain by pressing on the plough.

Unless, by the ploughshare turning the fruitful clods
And kneading the mould, we quicken into birth,
The crops spontaneously could not come up
Into the free bright air. Even then sometimes,
When things acquired by the sternest toil
Are now in leaf, are now in blossom all,
Either the skiey sun with baneful heats
Parches, or sudden rains or chilling rime
Destroys, or flaws of winds with furious whirl
Torment and twist. Beside these matters, why
Doth Nature feed and foster on land and sea
The dreadful breed of savage beasts, the foes
Of the human clan? Why do the seasons bring
Distempers with them? Wherefore stalks at large
Death, so untimely? Then, again, the babe,
Like to the castaway of the raging surf,
Lies naked on the ground, speechless, in want
Of every help for life, when Nature first
Hath poured him forth upon the shores of light
With birth-pangs from within the mother's womb,
And with a plaintive wail he fills the place,-
As well befitting one for whom remains
In life a journey through so many ills.
But all the flocks and herds and all wild beasts
Come forth and grow, nor need the little rattles,
Nor must be treated to the humouring nurse's
Dear, broken chatter; nor seek they divers clothes
To suit the changing skies; nor need, in fine,
Nor arms, nor lofty ramparts, wherewithal
Their own to guard- because the earth herself
And Nature, artificer of the world, bring forth
Aboundingly all things for all.


author class:Lucretius
~ now, Against Teleological Concept

346:Since body of earth and water, air's light breath,
And fiery exhalations (of which four
This sum of things is seen to be compact)
So all have birth and perishable frame,
Thus the whole nature of the world itself
Must be conceived as perishable too.
For, verily, those things of which we see
The parts and members to have birth in time
And perishable shapes, those same we mark
To be invariably born in time
And born to die. And therefore when I see
The mightiest members and the parts of this
Our world consumed and begot again,
'Tis mine to know that also sky above
And earth beneath began of old in time
And shall in time go under to disaster.
And lest in these affairs thou deemest me
To have seized upon this point by sleight to serve
My own caprice- because I have assumed
That earth and fire are mortal things indeed,
And have not doubted water and the air
Both perish too and have affirmed the same
To be again begotten and wax big-
Mark well the argument: in first place, lo,
Some certain parts of earth, grievously parched
By unremitting suns, and trampled on
By a vast throng of feet, exhale abroad
A powdery haze and flying clouds of dust,
Which the stout winds disperse in the whole air.
A part, moreover, of her sod and soil
Is summoned to inundation by the rains;
And rivers graze and gouge the banks away.
Besides, whatever takes a part its own
In fostering and increasing aught

Is rendered back; and since, beyond a doubt,
Earth, the all-mother, is beheld to be
Likewise the common sepulchre of things,
Therefore thou seest her minished of her plenty,
And then again augmented with new growth.

And for the rest, that sea, and streams, and springs
Forever with new waters overflow
And that perennially the fluids well.
Needeth no words- the mighty flux itself
Of multitudinous waters round about
Declareth this. But whatso water first
Streams up is ever straightway carried off,
And thus it comes to pass that all in all
There is no overflow; in part because
The burly winds (that over-sweep amain)
And skiey sun (that with his rays dissolves)
Do minish the level seas; in part because
The water is diffused underground
Through all the lands. The brine is filtered off,
And then the liquid stuff seeps back again
And all re-gathers at the river-heads,
Whence in fresh-water currents on it flows
Over the lands, adown the channels which
Were cleft erstwhile and erstwhile bore along
The liquid-footed floods.
Now, then, of air
I'll speak, which hour by hour in all its body
Is changed innumerably. For whatso'er
Streams up in dust or vapour off of things,
The same is all and always borne along
Into the mighty ocean of the air;
And did not air in turn restore to things
Bodies, and thus recruit them as they stream,
All things by this time had resolved been
And changed into air. Therefore it never
Ceases to be engendered off of things
And to return to things, since verily
In constant flux do all things stream.
Likewise,
The abounding well-spring of the liquid light,
The ethereal sun, doth flood the heaven o'er
With constant flux of radiance ever new,
And with fresh light supplies the place of light,
Upon the instant. For whatever effulgence
Hath first streamed off, no matter where it falls,
Is lost unto the sun. And this 'tis thine
To know from these examples: soon as clouds
Have first begun to under-pass the sun,
And, as it were, to rend the days of light
In twain, at once the lower part of them
Is lost entire, and earth is overcast
Where'er the thunderheads are rolled along-
So know thou mayst that things forever need
A fresh replenishment of gleam and glow,
And each effulgence, foremost flashed forth,
Perisheth one by one. Nor otherwise
Can things be seen in sunlight, lest alway
The fountain-head of light supply new light.
Indeed your earthly beacons of the night,
The hanging lampions and the torches, bright
With darting gleams and dense with livid soot,
Do hurry in like manner to supply
With ministering heat new light amain;
Are all alive to quiver with their fires,-
Are so alive, that thus the light ne'er leaves
The spots it shines on, as if rent in twain:
So speedily is its destruction veiled
By the swift birth of flame from all the fires.
Thus, then, we must suppose that sun and moon
And stars dart forth their light from under-births
Ever and ever new, and whatso flames
First rise do perish always one by one-
Lest, haply, thou shouldst think they each endure
Inviolable.
Again, perceivest not
How stones are also conquered by Time?-
Not how the lofty towers ruin down,
And boulders crumble?- Not how shrines of gods
And idols crack outworn?- Nor how indeed
The holy Influence hath yet no power
There to postpone the Terminals of Fate,
Or headway make 'gainst Nature's fixed decrees?
Again, behold we not the monuments
Of heroes, now in ruins, asking us,
In their turn likewise, if we don't believe
They also age with eld? Behold we not
The rended basalt ruining amain
Down from the lofty mountains, powerless
To dure and dree the mighty forces there
Of finite time?- for they would never fall
Rended asudden, if from infinite Past
They had prevailed against all engin'ries
Of the assaulting aeons, with no crash.
Again, now look at This, which round, above,
Contains the whole earth in its one embrace:
If from itself it procreates all things-
As some men tell- and takes them to itself
When once destroyed, entirely must it be
Of mortal birth and body; for whate'er
From out itself giveth to other things
Increase and food, the same perforce must be
Minished, and then recruited when it takes
Things back into itself.
Besides all this,
If there had been no origin-in-birth
Of lands and sky, and they had ever been
The everlasting, why, ere Theban war
And obsequies of Troy, have other bards
Not also chanted other high affairs?
Whither have sunk so oft so many deeds
Of heroes? Why do those deeds live no more,
Ingrafted in eternal monuments
Of glory? Verily, I guess, because
The Sum is new, and of a recent date
The nature of our universe, and had
Not long ago its own exordium.
Wherefore, even now some arts are being still
Refined, still increased: now unto ships
Is being added many a new device;
And but the other day musician-folk
Gave birth to melic sounds of organing;
And, then, this nature, this account of things
Hath been discovered latterly, and I
Myself have been discovered only now,
As first among the first, able to turn
The same into ancestral Roman speech.
Yet if, percase, thou deemest that ere this
Existed all things even the same, but that
Perished the cycles of the human race
In fiery exhalations, or cities fell
By some tremendous quaking of the world,
Or rivers in fury, after constant rains,
Had plunged forth across the lands of earth
And whelmed the towns- then, all the more must thou
Confess, defeated by the argument,
That there shall be annihilation too
Of lands and sky. For at a time when things
Were being taxed by maladies so great,
And so great perils, if some cause more fell
Had then assailed them, far and wide they would
Have gone to disaster and supreme collapse.
And by no other reasoning are we
Seen to be mortal, save that all of us
Sicken in turn with those same maladies
With which have sickened in the past those men
Whom Nature hath removed from life.
Again,
Whatever abides eternal must indeed
Either repel all strokes, because 'tis made
Of solid body, and permit no entrance
Of aught with power to sunder from within
The parts compact- as are those seeds of stuff
Whose nature we've exhibited before;
Or else be able to endure through time
For this: because they are from blows exempt,
As is the void, the which abides untouched,
Unsmit by any stroke; or else because
There is no room around, whereto things can,
As 'twere, depart in dissolution all-
Even as the sum of sums eternal is,
Without or place beyond whereto things may
Asunder fly, or bodies which can smite,
And thus dissolve them by the blows of might.
But not of solid body, as I've shown,
Exists the nature of the world, because
In things is intermingled there a void;
Nor is the world yet as the void, nor are,
Moreover, bodies lacking which, percase,
Rising from out the infinite, can fell
With fury-whirlwinds all this sum of things,
Or bring upon them other cataclysm
Of peril strange; and yonder, too, abides
The infinite space and the profound abyss-
Whereinto, lo, the ramparts of the world
Can yet be shivered. Or some other power
Can pound upon them till they perish all.
Thus is the door of doom, O nowise barred
Against the sky, against the sun and earth
And deep-sea waters, but wide open stands
And gloats upon them, monstrous and agape.
Wherefore, again, 'tis needful to confess
That these same things are born in time; for things
Which are of mortal body could indeed
Never from infinite past until to-day
Have spurned the multitudinous assaults
Of the immeasurable aeons old.

Again, since battle so fiercely one with other
The four most mighty members the world,
Aroused in an all unholy war,
Seest not that there may be for them an end
Of the long strife?- Or when the skiey sun
And all the heat have won dominion o'er
The sucked-up waters all?- And this they try
Still to accomplish, though as yet they fail,-
For so aboundingly the streams supply
New store of waters that 'tis rather they
Who menace the world with inundations vast
From forth the unplumbed chasms of the sea.
But vain- since winds (that over-sweep amain)
And skiey sun (that with his rays dissolves)
Do minish the level seas and trust their power
To dry up all, before the waters can
Arrive at the end of their endeavouring.
Breathing such vasty warfare, they contend
In balanced strife the one with other still
Concerning mighty issues- though indeed
The fire was once the more victorious,
And once- as goes the tale- the water won
A kingdom in the fields. For fire o'ermastered
And licked up many things and burnt away,
What time the impetuous horses of the Sun
Snatched Phaethon headlong from his skiey road
Down the whole ether and over all the lands.
But the omnipotent Father in keen wrath
Then with the sudden smite of thunderbolt
Did hurl the mighty-minded hero off
Those horses to the earth. And Sol, his sire,
Meeting him as he fell, caught up in hand
The ever-blazing lampion of the world,
And drave together the pell-mell horses there
And yoked them all a-tremble, and amain,
Steering them over along their own old road,
Restored the cosmos- as forsooth we hear
From songs of ancient poets of the Greeks-
A tale too far away from truth, meseems.
For fire can win when from the infinite
Has risen a larger throng of particles
Of fiery stuff; and then its powers succumb,
Somehow subdued again, or else at last
It shrivels in torrid atmospheres the world.
And whilom water too began to win-
As goes the story- when it overwhelmed
The lives of men with billows; and thereafter,
When all that force of water-stuff which forth
From out the infinite had risen up
Did now retire, as somehow turned aside,
The rain-storms stopped, and streams their fury checked.


author class:Lucretius
~ , The World Is Not Eternal

347:Alma Venus! [excerpt]
Trembling Creation's omnipresent sun,
Immanent Harmonist, Whose rhythms run.
Alike where midge pursues his swift romance,
Or grave stars cluster for their midnight dance 1
Bringer of fire, from what far fane despoiled?
Potter of grace, by what fell finger soiled?
In temple throned of old, or here in shame
Lurking, to Deathless YOU, of many a namePaphia, Freya, Aphrodite, Fand,
Cabiri vague, or in the fairy band
Titania, Niamh, or that Morgan fay
Our simpler eyes in. Sicily to-day
Catch at her sorcery-to YOU, whose breath
To a rippling rapture stirs the pool of Death,
I bring this coronal of rose and rue,
With golden wattle twined-and she-oak too.
The living wheels we call Creation roll
Whither and while You lead. Who are their soul!
Wheels within wheels, and whose the whirl of eyes
But Love's, Who was. Who is. Who never dies?
Wheels within wheels, but ever at the nave
Venus Pandemos, She for Whom we crave!
Wheels within wheels, but glowing from the tires
Venus Immaculate's Uranian fires!
If lovelight played not round the misty bourn
Could Life her marshy perils thread unworn?
Were Heaven's many mansions built to hold
Women and men seraphically cold?
Or does annihilation mean but this'Tristram no more desires Isolda's kiss'?
Fountains of Art that keep this old Earth fresh
Ascend to God from cisterns of the flesh:
Angel and phoenix flowered from the fires
Of virgin Ishtar's ravenous desires:
In good Nile mud incestuous Isis set
Many a tree of knowledge bearing yet:
Austere Mohammed meets at Heaven's door
Fond phantoms of his desert dreams of yore:
The shrine, the song, the picture and the bust
Are diamonds doubles of the charcoal, lust. . .
Your ruby billows floated to our ken
Many a rite that soothes the souls of men;
Swastik of Ind as once Egyptian Tau
In shining symbol utters yet Your law:
And coldest fanes for eunuch gods designed
Reveal Your girdle with their chaplets twined.
Around the Maypole, aeon-old, they dance,
Maiden and youth of Britain and of France,
Obedient to the law, forgot to-day,
That fertile gods, unshackled by their play,
From winter death will duly be reborn
And with their foison fill the ears of corn:
Or where, horizonward, Australian sand
Billows monotonous, behold Your band
Of leaf-clad lubras, swaying to the hum
Of droning wizard and barbaric drum,
In strange Unthippa dance to conjure there,
With warm wild posturing and coy despair,
Some dream-time god of golden ages dim,
That with the drama of their love for him
The waste in sympathy will fertile grow,
Emu be plentiful, the dry creeks flow,
And all the wild be rich with nut and plant,
Witchetty grub and root and honey-ant:
Virgins and boys, who with the bridal pair
And hymeneal chant through Athens bear
That casket strange, unknowing that inside
The mysteries of Aphrodite hide,
Ye will acknowledge too, in turn, ere long,
Omnipotent the goddess of my song:
And, childless ones of Ind, with prayer ye pour
Oil on that shrine to-day, as wives of yore
On wayside Jahv or god of boundary,
For benison of grudged fertility. . . .
Let pale usurpers of Your old domain
In crumbling book and vapid hymn maintain
That You, great Queen, are dead, that nevermore
Shall devotee Your majesty adore,
Or sad Meander wail as long ago
For torn Adonis and Your helpless woe:
We hear in beating hearts another rune,
In hymn of man and maid another tune:
On every road Your living creatures draw,
Whither You list, the Tables of Your Law:
Wherever tree hath sap or being breath,
Ubiquitous, You bruise the head of Death:
Here, pallid cuckoo's great crescendos call
His coy companion to Your festival:
There, magpie warbles to the morning star
The advent of the rapture that You are:
And desolate the spirit unaware
Of quivering enchantment in the air
When August struggles from his gaoler's power,
And gleaming envoys from each wooing flower
Cajole the bees to waft his tender dues
To some dear tabernacle's secret cruse;
When listening almonds weary of the night
Hearing You coming blossom into white;
When wattle waking from her torpor cold
Knowing You near her trembles into gold;
When, ancient symbols realizing here,
Gabriel Spring announces every year
To expectant Nature's myriad maidenhood,
In rolling plain or solitary wood,
The miracle that maketh Life complete,
The brooding Presence of the Paraclete.
*
Magi profounder than the Eastern Three
Followed the Star of Your Epiphany:
Isis had hidden with a sullen pall
The secret of the Universe from all,
Until Lucretius wondering found a fold,
It swayed to Goethe's eyes, and, growing bold,
Darwin stooped down and groping patiently
Out of the dust lifted the hem, till we
Staggering saw against the eternal blue
The secret Builder of Creation-You I ...
'When Love was driven from the world by stark
And sexless mattoids of the Ages Dark,
Disgusted lore to Moorish havens fled,
The Muses nine with eunuch monks were wed:
Primordial terror to the day returned,
The witch in hordes and great Servetus burned:
Celibate piety with thumb uncouth
Plastered a fig-leaf over Plato's truth:
Aquinas thinned, to make a draught divine,
With holy water, Aristotle's wine;
Round every comer eft or devil stares,
And very Dante mumbles craven prayers;
The childish painter daubs his maudlin fears,
And song forgets to sing a thousand years.
Yet You had lingered cunningly concealed
Now in an altar-piece, now in a field
With shards of pillared grandeur buried deep,
Until the nightmare passed. Yea, did You peep
A moment now and then, ere rose the sun,
Under the hood of a rose-hearted nun
At Abelard, or told the tale so well
Of Launcelot that even glowering hell
Drove not Francesca from her lover's wraith;
Yea, visored chivalry unhorsed his faith,
And far Jerusalem and Paynim tryst
Forgot, for victory in a gender list
Where with the provocation of a smile
Your ambushed omnipresence would beguile
Crusader sullen to a softer creed,
Knight errant to an errant knight indeed....
As what strange god did You entice the King
Through brave Uriah's comely wife to fling
Harp and the psaltery aside to plan
As mean a deed as had polluted man
Till Sextus lusted, or her father's knife
Rescued Virginia from the hell of life?
Yea, there is that in You man dare not face:
A dark star dogs Your limpid planet's grace:
Jetsam from old pollution stales Your shore:
Lewd gargoyles grin above Your temple door. ...
Wormwood is waiter at Your choicest feast,
Your Beauty shadowed ever by the Beast.
Yon feudal lord of mediaeval France,
Your devotee of many a Rose Romance,
Hath on his peasants' daughters' bridal nights
Exacted to the full his shameful rights:
Your cuckoo calling Spring into the wood
Was stark nest-brother to a robin's brood:
And, tragi-comedy of humble life,
That doting husband of the buxom wife
Is fondling (while You laugh) the child she gave
At Your still altar to some passing knave. . ..
Was it a glimpse of phases fell that mar
The radiant round of Your auspicious star,
That drove the hermit to the wilderness
From demons lurking in Your least caress,
And bade the nun, as once the vestal too,
Renounce Your works and all Your pomps-and You?
Yea, those whose eyes can pierce the dazzling veil
Of Light that is Your mask have told a tale
Of how we in the world were once expelled
From Paradise, and now, in prison held,
On moaning treadmills of repeated lives
Work out our crimes, until the hour arrives
For life to cease on earth and You to fade
With all the woe Your temptress wiles have made.
You are the gaoler of that prison, Who
(For so they say) inveigle all to woo,
Be won, that so by our own ardours we
Keep lit Your hell, yea, for eternity,
Unless, until, ignoring all You say,
As monk, as nun, we dare to disobey.
If so it be, then were the barren one
Blest of all women underneath the sun,
An angel of the Lord sent here to ray
The midnight of the soul with coming day;
The tower impregnable that masters Fate
Is not the Caesar but the celibate;
And he at whom no woman ever smiled
Is everlasting Heaven's favoured child
Ordained (who knows?) in what benignant star
As Baptist of some glorious Avatar,
Whose Word shall cause all flesh to cease to be
And man be one again with Deity!. . .
Or when the veil we call Reality
Rifts, and the meaning of it all we see,
Will Good and Evil kiss and understand?
God walk with brother Satan hand in hand?
The cool-haired Night repose beside the Sun?
Pandemos prove with Love Uranian one?
The Tree of Life mature its golden fruits
From bark so sinister and those wan roots?
Slowly our interrogating eyes
Sobered with long deception recognize,
'Mid older clues dissolved to flecks, at last
One signal flashing from the Outer Vast,
Fell or benign (as falls or rises faith),
Comet or guiding star-Your rosy wraith!
Your rosy wraith that both in man and weed
'Writes deep and undeniable Your creed'Beget or hear, though ye to-morrow die,
Beget or bear, nor ask the reason why 1
Though sun and earth shall duly pass away,
Though all the gods shall ripen and decay,
It is Their Will Who bade the world exist:
And woe to him or her who doth not list
The sole clear mandate from the Otherwhere
Flushed through the Universe-Beget or bear 1'
Love we or dread we may not all ignore
The single beacon on the circling shore
Where Being laps upon the caverned steep
Wherefrom we drifted and whereto we creep.
Beacon 1 although You lead us but to gloom!
A guiding star, it may be, to the tomb!
Comet flung from the Void through trackless Light!
Yet is Your rosy flame in ion mite
And great pathetic man the only trace
Of something more than chance in Time and Space,
That purpose dimly threads the crazy web,
That tides of anguish ultimately ebb,
That green hope signals underground a Nile,
That faith is wiser than an ostrich wile,
That there is something in us will elude
The withering fingers of vicissitude,
And man's ripe earth by a guttering sun betrayed
Will not in cold and useless ruin fade.
Question the sibyl grottoes near or far
Whither or whence we sail or why we are!
Listen at Nature's beating heart for clue,
And every oracle we know or knew!
From Zodiac round of older destiny,
From tiny orbit of an atomy,
From Pythoness or oak or Magian fire,
Augur antique or wizard new inquire,
Austral churinga or the crystal ball,
'Wherefore does anything exist at all?'
Of star or fungus seek, of life or death,
Whence Being came and whither wandereth!
10
Ask of the gloom that locks the secret in,
Ask of the light that saw the world begin!
The day, the night, and death and life are dumb:
From fungus, star or ball no answers come:
Silent, churinga, table, passing bird:
From fire or Druid oak no guiding word:
The Pythoness ambiguously sighs:
Orbit minute nor Zodiac house replies:
But dim the beating heart amid its sobs
With 'Alma Venus!' 'Alma Venus!' throbs;
While on two sibyl leaves, by a world-wind strange
Blown to our shore across the gulf of Change,
'Increase and multiply' on one is scrolled
In ochre crude, on one, in glowing gold
Around the pearly nimbus of a dove,
The script imperishable-'God is Love.'
~ Bernard O'Dowd
348:Lucretius
Lucilla, wedded to Lucretius, found
Her master cold; for when the morning flush
Of passion and the first embrace had died
Between them, tho' he loved her none the less,
Yet often when the woman heard his foot
Return from pacings in the field, and ran
To greet him with a kiss, the master took
Small notice, or austerely, for his mind
Half buried in some weightier argument,
Or fancy-borne perhaps upon the rise
And long roll of the hexameter -- he past
To turn and ponder those three hundred scrolls
Left by the Teacher, whom he held divine.
She brook'd it not, but wrathful, petulant
Dreaming some rival, sought and found a witch
Who brew'd the philtre which had power, they said
To lead an errant passion home again.
And this, at times, she mingled with his drink,
And this destroy'd him; for the wicked broth
Confused the chemic labor of the blood,
And tickling the brute brain within the man's
Made havoc among those tender cells, and check'd
His power to shape. He loathed himself, and once
After a tempest woke upon a morn
That mock'd him with returning calm, and cried:
"Storm in the night! for thrice I heard the rain
Rushing; and once the flash of a thunderbolt -Methought I never saw so fierce a fork -Struck out the streaming mountain-side, and show'd
A riotous confluence of watercourses
Blanching and billowing in a hollow of it,
Where all but yester-eve was dusty-dry.
"Storm, and what dreams, ye holy Gods, what dreams!
For thrice I waken'd after dreams. Perchance
We do but recollect the dreams that come
Just ere the waking. Terrible: for it seem'd
A void was made in Nature, all her bonds
338
Crack'd; and I saw the flaring atom-streams
And torrents of her myriad universe,
Ruining along the illimitable inane,
Fly on to clash together again, and make
Another and another frame of things
For ever. That was mine, my dream, I knew it -Of and belonging to me, as the dog
With inward yelp and restless forefoot plies
His function of the woodland; but the next!
I thought that all the blood by Sylla shed
Came driving rainlike down again on earth,
And where it dash'd the reddening meadow, sprang
No dragon warriors from Cadmean teeth,
For these I thought my dream would show to me,
But girls, Hetairai, curious in their art,
Hired animalisms, vile as those that made
The mulberry-faced Dictator's orgies worse
Than aught they fable of the quiet Gods.
And hands they mixt, and yell'd and round me drove
In narrowing circles till I yell'd again
Half-suffocated, and sprang up, and saw -Was it the first beam of my latest day?
"Then, then, from utter gloom stood out the
The breasts of Helen, and hoveringly a sword
Now over and now under, now direct,
Pointed itself to pierce, but sank down shamed
At all that beauty; and as I stared, a fire,
The fire that left a roofless Ilion,
Shot out of them, and scorch'd me that I woke.
"Is this thy vengeance, holy Venus, thine,
Because I would not one of thine own doves,
Not even a rose, were offered to thee? thine,
Forgetful how my rich proemion makes
Thy glory fly along the Italian field,
In lays that will outlast thy deity?
"Deity? nay, thy worshippers. My tongue
Trips, or I speak profanely. Which of these
Angers thee most, or angers thee at all?
Not if thou be'st of those who, far aloof
339
From envy, hate and pity, and spite and scorn,
Live the great life which all our greatest fain
Would follow, centred in eternal calm.
"Nay, if thou canst,
Goddess, like ourselves
Touch, and be touch'd, then would I cry to thee
To kiss thy Mavors, roll thy tender arms
Round him, and keep him from the lust of blood
That makes a steaming slaughter-house of Rome.
"Ay, but I meant not thee; I meant riot her
Whom all the pines of Ida shook to see
Slide from that quiet heaven of hers, and tempt
The Trojan, while his neatherds were abroad
Nor her that o'er her wounded hunter wept
Her deity false in human-amorous tears;
Nor whom her beardless apple-arbiter
Decided fairest. Rather, O ye Gods,
Poet-like, as the great Sicilian called
Calliope to grace his golden verse -Ay, and this Kypris also -- did I take
That popular name of thine to shadow forth
The all-generating powers and genial heat
Of Nature, when she strikes thro' the thick blood
Of cattle, and light is large, and lambs are glad
Nosing the mother's udder, and the bird
Makes his heart voice amid the blaze of flowers;
Which things appear the work of mighty Gods.
"The Gods! and if I go my work is left
Unfinish'd -- if I go. The Gods, who haunt
The lucid interspace of world and world,
Where never creeps a cloud, or moves a wind,
Nor ever falls the least white star of mow
Nor ever lowest roll of thunder moans,
Nor sound of human sorrow mounts to mar
Their sacred everlasting calm! and such,
Not all so fine, nor so divine a calm
Not such, nor all unlike it, man may gain
Letting his own life go. The Gods, the Godsl
If all be atoms, how then should the Gods
340
Being atomic not be dissoluble,
Not follow the great law? My master held
That Gods there are, for all men so believe.
I prest my footsteps into his, and meant
Surely to lead my Memmius in a train
Of fiowery clauses onward to the proof
That Gods there are, and deathless. Meant? I meant?
I have forgotten what I meant, my mind
Stumbles, and all my faculties are lamed.
"Look where another of our Gods, the Sun
Apollo, Delius, or of older use
All-seeing Hyperion -- what you will -Has mounted yonder; since he never sware,
Except his wrath were wreak'd on wretched man,
That he would only shine among the dead
Hereafter -- tales! for never yet on earth
Could dead flesh creep, or bits of roasting ox
Moan round the spit -- nor knows he what he sees;
King of the East altho' he seem, and girt
With song and flame and fragrance, slowly lifts
His golden feet on those empurpled stairs
That climb into the windy halls of heaven
And here he glances on an eye new-born,
And gets for greeting but a wail of pain;
And here he stays upon a freezing orb
That fain would gaze upon him to the last;
And here upon a yellow eyelid fallen
And closed by those who mourn a friend in vain,
Not thankful that his troubles are no more.
And me, altho' his fire is on my face
Blinding, he sees not, nor at all can tell
Whether I mean this day to end myself.
Or lend an ear to Plato where he says,
That men like soldiers may not quit the post
Allotted by the Gods. But he that holds
The Gods are careless, wherefore need he care
Greatly for them, nor rather plunge at once,
Being troubled, wholly out of sight, and sink
Past earthquake -- ay, and gout and stone, that break
Body toward death, and palsy, death-in-life,
And wretched age -- and worst disease of all,
341
These prodigies of myriad nakednesses,
And twisted shapes of lust, unspeakable,
Abominable, strangers at my hearth
Not welcome, harpies miring every dish,
The phantom husks of something foully done,
And fleeting thro' the boundless universe,
And blasting the long quiet of my breast
With animal heat and dire insanity?
"How should the mind, except it loved them, clasp
These idols to herself? or do they fly
Now thinner, and now thicker, like the flakes
In a fall of snow, and so press in, perforce
Of multitude, as crowds that in an hour
Of civic tumult jam the doors, and bear
The keepers down, and throng, their rags and the
The basest, far into that council-hall
Where sit the best and stateliest of the land?
³Can I not fling this horror off me again,
Seeing with how great ease Nature can smile
Balmier and nobler from her bath of storm,
At random ravage? and how easily
The mountain there has cast his cloudy slough,
Now towering o'er him in serenest air,
A mountain o'er a mountain, -- ay, and within
All hollow as the hopes and fears of men?
"But who was he that in the garden snared
Picus and Faunus, rustic Gods? a tale
To laugh at -- more to laugh at in myself -For look! what is it? there? yon arbutus
Totters; a noiseless riot underneath
Strikes through the wood, sets all the tops quivering -- ;
The mountain quickens into Nymph and Faun,
And here an Oread -- how the sun delights
To glance and shift about her slippery sides,
And rosy knees and supple roundedness,
And budded bosom-peaks -- who this way runs
Before the rest! -- a satyr, a satyr, see,
Follows; but him I proved impossible
Twy-natured is no nature. Yet he draws
342
Nearer and nearer, and I scan him now
Beastlier than any phantom of his kind
That ever butted his rough brother-brute
For lust or lusty blood or provender.
I hate, abhor, spit, sicken at him; and she
Loathes him as well; such a precipitate heel,
Fledged as it were with Mercury's ankle-wing,
Whirls her to me -- ;but will she fling herself
Shameless upon me? Catch her, goatfoot! nay,
Hide, hide them, million-myrtled wilderness,
And cavern-shadowing laurels, hide! do I wish -What? -- ;that the bush were leafless? or to whelm
All of them in one massacre? O ye Gods
I know you careless, yet, behold, to you
From childly wont and ancient use I call -I thought I lived securely as yourselves -No lewdness, narrowing envy, monkey-spite,
No madness of ambition, avarice, none;
No larger feast than under plane or pine
With neighbors laid along the grass, to take
Only such cups as left us friendly-warm,
Affirming each his own philosophy
Nothing to mar the sober majesties
Of settled, sweet, Epicurean life.
But now it seems some unseen monster lays
His vast and filthy hands upon my will,
Wrenching it backward into his, and spoils
My bliss in being; and it was not great,
For save when shutting reasons up in rhythm,
Or Heliconian honey in living words,
To make a truth less harsh, I often grew
Tired of so much within our little life
Or of so little in our little life -Poor little life that toddles half an hour
Crown'd with a flower or two, and there an end -And since the nobler pleasure seems to fade,
Why should I, beastlike as I find myself,
Not manlike end myself? -- our privilege -- ;
What beast has heart to do it? And what man
What Roman would be dragg'd in triumph thus?
Not I; not he, who bears one name with her
343
Whose death-blow struck the dateless doom of kings,
When, brooking not the Tarquin in her veins,
She made her blood in sight of Collatine
And all his peers, flushing the guiltless air,
Spout from the maiden fountain in her heart.
And from it sprang the Commonwealth, which breaks
As I am breaking now!
"And therefore now
Let her, that is the womb and tomb of all
Great Nature, take, and forcing far apart
Those blind beginnings that have made me man,
Dash them anew together at her will
Thro' all her cycles -- into man once more,
Or beast or bird or fish, or opulent flower.
But till this cosmic order everywhere
Shatter'd into one earthquake m one day
Cracks all to pieces, -- and that hour perhaps
Is not so far when momentary man
Shall seem no more a something to himself,
But he, his hopes and hates, his homes and fanes
And even his bones long laid within the grave,
The very sides of the grave itself shall pass,
Vanishing, atom and void, atom and void,
Into the unseen for ever, -- till that hour,
My golden work in which I told a truth
That stays the rolling Ixionian wheel,
And numbs the Fury's ringlet-snake, and plucks
The mortal soul from out immortal hell
Shall stand. Ay, surely; then it fails at last
And perishes as I must, for O Thou
Passionless bride, divine Tranquillity,
Yearn'd after by the wisest of the wise
Who fail to find thee, being as thou art
Without one pleasure and without one pain,
Howbeit I know thou surely must be mine
Or soon or late, yet out of season, thus
I woo thee roughly, for thou carest not
How roughly men may woo thee so they win -- ;
Thus -- thus -- the soul flies out and dies in the air
With that he drove the knife into his side.
344
She heard him raging, heard him fall, ran in,
Beat breast, tore hair, cried out upon herself
As having fail'd in duty to him, shriek'd
That she but meant to win him back, fell on him
Clasp'd, kiss'd him, wail'd. He answer'd, "Care not thou!
Thy duty? What is duty? Fare thee well!"
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
349:From this, engender all the lures of love,
From this, O first hath into human hearts
Trickled that drop of joyance which ere long
Is by chill care succeeded. Since, indeed,
Though she thou lovest now be far away,
Yet idol-images of her are near
And the sweet name is floating in thy ear.
But it behooves to flee those images;
And scare afar whatever feeds thy love;
And turn elsewhere thy mind; and vent the sperm,
Within thee gathered, into sundry bodies,
Nor, with thy thoughts still busied with one love,
Keep it for one delight, and so store up
Care for thyself and pain inevitable.
For, lo, the ulcer just by nourishing
Grows to more life with deep inveteracy,
And day by day the fury swells aflame,
And the woe waxes heavier day by day-
Unless thou dost destroy even by new blows
The former wounds of love, and curest them
While yet they're fresh, by wandering freely round
After the freely-wandering Venus, or
Canst lead elsewhere the tumults of thy mind.
Nor doth that man who keeps away from love
Yet lack the fruits of Venus; rather takes
Those pleasures which are free of penalties.
For the delights of Venus, verily,
Are more unmixed for mortals sane-of-soul
Than for those sick-at-heart with love-pining.
Yea, in the very moment of possessing,
Surges the heat of lovers to and fro,
Restive, uncertain; and they cannot fix
On what to first enjoy with eyes and hands.
The parts they sought for, those they squeeze so tight,
And pain the creature's body, close their teeth
Often against her lips, and smite with kiss
Mouth into mouth,- because this same delight
Is not unmixed; and underneath are stings
Which goad a man to hurt the very thing,
Whate'er it be, from whence arise for him
Those germs of madness. But with gentle touch
Venus subdues the pangs in midst of love,
And the admixture of a fondling joy
Doth curb the bites of passion. For they hope
That by the very body whence they caught
The heats of love their flames can be put out.
But Nature protests 'tis all quite otherwise;
For this same love it is the one sole thing
Of which, the more we have, the fiercer burns
The breast with fell desire. For food and drink
Are taken within our members; and, since they
Can stop up certain parts, thus, easily
Desire of water is glutted and of bread.
But, lo, from human face and lovely bloom
Naught penetrates our frame to be enjoyed
Save flimsy idol-images and vain-
A sorry hope which oft the winds disperse.
As when the thirsty man in slumber seeks
To drink, and water ne'er is granted him
Wherewith to quench the heat within his members,
But after idols of the liquids strives
And toils in vain, and thirsts even whilst he gulps
In middle of the torrent, thus in love
Venus deludes with idol-images
The lovers. Nor they cannot sate their lust
By merely gazing on the bodies, nor
They cannot with their palms and fingers rub
Aught from each tender limb, the while they stray
Uncertain over all the body. Then,
At last, with members intertwined, when they
Enjoy the flower of their age, when now
Their bodies have sweet presage of keen joys,
And Venus is about to sow the fields
Of woman, greedily their frames they lock,
And mingle the slaver of their mouths, and breathe
Into each other, pressing teeth on mouths-
Yet to no purpose, since they're powerless
To rub off aught, or penetrate and pass
With body entire into body- for oft
They seem to strive and struggle thus to do;
So eagerly they cling in Venus' bonds,
Whilst melt away their members, overcome
By violence of delight. But when at last
Lust, gathered in the thews, hath spent itself,
There come a brief pause in the raging heat-
But then a madness just the same returns
And that old fury visits them again,
When once again they seek and crave to reach
They know not what, all powerless to find
The artifice to subjugate the bane.
In such uncertain state they waste away
With unseen wound.
To which be added too,
They squander powers and with the travail wane;
Be added too, they spend their futile years
Under another's beck and call; their duties
Neglected languish and their honest name
Reeleth sick, sick; and meantime their estates
Are lost in Babylonian tapestries;
And unguents and dainty Sicyonian shoes
Laugh on their feet; and (as ye may be sure)
Big emeralds of green light are set in gold;
And rich sea-purple dress by constant wear
Grows shabby and all soaked with Venus' sweat;
And the well-earned ancestral property
Becometh head-bands, coifs, and many a time
The cloaks, or garments Alidensian
Or of the Cean isle. And banquets, set
With rarest cloth and viands, are prepared-
And games of chance, and many a drinking cup,
And unguents, crowns and garlands. All in vain,
Since from amid the well-spring of delights
Bubbles some drop of bitter to torment
Among the very flowers- when haply mind
Gnaws into self, now stricken with remorse
For slothful years and ruin in baudels,
Or else because she's left him all in doubt
By launching some sly word, which still like fire
Lives wildly, cleaving to his eager heart;
Or else because he thinks she darts her eyes
Too much about and gazes at another,-
And in her face sees traces of a laugh.
These ills are found in prospering love and true;
But in crossed love and helpless there be such
As through shut eyelids thou canst still take in-
Uncounted ills; so that 'tis better far
To watch beforehand, in the way I've shown,
And guard against enticements. For to shun
A fall into the hunting-snares of love
Is not so hard, as to get out again,
When tangled in the very nets, and burst
The stoutly-knotted cords of Aphrodite.
Yet even when there enmeshed with tangled feet,
Still canst thou scape the danger-lest indeed
Thou standest in the way of thine own good,
And overlookest first all blemishes
Of mind and body of thy much preferred,
Desirable dame. For so men do,
Eyeless with passion, and assign to them
Graces not theirs in fact. And thus we see
Creatures in many a wise crooked and ugly
The prosperous sweethearts in a high esteem;
And lovers gird each other and advise
To placate Venus, since their friends are smit
With a base passion- miserable dupes
Who seldom mark their own worst bane of all.
The black-skinned girl is "tawny like the honey";
The filthy and the fetid's "negligee";
The cat-eyed she's "a little Pallas," she;
The sinewy and wizened's "a gazelle";
The pudgy and the pigmy is "piquant,
One of the Graces sure"; the big and bulky
O she's "an Admiration, imposante";
The stuttering and tongue-tied "sweetly lisps";
The mute girl's "modest"; and the garrulous,
The spiteful spit-fire, is "a sparkling wit";
And she who scarcely lives for scrawniness
Becomes "a slender darling"; "delicate"
Is she who's nearly dead of coughing-fit;
The pursy female with protuberant breasts
She is "like Ceres when the goddess gave
Young Bacchus suck"; the pug-nosed lady-love
"A Satyress, a feminine Silenus";
The blubber-lipped is "all one luscious kiss"-
A weary while it were to tell the whole.
But let her face possess what charm ye will,
Let Venus' glory rise from all her limbs,-
Forsooth there still are others; and forsooth
We lived before without her; and forsooth
She does the same things- and we know she does-
All, as the ugly creature, and she scents,
Yes she, her wretched self with vile perfumes;
Whom even her handmaids flee and giggle at
Behind her back. But he, the lover, in tears
Because shut out, covers her threshold o'er
Often with flowers and garlands, and anoints
Her haughty door-posts with the marjoram,
And prints, poor fellow, kisses on the doors-
Admitted at last, if haply but one whiff
Got to him on approaching, he would seek
Decent excuses to go out forthwith;
And his lament, long pondered, then would fall
Down at his heels; and there he'd damn himself
For his fatuity, observing how
He had assigned to that same lady more-
Than it is proper to concede to mortals.
And these our Venuses are 'ware of this.
Wherefore the more are they at pains to hide
All the-behind-the-scenes of life from those
Whom they desire to keep in bonds of love-
In vain, since ne'ertheless thou canst by thought
Drag all the matter forth into the light
And well search out the cause of all these smiles;
And if of graceful mind she be and kind,
Do thou, in thy turn, overlook the same,
And thus allow for poor mortality.
Nor sighs the woman always with feigned love,
Who links her body round man's body locked
And holds him fast, making his kisses wet
With lips sucked into lips; for oft she acts
Even from desire, and, seeking mutual joys,
Incites him there to run love's race-course through.
Nor otherwise can cattle, birds, wild beasts,
And sheep and mares submit unto the males,
Except that their own nature is in heat,
And burns abounding and with gladness takes
Once more the Venus of the mounting males.
And seest thou not how those whom mutual pleasure
Hath bound are tortured in their common bonds?
How often in the cross-roads dogs that pant
To get apart strain eagerly asunder
With utmost might?- When all the while they're fast
In the stout links of Venus. But they'd ne'er
So pull, except they knew those mutual joys-
So powerful to cast them unto snares
And hold them bound. Wherefore again, again,
Even as I say, there is a joint delight.
And when perchance, in mingling seed with his,
The female hath o'erpowered the force of male
And by a sudden fling hath seized it fast,
Then are the offspring, more from mothers' seed,
More like their mothers; as, from fathers' seed,
They're like to fathers. But whom seest to be
Partakers of each shape, one equal blend
Of parents' features, these are generate
From fathers' body and from mothers' blood,
When mutual and harmonious heat hath dashed
Together seeds, aroused along their frames
By Venus' goads, and neither of the twain
Mastereth or is mastered. Happens too
That sometimes offspring can to being come
In likeness of their grandsires, and bring back
Often the shapes of grandsires' sires, because
Their parents in their bodies oft retain
Concealed many primal germs, commixed
In many modes, which, starting with the stock,
Sire handeth down to son, himself a sire;
Whence Venus by a variable chance
Engenders shapes, and diversely brings back
Ancestral features, voices too, and hair.
A female generation rises forth
From seed paternal, and from mother's body
Exist created males: since sex proceeds
No more from singleness of seed than faces
Or bodies or limbs of ours: for every birth
Is from a twofold seed; and what's created
Hath, of that parent which it is more like,
More than its equal share; as thou canst mark,-
Whether the breed be male or female stock.
Nor do the powers divine grudge any man
The fruits of his seed-sowing, so that never
He be called "father" by sweet children his,
And end his days in sterile love forever.
What many men suppose; and gloomily
They sprinkle the altars with abundant blood,
And make the high platforms odorous with burnt gifts,
To render big by plenteous seed their wives-
And plague in vain godheads and sacred lots.
For sterile are these men by seed too thick,
Or else by far too watery and thin.
Because the thin is powerless to cleave
Fast to the proper places, straightaway
It trickles from them, and, returned again,
Retires abortively. And then since seed
More gross and solid than will suit is spent
By some men, either it flies not forth amain
With spurt prolonged enough, or else it fails
To enter suitably the proper places,
Or, having entered, the seed is weakly mixed
With seed of the woman: harmonies of Venus
Are seen to matter vastly here; and some
Impregnate some more readily, and from some
Some women conceive more readily and become
Pregnant. And many women, sterile before
In several marriage-beds, have yet thereafter
Obtained the mates from whom they could conceive
The baby-boys, and with sweet progeny
Grow rich. And even for husbands (whose own wives,
Although of fertile wombs, have borne for them
No babies in the house) are also found
Concordant natures so that they at last
Can bulwark their old age with goodly sons.
A matter of great moment 'tis in truth,
That seeds may mingle readily with seeds
Suited for procreation, and that thick
Should mix with fluid seeds, with thick the fluid.
And in this business 'tis of some import
Upon what diet life is nourished:
For some foods thicken seeds within our members,
And others thin them out and waste away.
And in what modes the fond delight itself
Is carried on- this too importeth vastly.
For commonly 'tis thought that wives conceive
More readily in manner of wild-beasts,
After the custom of the four-foot breeds,
Because so postured, with the breasts beneath
And buttocks then upreared, the seeds can take
Their proper places. Nor is need the least
For wives to use the motions of blandishment;
For thus the woman hinders and resists
Her own conception, if too joyously
Herself she treats the Venus of the man
With haunches heaving, and with all her bosom
Now yielding like the billows of the sea-
Aye, from the ploughshare's even course and track
She throws the furrow, and from proper places
Deflects the spurt of seed. And courtesans
Are thuswise wont to move for their own ends,
To keep from pregnancy and lying in,
And all the while to render Venus more
A pleasure for the men- the which meseems
Our wives have never need of.
               Sometimes too
It happens- and through no divinity
Nor arrows of Venus- that a sorry chit
Of scanty grace will be beloved by man;
For sometimes she herself by very deeds,
By her complying ways, and tidy habits,
Will easily accustom thee to pass
With her thy life-time- and, moreover, lo,
Long habitude can gender human love,
Even as an object smitten o'er and o'er
By blows, however lightly, yet at last
Is overcome and wavers. Seest thou not,
Besides, how drops of water falling down
Against the stones at last bore through the stones?


--
author class:Lucretius
~ 'tis that's Venus unto us:, The Passion Of Love

350:The Dunciad: Book Iv
Yet, yet a moment, one dim ray of light
Indulge, dread Chaos, and eternal Night!
Of darkness visible so much be lent,
As half to show, half veil, the deep intent.
Ye pow'rs! whose mysteries restor'd I sing,
To whom time bears me on his rapid wing,
Suspend a while your force inertly strong,
Then take at once the poet and the song.
Now flam'd the Dog Star's unpropitious ray,
Smote ev'ry brain, and wither'd every bay;
Sick was the sun, the owl forsook his bow'r.
The moon-struck prophet felt the madding hour:
Then rose the seed of Chaos, and of Night,
To blot out order, and extinguish light,
Of dull and venal a new world to mould,
And bring Saturnian days of lead and gold.
She mounts the throne: her head a cloud conceal'd,
In broad effulgence all below reveal'd;
('Tis thus aspiring Dulness ever shines)
Soft on her lap her laureate son reclines.
Beneath her footstool, Science groans in chains,
And Wit dreads exile, penalties, and pains.
There foam'd rebellious Logic , gagg'd and bound,
There, stripp'd, fair Rhet'ric languish'd on the ground;
His blunted arms by Sophistry are borne,
And shameless Billingsgate her robes adorn.
Morality , by her false guardians drawn,
Chicane in furs, and Casuistry in lawn,
Gasps, as they straighten at each end the cord,
And dies, when Dulness gives her page the word.
Mad Mathesis alone was unconfin'd,
Too mad for mere material chains to bind,
Now to pure space lifts her ecstatic stare,
Now running round the circle finds it square.
But held in tenfold bonds the Muses lie,
Watch'd both by Envy's and by Flatt'ry's eye:
191
There to her heart sad Tragedy addres'd
The dagger wont to pierce the tyrant's breast;
But sober History restrain'd her rage,
And promised vengeance on a barb'rous age.
There sunk Thalia, nerveless, cold, and dead,
Had not her sister Satire held her head:
Nor couldst thou, Chesterfield! a tear refuse,
Thou weptst, and with thee wept each gentle Muse.
When lo! a harlot form soft sliding by,
With mincing step, small voice, and languid eye;
Foreign her air, her robe's discordant pride
In patchwork flutt'ring, and her head aside:
By singing peers upheld on either hand,
She tripp'd and laugh'd, too pretty much to stand;
Cast on the prostrate Nine a scornful look,
Then thus in quaint recitativo spoke.
'O
Cara! Cara!
silence all that train:
Joy to great Chaos! let Division reign:
Chromatic tortures soon shall drive them hence,
Break all their nerves, and fritter all their sense:
One trill shall harmonize joy, grief, and rage,
Wake the dull Church, and lull the ranting Stage;
To the same notes thy sons shall hum, or snore,
And all thy yawning daughters cry,
encore
Another Phoebus, thy own Phoebus, reigns,
Joys in my jigs, and dances in my chains.
But soon, ah soon, Rebellion will commence,
If Music meanly borrows aid from Sense.
Strong in new arms, lo! Giant Handel stands,
Like bold Briarerus, with a hundred hands;
To stir, to rouse, to shake the soul he comes,
And Jove's own thunders follow Mars's drums.
Arrest him, Empress, or you sleep no more-'
She heard, and drove him to th' Hibernian shore.
And now had Fame's posterior trumpet blown,
192
And all the nations summoned to the throne.
The young, the old, who feel her inward sway,
One instinct seizes, and transports away.
None need a guide, by sure attraction led,
And strong impulsive gravity of head:
None want a place, for all their centre found
Hung to the Goddess, and coher'd around.
Not closer, orb in orb, conglob'd are seen
The buzzing bees about their dusky Queen.
The gath'ring number, as it moves along,
Involves a vast involuntary throng,
Who gently drawn, and struggling less and less,
Roll in her Vortex, and her pow'r confess.
Not those alone who passive own her laws,
But who, weak rebels, more advance her cause.
Whate'er of dunce in college or in town
Sneers at another, in toupee or gown;
Whate'er of mongrel no one class admits,
A wit with dunces, and a dunce with wits.
Nor absent they, no members of her state,
Who pay her homage in her sons, the Great;
Who false to Phoebus bow the knee to Baal;
Or, impious, preach his Word without a call.
Patrons, who sneak from living worth to dead,
Withhold the pension, and set up the head;
Or vest dull Flattery in the sacred gown;
Or give from fool to fool the laurel crown.
And (last and worst) with all the cant of wit,
Without the soul, the Muse's hypocrite.
There march'd the bard and blockhead, side by side,
Who rhym'd for hire, and patroniz'd for pride.
Narcissus, prais'd with all a Parson's pow'r,
Look'd a white lily sunk beneath a show'r.
There mov'd Montalto with superior air;
His stretch'd-out arm display'd a volume fair;
Courtiers and Patriots in two ranks divide,
Through both he pass'd, and bow'd from side to side:
But as in graceful act, with awful eye
Compos'd he stood, bold Benson thrust him by:
193
On two unequal crutches propp'd he came,
Milton's on this, on that one Johnston's name.
The decent knight retir'd with sober rage,
Withdrew his hand, and closed the pompous page.
But (happy for him as the times went then)
Appear'd Apollo's mayor and aldermen,
On whom three hundred gold-capp'd youths await,
To lug the pond'rous volume off in state.
When Dulness, smiling-'Thus revive the Wits!
But murder first, and mince them all to bits;
As erst Medea (cruel, so to save!)
A new edition of old Aeson gave;
Let standard authors, thus, like trophies born,
Appear more glorious as more hack'd and torn,
And you, my Critics! in the chequer'd shade,
Admire new light through holes yourselves have made.
Leave not a foot of verse, a foot of stone,
A page, a grave, that they can call their own;
But spread, my sons, your glory thin or thick,
On passive paper, or on solid brick.
So by each bard an Alderman shall sit,
A heavy lord shall hang at ev'ry wit,
And while on Fame's triumphal Car they ride,
Some Slave of mine be pinion'd to their side.'
Now crowds on crowds around the Goddess press,
Each eager to present their first address.
Dunce scorning dunce beholds the next advance,
But fop shows fop superior complaisance,
When lo! a spector rose, whose index hand
Held forth the virtue of the dreadful wand;
His beaver'd brow a birchen garland wears,
Dropping with infant's blood, and mother's tears.
O'er every vein a shud'ring horror runs;
Eton and Winton shake through all their sons.
All flesh is humbl'd, Westminster's bold race
Shrink, and confess the Genius of the place:
The pale boy senator yet tingling stands,
And holds his breeches close with both his hands.
194
Then thus. 'Since man from beast by words is known,
Words are man's province, words we teach alone.
When reason doubtful, like the Samian letter,
Points him two ways, the narrower is the better.
Plac'd at the door of learning, youth to guide,
We never suffer it to stand too wide.
To ask, to guess, to know, as they commence,
As fancy opens the quick springs of sense,
We ply the memory, we load the brain,
Bind rebel Wit, and double chain on chain,
Confine the thought, to exercise the breath;
And keep them in the pale of words till death.
Whate'er the talents, or howe'er design'd,
We hang one jingling padlock on the mind:
A Poet the first day, he dips his quill;
And what the last? A very Poet still.
Pity! the charm works only in our wall,
Lost, lost too soon in yonder house or hall.
There truant Wyndham every Muse gave o'er,
There Talbot sunk, and was a wit no more!
How sweet an Ovid, Murray was our boast!
How many Martials were in Pult'ney lost!
Else sure some bard, to our eternal praise,
In twice ten thousand rhyming nights and days,
Had reach'd the work, and All that mortal can;
And South beheld that Masterpiece of Man.'
'Oh' (cried the Goddess) 'for some pedant Reign!
Some gentle James, to bless the land again;
To stick the Doctor's chair into the throne,
Give law to words, or war with words alone,
Senates and courts with Greek and Latin rule,
And turn the council to a grammar school!
For sure, if Dulness sees a grateful day,
'Tis in the shade of arbitrary sway.
O! if my sons may learn one earthly thing,
Teach but that one, sufficient for a king;
That which my priests, and mine alone, maintain,
Which as it dies, or lives, we fall, or reign:
May you, may Cam and Isis, preach it long!
'The Right Divine of Kings to govern wrong'.'
195
Prompt at the call, around the Goddess roll
Broad hats, and hoods, and caps, a sable shoal:
Thick and more thick the black blockade extends,
A hundred head of Aristotle's friends.
Nor wert thou, Isis! wanting to the day,
Though Christ Church long kept prudishly away.
Each staunch polemic, stubborn as a rock,
Each fierce logician, still expelling Locke,
Came whip and spur, and dash'd through thin and thick
On German Crousaz, and Dutch Burgersdyck.
As many quit the streams that murm'ring fall
To lull the sons of Marg'ret and Clare Hall,
Where Bentley late tempestuous wont to sport
In troubled waters, but now sleeps in Port.
Before them march'd that awful Aristarch;
Plow'd was his front with many a deep remark:
His hat, which never vail'd to human pride,
Walker with rev'rence took, and laid aside.
Low bowed the rest: He, kingly, did but nod;
So upright Quakers please both man and God.
'Mistress! dismiss that rabble from your throne:
Avaunt-is Aristarchus yet unknown?
Thy mighty scholiast, whose unwearied pains
Made Horace dull, and humbl'd Milton's strains.
Turn what they will to verse, their toil is vain,
Critics like me shall make it prose again.
Roman and Greek grammarians! know your better:
Author of something yet more great than letter;
While tow'ring o'er your alphabet, like Saul,
Stands our Digamma, and o'ertops them all.
'Tis true, on words is still our whole debate,
Disputes of
Me
or
Te
, of
aut
or
at
To sound or sink in
196
cano
, O or A,
Or give up Cicero to C or K.
Let Freind affect to speak as Terence spoke,
And Alsop never but like Horace joke:
For me, what Virgil, Pliny may deny,
Manilius or Solinus shall supply:
For Attic Phrase in Plato let them seek,
I poach in Suidas for unlicens'd Greek.
In ancient sense if any needs will deal,
Be sure I give them fragments, not a meal;
What Gellius or Stobaeus hash'd before,
Or chew'd by blind old Scholiasts o'er and o'er.
The critic eye, that microscope of wit,
Sees hairs and pores, examines bit by bit:
How parts relate to parts, or they to whole,
The body's harmony, the beaming soul,
Are things which Kuster, Burman, Wasse shall see,
When man's whole frame is obvious to a
Flea
'Ah, think not, Mistress! more true dulness lies
In Folly's cap, than Wisdom's grave disguise.
Like buoys, that never sink into the flood,
On learning's surface we but lie and nod.
Thine is the genuine head of many a house,
And much Divinity without a Nous.
Nor could a Barrow work on every block,
Nor has one Atterbury spoil'd the flock.
See! still thy own, the heavy canon roll,
And metaphysic smokes involve the pole.
For thee we dim the eyes, and stuff the head
With all such reading as was never read:
For thee explain a thing till all men doubt it,
And write about it, Goddess, and about it:
So spins the silkworm small its slender store,
And labours till it clouds itself all o'er.
'What tho' we let some better sort of fool
Thrid ev'ry science, run through ev'ry school?
Never by tumbler through the hoops was shown
197
Such skill in passing all, and touching none.
He may indeed (if sober all this time)
Plague with dispute, or persecute with rhyme.
We only furnish what he cannot use,
Or wed to what he must divorce, a Muse:
Full in the midst of Euclid dip at once,
And petrify a Genius to a Dunce:
Or set on metaphysic ground to prance,
Show all his paces, not a step advance.
With the same cement ever sure to bind,
We bring to one dead level ev'ry mind.
Then take him to develop, if you can,
And hew the block off, and get out the man.
But wherefore waste I words? I see advance
Whore, pupil, and lac'd governor from France.
Walker! our hat' -nor more he deign'd to say,
But, stern as Ajax' spectre, strode away.
In flow'd at once a gay embroider'd race,
And titt'ring push'd the Pedants off the place;
Some would have spoken, but the voice was drown'd
By the French horn, or by the op'ning hound.
The first came forwards, with as easy mien,
As if he saw St. James's and the Queen.
When thus th' attendant Orator begun,
Receive, great Empress! thy accomplish'd Son:
Thine from the birth, and sacred from the rod,
A dauntless infant! never scar'd with God.
The Sire saw, one by one, his Virtues wake:
The Mother begg'd the blessing of a Rake.
Thou gav'st that Ripeness, which so soon began,
And ceas'd so soon, he ne'er was Boy, nor Man,
Thro' School and College, thy kind cloud o'ercast,
Safe and unseen the young AEneas past:
Thence bursting glorious, all at once let down,
Stunn'd with his giddy Larum half the town.
Intrepid then, o'er seas and lands he flew:
Europe he saw, and Europe saw him too.
There all thy gifts and graces we display,
Thou, only thou, directing all our way!
To where the Seine, obsequious as she runs,
Pours at great Bourbon's feet her silken sons;
198
Or Tyber, now no longer Roman, rolls,
Vain of Italian Arts, Italian Souls:
To happy Convents, bosom'd deep in vines,
Where slumber Abbots, purple as their wines:
To Isles of fragrance, lilly-silver'd vales,
Diffusing languor in the panting gales:
To lands of singing, or of dancing slaves,
Love-whisp'ring woods, and lute-resounding waves.
But chief her shrine where naked Venus keeps,
And Cupids ride the Lyon of the Deeps;
Where, eas'd of Fleets, the Adriatic main
Wafts the smooth Eunuch and enamour'd swain.
Led by my hand, he saunter'd Europe round,
And gather'd ev'ry Vice on Christian ground;
Saw ev'ry Court, hear'd ev'ry King declare
His royal Sense, of Op'ra's or the Fair;
The Stews and Palace equally explor'd,
Intrigu'd with glory, and with spirit whor'd;
Try'd all hors-d' uvres, all Liqueurs defin'd,
Judicious drank, and greatly-daring din'd;
Dropt the dull lumber of the Latin store,
Spoil'd his own Language, and acquir'd no more;
All Classic learning lost on Classic ground;
And last turn'd Air, the Eccho of a Sound!
See now, half-cur'd, and perfectly well-bred,
With nothing but a Solo in his head;
As much Estate, and Principle, and Wit,
As Jansen, Fleetwood, Cibber shall think fit;
Stol'n from a Duel, follow'd by a Nun,
And, if a Borough chuse him, not undone;
See, to my country happy I restore
This glorious Youth, and add one Venus more.
Her too receive (for her my soul adores)
So may the sons of sons of sons of whores,
Prop thine, O Empress! like each neighbour Throne,
And make a long Posterity thy own.
Pleas'd, she accepts the Hero, and the Dame,
Wraps in her Veil, and frees from sense of Shame.
Then look'd, and saw a lazy, lolling sort,
Unseen at Church, at Senate, or at Court,
Of ever-listless Loit'rers, that attend
No Cause, no Trust, no Duty, and no Friend.
199
Thee too, my Paridel! she mark'd thee there,
Stretch'd on the rack of a too easy chair,
And heard thy everlasting yawn confess
The Pains and Penalties of Idleness.
She pity'd! but her Pity only shed
Benigner influence on thy nodding head.
But Annius, crafty Seer, with ebon wand,
And well-dissembl'd Em'rald on his hand,
False as his Gems and canker'd as his Coins,
Came, cramm'd with Capon, from where Pollio dines.
Soft, as the wily Fox is seen to creep,
Where bask on sunny banks the simple sheep,
Walk round and round, now prying here, now there;
So he; but pious, whisper'd first his pray'r.
Grant, gracious Goddess! grant me still to cheat,
O may thy cloud still cover the deceit!
Thy choicer mists on this assembly shed,
But pour them thickest on the noble head.
So shall each youth, assisted by our eyes,
See other C‘sars, other Homers rise;
Thro' twilight ages hunt th'Athenian fowl,
Which Chalcis Gods, and mortals call an Owl,
Now see an Attys, now a Cecrops clear,
Nay, Mahomet! the Pigeon at thine ear;
Be rich in ancient brass, tho' not in gold,
And keep his Lares, tho' his house be sold;
To headless Ph be his fair bride postpone,
Honour a Syrian Prince above his own;
Lord of an Otho, if I vouch it true;
Blest in one Niger, till he knows of two.
Mummius o'erheard him; Mummius, Fool-renown'd,
Who like his Cheops stinks above the ground,
Fierce as a startled Adder, swell'd, and said,
Rattling an ancient Sistrum at his head.
Speak'st thou of Syrian Princes? Traitor base!
Mine, Goddess! mine is all the horned race.
True, he had wit, to make their value rise;
From foolish Greeks to steal them, was as wise;
More glorious yet, from barb'rous hands to keep,
When Sallee Rovers chac'd him on the deep.
Then taught by Hermes, and divinely bold,
Down his own throat he risqu'd the Grecian gold;
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Receiv'd each Demi-God, with pious care,
Deep in his Entrails — I rever'd them there,
I bought them, shrouded in that living shrine,
And, at their second birth, they issue mine.
Witness great Ammon! by whose horns I swore,
(Reply'd soft Annius) this our paunch before
Still bears them, faithful; and that thus I eat,
Is to refund the Medals with the meat.
To prove me, Goddess! clear of all design,
Bid me with Pollio sup, as well as dine:
There all the Learn'd shall at the labour stand,
And Douglas lend his soft, obstetric hand.
The Goddess smiling seem'd to give consent;
So back to Pollio, hand in hand, they went.
Then thick as Locusts black'ning all the ground,
A tribe, with weeds and shells fantastic crown'd,
Each with some wond'rous gift approach'd the Pow'r,
A Nest, a Toad, a Fungus, or a Flow'r.
But far the foremost, two, with earnest zeal,
And aspect ardent to the Throne appeal.
The first thus open'd: Hear thy suppliant's call,
Great Queen, and common Mother of us all!
Fair from its humble bed I rear'd this Flow'r,
Suckled, and chear'd, with air, and sun, and show'r,
Soft on the paper ruff its leaves I spread,
Bright with the gilded button tipt its head,
Then thron'd in glass, and nam'd it Caroline:
Each Maid cry'd, charming! and each Youth, divine!
Did Nature's pencil ever blend such rays,
Such vary'd light in one promiscuous blaze?
Now prostrate! dead! behold that Caroline:
No Maid cries, charming! and no Youth, divine!
And lo the wretch! whose vile, whose insect lust
Lay'd this gay daughter of the Spring in dust.
Oh punish him, or to th' Elysian shades
Dismiss my soul, where no Carnation fades.
He ceas'd, and wept. With innocence of mien,
Th'Accus'd stood forth, and thus address'd the Queen.
Of all th'enamel'd race, whose silv'ry wing
Waves to the tepid Zephyrs of the spring,
Or swims along the fluid atmosphere,
Once brightest shin'd this child of Heat and Air.
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I saw, and started from its vernal bow'r
The rising game, and chac'd from flow'r to flow'r.
It fled, I follow'd; now in hope, now pain;
It stopt, I stopt; it mov'd, I mov'd again.
At last it fix'd, 'twas on what plant it pleas'd,
And where it fix'd, the beauteous bird I seiz'd:
Rose or Carnation was below my care;
I meddle, Goddess! only in my sphere.
I tell the naked fact without disguise,
And, to excuse it, need but shew the prize;
Whose spoils this paper offers to your eye,
Fair ev'n in death! this peerless Butterfly.
My sons! (she answer'd) both have done your parts:
Live happy both, and long promote our arts.
But hear a Mother, when she recommends
To your fraternal care, our sleeping friends.
The common Soul, of Heav'n's more frugal make,
Serves but to keep fools pert, and knaves awake:
A drowzy Watchman, that just gives a knock,
And breaks our rest, to tell us what's a clock.
Yet by some object ev'ry brain is stirr'd;
The dull may waken to a Humming-bird;
The most recluse, discreetly open'd, find
Congenial matter in the Cockle-kind;
The mind, in Metaphysics at a loss,
May wander in a wilderness of Moss;
The head that turns at super-lunar things,
Poiz'd with a tail, may steer on Wilkins' wings.
'O! would the sons of men once think their eyes
And reason given them but to study flies !
See Nature in some partial narrow shape,
And let the Author of the Whole escape:
Learn but to trifle; or, who most observe,
To wonder at their Maker, not to serve.'
'Be that my task' (replies a gloomy clerk,
Sworn foe to Myst'ry, yet divinely dark;
Whose pious hope aspires to see the day
When Moral Evidence shall quite decay,
And damns implicit faith, and holy lies,
Prompt to impose, and fond to dogmatize):
'Let others creep by timid steps, and slow,
On plain experience lay foundations low,
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By common sense to common knowledge bred,
And last, to Nature's Cause through Nature led.
All-seeing in thy mists, we want no guide,
Mother of Arrogance, and Source of Pride!
We nobly take the high Priori Road,
And reason downward, till we doubt of God:
Make Nature still encroach upon his plan;
And shove him off as far as e'er we can:
Thrust some Mechanic Cause into his place;
Or bind in matter, or diffuse in space.
Or, at one bound o'erleaping all his laws,
Make God man's image, man the final Cause,
Find virtue local, all relation scorn
See all in self , and but for self be born:
Of naught so certain as our reason still,
Of naught so doubtful as of soul and will .
Oh hide the God still more! and make us see
Such as Lucretius drew, a god like thee:
Wrapp'd up in self, a god without a thought,
Regardless of our merit or default.
Or that bright image to our fancy draw,
Which Theocles in raptur'd vision saw,
While through poetic scenes the Genius roves,
Or wanders wild in academic groves;
That Nature our society adores,
Where Tindal dictates, and Silenus snores.'
Rous'd at his name up rose the bousy Sire,
And shook from out his pipe the seeds of fire;
Then snapp'd his box, and strok'd his belly down:
Rosy and rev'rend, though without a gown.
Bland and familiar to the throne he came,
Led up the youth, and call'd the Goddess Dame .
Then thus, 'From priestcraft happily set free,
Lo! ev'ry finished Son returns to thee:
First slave to words, then vassal to a name,
Then dupe to party; child and man the same;
Bounded by Nature, narrow'd still by art,
A trifling head, and a contracted heart.
Thus bred, thus taught, how many have I seen,
Smiling on all, and smil'd on by a queen.
Marked out for honours, honour'd for their birth,
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To thee the most rebellious things on earth:
Now to thy gentle shadow all are shrunk,
All melted down, in pension, or in punk!
So K-- so B-- sneak'd into the grave,
A monarch's half, and half a harlot's slave.
Poor W-- nipp'd in Folly's broadest bloom,
Who praises now? his chaplain on his tomb.
Then take them all, oh take them to thy breast!
Thy Magus , Goddess! shall perform the rest.'
With that, a Wizard old his Cup extends;
Which whoso tastes, forgets his former friends,
Sire, ancestors, himself. One casts his eyes
Up to a Star , and like Endymion dies:
A Feather , shooting from another's head,
Extracts his brain, and principle is fled,
Lost is his God, his country, ev'rything;
And nothing left but homage to a king!
The vulgar herd turn off to roll with hogs,
To run with horses, or to hunt with dogs;
But, sad example! never to escape
Their infamy, still keep the human shape.
But she, good Goddess, sent to ev'ry child
Firm impudence, or stupefaction mild;
And straight succeeded, leaving shame no room,
Cibberian forehead, or Cimmerian gloom.
Kind self-conceit to somewhere glass applies,
Which no one looks in with another's eyes:
But as the flatt'rer or dependant paint,
Beholds himself a patriot, chief, or saint.
On others Int'rest her gay liv'ry flings,
Int'rest that waves on party-colour'd wings:
Turn'd to the sun, she casts a thousand dyes,
And, as she turns, the colours fall or rise.
Others the siren sisters warble round,
And empty heads console with empty sound.
No more, Alas! the voice of Fame they hear,
The balm of Dulness trickling in their ear.
Great C--, H--, P--, R--, K--,
Why all your toils? your Sons have learn'd to sing.
How quick ambition hastes to ridicule!
The sire is made a peer, the son a fool.
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On some, a Priest succinct in amice white
Attends; all flesh is nothing in his sight!
Beeves, at his touch, at once to jelly turn,
And the huge boar is shrunk into an urn:
The board with specious miracles he loads,
Turns hares to larks, and pigeons into toads.
Another (for in all what one can shine?)
Explains the
Seve
and
Verdeur
of the vine.
What cannot copious sacrifice atone?
Thy truffles, Perigord! thy hams, Bayonne!
With French libation, and Italian strain,
Wash Bladen white, and expiate Hays's stain.
Knight lifts the head, for what are crowds undone.
To three essential partridges in one?
Gone ev'ry blush, and silent all reproach,
Contending princes mount them in their coach.
Next, bidding all draw near on bended knees,
The Queen confers her Titles and Degrees .
Her children first of more distinguish'd sort,
Who study Shakespeare at the Inns of Court,
Impale a glowworm, or vertú profess,
Shine in the dignity of F.R.S.
Some, deep Freemasons, join the silent race
Worthy to fill Pythagoras's place:
Some botanists, or florists at the least,
Or issue members of an annual feast.
Nor pass'd the meanest unregarded, one
Rose a Gregorian, one a Gormogon.
The last, not least in honour or applause,
Isis and Cam made Doctors of her Laws.
Then, blessing all, 'Go, Children of my care!
To practice now from theory repair.
All my commands are easy, short, and full:
My sons! be proud, be selfish, and be dull.
Guard my prerogative, assert my throne:
This nod confirms each privilege your own.
The cap and switch be sacred to his Grace;
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With staff and pumps the Marquis lead the race;
From stage to stage the licens'd Earl may run,
Pair'd with his fellow charioteer the sun;
The learned Baron butterflies design,
Or draw to silk Arachne's subtle line;
The Judge to dance his brother Sergeant call;
The Senator at cricket urge the ball;
The Bishop stow (pontific luxury!)
An hundred souls of turkeys in a pie;
The sturdy Squire to Gallic masters stoop,
And drown his lands and manors in a soupe .
Others import yet nobler arts from France,
Teach kings to fiddle, and make senates dance.
Perhaps more high some daring son may soar,
Proud to my list to add one monarch more;
And nobly conscious, princes are but things
Born for first ministers, as slaves for kings,
Tyrant supreme! shall three Estates command,
And make one mighty Dunciad of the Land!
More she had spoke, but yawn'd-All Nature nods:
What mortal can resist the yawn of gods?
Churches and Chapels instantly it reach'd;
(St. James's first, for leaden Gilbert preach'd)
Then catch'd the schools; the Hall scarce kept awake;
The Convocation gap'd, but could not speak:
Lost was the nation's sense, nor could be found,
While the long solemn unison went round:
Wide, and more wide, it spread o'er all the realm;
Even Palinurus nodded at the helm:
The vapour mild o'er each committee crept;
Unfinish'd treaties in each office slept;
And chiefless armies doz'd out the campaign;
And navies yawn'd for orders on the main.
O Muse! relate (for you can tell alone,
Wits have short memories, and Dunces none),
Relate, who first, who last resign'd to rest;
Whose heads she partly, whose completely blest;
What charms could faction, what ambition lull,
The venal quiet, and entrance the dull;
Till drown'd was sense, and shame, and right, and wrongO sing, and hush the nations with thy song!
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In vain, in vain-the all-composing hour
Resistless falls: The Muse obeys the Pow'r.
She comes! she comes! the sable throne behold
Of Night primeval, and of Chaos old!
Before her, Fancy's gilded clouds decay,
And all its varying rainbows die away.
Wit shoots in vain its momentary fires,
The meteor drops, and in a flash expires.
As one by one, at dread Medea's strain,
The sick'ning stars fade off th' ethereal plain;
As Argus' eyes by Hermes' wand oppress'd,
Clos'd one by one to everlasting rest;
Thus at her felt approach, and secret might,
Art after Art goes out, and all is Night.
See skulking Truth to her old cavern fled,
Mountains of Casuistry heap'd o'er her head!
Philosophy, that lean'd on Heav'n before,
Shrinks to her second cause, and is no more.
Physic of Metaphysic begs defence,
And Metaphysic calls for aid on Sense !
See Mystery to Mathematics fly!
In vain! they gaze, turn giddy, rave, and die.
Religion blushing veils her sacred fires,
And unawares Morality expires.
Nor public Flame, nor private , dares to shine;
Nor human Spark is left, nor Glimpse divine !
Lo! thy dread Empire, Chaos! is restor'd;
Light dies before thy uncreating word:
Thy hand, great Anarch! lets the curtain fall;
And universal Darkness buries All.
~ Alexander Pope
351:The Golden Age
Long ere the Muse the strenuous chords had swept,
And the first lay as yet in silence slept,
A Time there was which since has stirred the lyre
To notes of wail and accents warm with fire;
Moved the soft Mantuan to his silvery strain,
And him who sobbed in pentametric pain;
To which the World, waxed desolate and old,
Fondly reverts, and calls the Age of Gold.
Then, without toil, by vale and mountain side,
Men found their few and simple wants supplied;
Plenty, like dew, dropped subtle from the air,
And Earth's fair gifts rose prodigal as prayer.
Love, with no charms except its own to lure,
Was swiftly answered by a love as pure.
No need for wealth; each glittering fruit and flower,
Each star, each streamlet, made the maiden's dower.
Far in the future lurked maternal throes,
And children blossomed painless as the rose.
No harrowing question `why,' no torturing `how,'
Bent the lithe frame or knit the youthful brow.
The growing mind had naught to seek or shun;
Like the plump fig it ripened in the sun.
From dawn to dark Man's life was steeped in joy,
And the gray sire was happy as the boy.
Nature with Man yet waged no troublous strife,
And Death was almost easier than Life.
Safe on its native mountains throve the oak,
Nor ever groaned 'neath greed's relentless stroke.
No fear of loss, no restlessness for more,
Drove the poor mariner from shore to shore.
No distant mines, by penury divined,
Made him the sport of fickle wave or wind.
Rich for secure, he checked each wish to roam,
And hugged the safe felicity of home.
Those days are long gone by; but who shall say
Why, like a dream, passed Saturn's Reign away?
Over its rise, its ruin, hangs a veil,
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And naught remains except a Golden Tale.
Whether 'twas sin or hazard that dissolved
That happy scheme by kindly Gods evolved;
Whether Man fell by lucklessness or pride,Let jarring sects, and not the Muse, decide.
But when that cruel Fiat smote the earth,
Primeval Joy was poisoned at its birth.
In sorrow stole the infant from the womb,
The agëd crept in sorrow to the tomb.
The ground, so bounteous once, refused to bear
More than was wrung by sower, seed, and share.
Ofttimes would ruthless winds or torrents raze
The ripening fruit of toilsome nights and days.
Each one in turn grew jealous of his own,
And fenced his patch with ditch and churlish stone.
As greed uprose, and greed engendered strife,
Contention raged coincident with life.
Man against man, maid against maiden turned,
And the soft breast with envious passions burned.
The loss of one was hailed as others' gain,
And pleasure took unnatural birth from pain.
Goaded by woe, and through tradition's lore
Mindful of all the blissfulness of yore,
The Human Race, its sorrows to assuage,
Dreamed afar off a second Golden Age;
Not in the dim irrevocable Past,
But in a Future just as vague and vast.
The prophet's lips, the poet's flattering pen,
Revelled in forecasts of that golden Then.
The days should come when grief would be no more,
And Peace and Plenty rule from shore to shore;
All men alike enjoy what none did earn,
And even more than Saturn's Reign return.
As years rolled on, as centuries went by,
And still that Promised Time seemed no more nigh,
Mankind at length, outwearied with delays,
Gave up all hope of those seductive days.
Then other prophets, other scribes arose,
A nearer, surer Eden to disclose.
`O, long-befooled!' they said, `awake, and deem
The Past a tale, the Future but a dream.
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Here, in the living Present, act your part,
Straining its vulgar blessings to your heart.
Let hand with hand and brain with brain contend,
And each one labour to some selfish end.
In wealth and riot, luxury and power,
Baffle the mockery of the transient hour.
If thousands fall, if tens of thousands bleed,
Will not a hundred, or a score, succeed?
Let those who cannot yield to those who canFate has its piles of victims; why not Man?
Better a furious fight where some one wins,
Than sluggish life which ends as it begins.
Vain was the bard who, whilst the World was new,
'Twixt men and beasts the fond distinction drew,
That these confine their downward gaze to earth,
Whilst man looks up, enamoured of his birth.
Not in the skies, but deep beneath the soil,
There will you find your happiness and spoil.
Enough for brutes its simple face to know,
But godlike man must pierce and delve below.
Deep in its bowels seek the shining ore,
And at its touch shall Saturn reign once more.
For him whose thews are sound, whose vision clear,
Whose purpose firm, the Golden Age is here.'
Never from cave or tripod, mount or glade,
Issued a voice so welcomed, so obeyed.
From zone to zone the Golden Gospel flew,
And in its train mankind obedient drew.
See from their seats the ancient Gods dethroned,
Altars upset, and oracles disown'd.
The Muses, scared, conceal the smothered lyre;
No longer prized, the Graces swift retire;
Virtue, a butt for ribalds, seeks her shroud,
And even Venus veils herself in cloud.
Religion, Ethics, all men erst adored,
Hymned on the harp, or fought for with the sword,
All lofty scopes, all ends esteemed of old,
Dissolve like mist before the rage for gold.
The priest for gold makes traffic of his robe;
For gold the soldier desolates the globe;
The poet shapes for gold his venal lays;
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Through gold Vice stalks caparisoned with praise.
Tempted by gold, the virgin sells her charms,
Though no Immortal slips into her arms.
Saddled with gold, the adventurer can buy
Titles, precedence, place, and dignity.
High, middle, low, the young, the ripe, the old,
Man, woman, child, live, die, are damned for Gold.
Soon as the youthful mind begins to ope,
It searches Life's significance and scope;
And, fed by generous impulse year by year,
Dreams for itself some glorious career.
Its shall it be, instructed by the Muse,
Truth to abet, and beauty to diffuse;
With full-blown sail, and genius at the helm,
To steer men's thoughts to a serener realm.
Perhaps the ingenuous boy would fain recall
Tintoret's canvas, Memmi's fresco'd wall;
With godlike pencil purify the mart,
And life ennoble with the breath of Art.
Maybe he burns, by Plato's failure fired,
To scale the heights which every wing have tired,
Seize first each part, then comprehend the whole,
And solve the eternal problem of the Soul.
Be these his aims, or, nobler still, to train
His kind to mutiny till Virtue reign,
Soon doth he learn to count his lovely schemes
A host of bubbles in a world of dreams.
Experience whispers early, Have a care!
Who with the Muse would live must live on air.
The tempting maid is but a poet's lie,
`Who gave to song what gold could never buy.'
Confront the world, take counsel with the throng;
Their verdict what? `The thing's not worth a song.'
Are you content you now have learnt your price?
Come, sink the Muse, and don't be quite so nice.
Start a new Company, and float the shares,
Then lunch with Ministers and dine with Mayors.
Pimp for a Party, praise a Premier's heart,
Head a subscription, and then shine-a Bart.
Return your income fifty thousand clearThe devil's in it, or you'll die a peer.
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Success so great is never done by halves'Tis only virtue, when 'tis greatest, starves.
Perhaps his breast, untutored yet to serve,
Spurns the base counsel with a proud reserve;
For Youth is stubborn, and when Nature draws,
In vain a parent's warning, wisdom's saws.
Let cravens straight their impotence confess,
And sell their birthright for a filthy mess;
In flowers see, bee-like, nought but stuff for hives,
And for foul lucre prostitute their lives;
They have not failed who never once have tried,
Or, if they failed, they failed for want of pride.
He, he at least his soul will ne'er demean,
But 'mong the foul will keep his honour clean.
O touching sight, to witness day by day
His splendid generous day-dreams fade away!
His sire reproaches, and his brothers scoff,
His mother doubts, his sisters e'en fall off.
The neighbours pity, strangers deem him mad;
Girls, smiling, whisper, What a foolish lad!
Meanwhile his compeers, started in the race,
Are swiftly marching on to power and place.
One makes a coup, and weds a wife of rank;
Another's junior partner in a bank.
A third in sugar with unscriptural hand,
Traffics, and builds a lasting house on sand.
A fourth, for beer and piety renowned,
Owns all the publics in the country round;
Its drink adulterates with face demure,
But burns with zeal to keep opinion pure;
Cares not one jot for bodies drunk or sick,
But scans your soul like a new Dominick.
The fifth, the patron of a new balloon,
Projects a Company to reach the moon;
Baits his prospectus with a batch of peers,
And vows nought pays like money in the Spheres.
Shares in the moon advanced-advancing still.
Then comes a crash-stock guaranteed at nil.
But sure, the man is ruined? Not at all;
He scarce can tumble who has sense to crawl.
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Your modern Icarus is much too wise
On his own pinions to attempt the skiesOn others' soaring follies doth he rise.
Long ere the bubble burst his shares were sold;
Just at that moment he had need of gold.
Singed wings, you know, are but for simple folk;
He, with his peers, 'scapes safe from flame and smoke,
And buys a borough with the happy stroke.
Few are the souls who die for Cato's creed:
To fail seems base, when all around succeed.
Foiled in his purpose, both by foe and friend,
Through noble means to reach a noble end,
The baffled boy forswears his cherished dream,
And learns to swim, like others, with the stream.
Keen to recover precious moments lost,
And taught by bitter tasks what Virtue cost,
He midst the rush, whilst others rise and fall,
Swims on, the most unscrupulous of all.
Let others chouse with care, he cheats with pluck,
And millions stake their all upon his luck.
His daring overawes the small, the great,
And whilst he plunders they but peculate.
He lures the easy, makes the fat his spoil,
Pares the lean wage of proletarian toil;
Swindles the widow of her hoarded mite,
Drags the poor pensioner once more to fight;
Robs age of rest, and youth of prospects fair,
Plunges the sanguine bridegroom in despair;
Severs the ties made sacred long by home,
And sends the son from sire across the foam;
Dashes the faith of plighted swain and maid,
And helps alone the cynic sexton's spade:
Does all that well beseems a Fallen StarIt needs a Lucifer to fall so far!
Sometimes will Fortune on the traitor scowl,
And e'en with gold not pay a deed so foul.
He who was born a glittering child of light,
Trenchant as Raphael, as Ithuriel bright,
Yet sells his soul a vulgar prize to reap,
And for brute guerdons holds his honour cheap,
491
Too often finds that he who, grovelling, flies
From unrewarded reverie in the skies,
And seeks in venal efforts to employ
The gifts God formed for beauty and for joy,
Makes but a barren barter of his birth,
And Heaven foregoes, without securing earth.
See how he sinks! The more he strains to clutch
Terrestrial spoil, unworthy of his touch,
It seems, for him, to take elusive shapes,
And like a shadow from his grasp escapes.
As baser wax his aims, more mean his scope,
More and still more he sprawls-the sport of Hope.
Still as he tries to suffocate his soul,
Farther beyond him seems the carnal goal.
In vain he turns to catch the favouring gale;
Becalmed he lies-he labours but to fail.
Poor and despised, he now would fain retrace
His erring steps to his first dwelling-place,
But finds, alas! baseness hath borne its fruit;
Wings long unused have withered at the root.
He who in vain has crawled in vain would fly,
And rots abandoned both by earth and sky.
Meaner his end than that poor tradesman's doom,
Who, asked what words of honour on his tomb
His friends should place, with cynic touch replied,
`Here lies who, born a man, a grocer died!'
Whom doth this foe of human virtue spare?
Look round! More sweet its victims, the more fair.
Its natural slaves, who, spawned from wealth, are born
To Traffic's tricks they lack the soul to scorn,
Whose lust for lucre is their proper lot,
It just as oft impoverishes as not.
'Tis those in whom the Unseen God inspires
The restless leaven of divine desires;
Who, from the moment that they lisp, betray
An alien spirit housed within their clay;
Whose fretful youth life's narrow limits chafe,
And yearns for worlds more spacious, if less safe;
Striving to reach, despite its fleshly thrall,
That larger Something which surrounds us all;These, these the souls-and not that baser band-
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To whom Gold loves to stretch a helping hand;
With early smiles their generous aims to bless,
And lead them, blind, to ruinous success.
When Lelius chanted first his fragrant lays,
Men praised, and he was amply paid with praise.
Not salons' sycophant, nor Fashion's bard,
No glittering heaps did his sweet notes reward.
He was content with audience fit, though few,
When to his side the cunning demon drew.
`Your pen's worth gold; you need but blunt its point;
Come, cut the Muse; the times are out of joint.
Fame's well enough, but comfort has its laws;
You'll make a damned poor supper off applause.
Sing, be select, and starve. Prose is the thingThe thing that pays. The Million now is King.
Write gossip, scandal, slander-what you will;
A well-filled purse awaits a ready quill.'
The curst insidious demon has his way,
And Grub-street swallows Lelius for aye.
Turn from the pen, and for a while survey
The wide domains which brush and canvas sway.
Enter those realms, and what do we behold?
Art, heavenly Art, the slave and pimp of gold!
Time was when its poor votaries were too proud
To sate the itch of a vain-glorious crowd,
Serve the mean aims of narrow personal pelf,
And swell the ignoble retinue of Self.
Only the State, which merges private ends,
Or sacred Church, which lifts them and extends,
Might then presume the artist's craft to claim,
And paid him, happy, with immortal Fame.
Here, Friendship's guest, where fairest Florence lies,
A dream in stone, stretched out before mine eyes,
I think of all the treasures there enshrined,
And what small dole nurtured each master mind;
Or led by memory o'er the classic chain
Which Umbrian slope divides from Tuscan plain,
I all the priceless unbought gems recall
That link with heaven Assisi's frescoed wall;
Then, borne on wings of weakness, I repair
To mine own land, and groan to think that there,
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Debased by Fashion to a venal trade,
Art counts its triumphs by its fortunes made;
Spurned by the State, and by the Church unsought,
Works but for wealth, and by the base is bought;
Stranger to altars, palaces, or domes,
Pampers the pomp of ostentatious homes.
How changed the days since Duccio's hand of old
On Saints and Virgins lavished costly gold;
But for himself asked but a few poor crowns,
Less than we give to harlequins and clowns.
Now do our mercenary tricksters grudge
Almost the very canvas that they smudge;
Yet scan with greedy eyes the glittering heap
That opulent folly holds, for once, so cheap.
See, too, how Genius, when its touch was true,
On humble walls its lasting fancies drew;
Whose modern apes, ridiculously bold,
Hang their ephemeral daubs in frames of gold.
In vain doth Heaven, while Gold thus rules the earth,
With generous instincts sow the soul at birth.
Swift in the genial soil the seed takes root,
Then seeks the sun with many a venturous shoot.
But, ah, how soon the cruel outer air
Checks the brave growth and nips its promise fair!
Warmed by the glow of Tasso's splendid lay,
Or borne by Dante to the gates of Day;
Softly seduced by Scott's romantic strain
To deem all ends, excepting honour, vain;
Or nobly trained by Shelley's burning song
To cherish an eternal feud with wrong,The simple girl constructs a future fair,
Rears a whole world of castles in the air,
And nowhere warned, or deaf to warning, deems
That life will clothe and justify her dreams.
As year by year the maiden grows apace,
And half the woman mantles in her face,
With sickening sense, sad eye, and sinking heart,
She sees her forecasts one by one depart.
Slowly, but, ah, too surely doth she find
That poets' tales no longer rule mankind;
That Peace is homeless as the hunted hare,
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And Love far less a shelter than a snare;
That godlike Valour meets a demon's doom,
Whilst Prudence prospers even from the tomb;
That Youth, save schooled in Mammon's miry ways,
Groans o'er the lapse of unrequited days;
That Beauty, Genius, all are vain and cold,
Till foully touched and fertilised by Gold.
Soon as the time so dear to mother's vows
Draws nigh, to find the maid some fitting spouse,
Then most of all she learns what leading part
Is played by Gold in dramas of the heart.
Chance to young Hylas, beautiful as Dawn,
And sweet as fair, she feels her fancy drawn.
Are you a nymph? one whispers. Let him pass.
He doth but gather daisies in the grass.
Where your cool wave, hidden from human eyes,
In which to lure and love him till he dies?
Bid him rejoin his Hercules, and seize
The golden apples of the Hesperides;
And then perchance, should none more rich than he
Engage your love, you may his Hera be.
Alas, poor Hylas! worse than Mysian fate
Doth his meandering flowery feet await.
If that a Solon, versed in every art
Of song and science, touch the maiden's heart,
The neighbours softly whisper, Have a care;
Can Erudition keep a chaise and pair?
Pundits, alas, like fools, must pay their bills,
And Knowledge figures sorrily in wills.
For single life learning is well enough,
But marriage should be made of sterner stuff.
Should Cato's fame her pious soul attract,
The whole world cries, The woman must be cracked.
What! wed with Virtue! Is the girl awake?
Sure, she confounds the altar with the stake.
Send for the doctor. Try a change of air.
Swear Cato drinks. In war and love all's fair.
Bring Croesus to the front. At four he's freeThere's no one left to swindle after three.
In one brief hour behold him curled and drest,
And borne on wings of fashion to the West!
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What though to regions fondly deemed refined,
He brings his City manners, City mind,
And cynics titter?-he laughs best who wins,A Greenwhich dinner covers many sins.
What! dine with Croesus? Surely. Is a feast
One jot the worse because the host's a beast?
He's worse than that-a snob-a cad. Agreed;
But then his goblets smack of Ganymede?
Do some strange freaks his conversation mar?
He stops your censure with a prime cigar.
A Norway stream, a shooting-lodge in Perth,
In practice look uncommonly like worth.
The Town to hear some new soprano flocks.
You long to go? Well, Croesus has a box.
How at this hour are tickets to be got
For the Regatta? Croesus has a yacht.
Goodwood is here. Your hopes begin to flag.
One chance awaits you: Croesus has a drag.
You doat on Flower-shows: Croesus has a bone.
Be friends with Croesus, and the World's your own.
Who could resist seductions such as these?
Or what could charm, if Croesus failed to please?
Blinded and bribed, the critical are cured,
And loud extol whom late they scarce endured.
Caressed and courted, Croesus grows the rage,
The type and glory of our Golden Age;
And Cato, Hylas, Solon, shoved aside,
Our heavenly maid is hailed as Croesus' bride.
Shade of Lucretius! if thy lyre waxed wild
With sacred rage for Clytemnestra's child,
And nought could hold thee as thy soul surveyed
The cursëd ills Religion can persuade,
How would thy verse impetuously shower
Sonorous scorn on Gold's atrocious power;
Embalm its victims with a touch divine,
And damn the monster in one sounding line!
Can honeyed forms or stereotyped applause
Alter the scope of Heaven's eternal laws?
What though with gifts should massive sideboards groan,
And every heart be glad except her own,
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And troops of blooming girls behold with pride,
Perchance with envy, this resplendent bride;
Though vieing voices hail her Fashion's queen,
And even a Bishop's blessing crown the scene,
No rites, no rings, no altars, can avail
To make a sacred contract of a sale,
Stir the far depths of the reluctant mind,
Or join the hearts which love hath failed to bind.
If soul stands passive whilst the flesh is sold,
Is there no foul aroma in the gold?
Is the base barter covered by the price,
And do huge figures make the nasty nice?
The nameless outcast, prowling for her prey,
Renews her filthy bargain day by day;
Let Croesus give her what he gave his wife,
She's virtuous too-at least, she's his for life.
Croesus-but hold! Let Charity presume
That Croesus' wife but dimly knew her doom.
The luckless maid, since knowledge comes too late,
In splendour seeks oblivion of her fate;
Of every tender pious aim bereft,
Hugs in despair the only idol left;
In alien worship seeks to be consoled,
And builds her hopes of happiness on Gold.
Gold rules her steps, determines her desiresMere puppet she, whilst Mammon jerks the wires.
Futile to ask if London suits her healthWould you consult her doctor, not her wealth?
You soon are answered: Whether ill or well,
A house in Town is indispensable.
Where shall it be? On gravel or on clay?
Wherever tenants have the most to pay.
Price is the thing, not soil. If Fashion's camp
Be pitched just here, what matter dry or damp?
But, health apart, 'tis known that Croesus' wife,
If left to choose, prefers a country life.
Well, she shall have it when the Parks are brown,
And Fashion, wearied, hath dispersed the Town.
But whilst the woods are leafy, and the lanes
With lush wild-flowers rob life of half its pains;
While sweetest scents and softest sounds combine
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To make existence, did they last, divine;
Not for the world must Croesus' wife be missed
From fetid streets, foul rooms, and Fashion's list;
And only thence to rural refuge flies
As, self-exhausted, pleasant Summer dies.
Say, shall we marvel, amid scenes like these,
With all to dazzle, but with nought to please,
If links of simple gold should fail to cleave,
And tempters prompt their webs not vainly weave?
See, Plutus, first in each ignoble strife,
Battered and bored, bethinks him of a wife.
The happy tidings, spreading through the West,
Fires each maternal mercenary breast.
The soaring dames parade their daughters' charms,
To lure the hug of Plutus' palsied arms;
And as brave Eld for one fair woman fought,
For one foul man our world to rage is wrought.
At last, opining he might chance do worse,
Plutus to proud Olympia flings his purse.
Olympia lifts it with triumphant smile,
Whilst round her crowds congratulating guile,
Escorts her to the altar, decks her brows
With orange-buds, then leaves her with her spouse,
Who, though his suit by golden showers throve,
Can grasp his Danaë with no thews of Jove.
O, who shall tell Olympia's tale aright,
Each splendid day, each miserable night;
Her thirst divine by human draughts but slaked,
Her smiling face whilst the heart sorely ached,
Or note the edge whence one we loved so well
To sweet, seductive, base perdition fell?
I cast no stone, but half by rage consoled,
I snatch the lyre and curse this fiendish Gold.
Though Beauty's fame oft spreads through all the land,
Splendour is far more curiously scanned;
And they who once upon Olympia threw
A passing glance, since she was fair to view,
Now gilded pomp and Ostentation's choir
Attend her path, of gazing never tire;
Suck up her speech, translate her silent eyes,
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Each movement, look, and posture scrutinise,
Stalk all her steps, as matron, friend, and wife,
And feed in greedy gossip on her life.
Not mine to follow to the noisome den
Where woman's frailty stands the gaze of men,
And well-coached menials, limed with gold, detail
The piteous scenes that pass behind the veil.
Enough to know that, thanks to wealth, once more
Plutus can woo, e'en richer than before.
The tottering cuckold leaves the court consoled;
Considerate juries tip his horns with Gold!
Sure some malicious demon in the brain
It needs must be, drives men reputed sane
To spurn the joys adjacent to their feet,
In the fond chase of this receding cheat?
Say, when the Stoic on his tranquil height,
And swinish crowd, sweating in miry fight,
In every age a like conclusion reach,
And sage and simple one same sermon preachThat whether Heaven hath made one serf or king,
Reason alone true happiness can bringCan we but stand astounded as we scan
This race untaught, unteachable, called Man?
Would you be truly rich, how small the heap
Your aims require, the price how passing cheap!
A modest house, from urban jars removed,
By thrist selected, yet by taste approved;
Whose walls are gay with every sweet that blows,
Whose windows scented by the blushing rose;
Whose chambers few to no fine airs pretend,
Yet never are too full to greet a friend;
A garden plot, whither unbidden come
Bird's idle pipe and bee's laborious hum;
Smooth-shaven lawn, whereon in pastime's hours
The mallet rings within a belt of flowers;
A leafy nook where to enjoy at will
Gibbon's rich prose or Shakespeare's wizard quill;
A neighbouring copse wherein the stock-doves coo,
And a wild stream unchecked sings all day through;
Two clean bright stalls, where midday, night, and morn,
Two good stout roadsters champ their well-earned corn;
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A few learned shelves from modern rubbish free,
Yet always, Mill, with just a place for Thee;
Head ne'er at dawn by clownish bouts obscured,
And limbs by temperate exercise inured;
A few firm friendships made in early life,
Yet doubly fastened by a pleasant wife;
A wholesome board, a draught of honest wine;This is true wealth; and this, thank Heaven, is mine!
And though you ransacked worlds from shore to shore,
From sea to sky, you could not give me more.
And if, all these beyond, I still should crave
Something impossible this side the grave,
Let humbler souls my soaring hopes forgiveAfter my life still in my verse to live.
Well would it be if Mammon's feverish rage
Did but the vulgar and the base engage;
If those alone whose undistinguished name,
Haply if fouled, would shed no slur on Fame,
Sought in this sordid, despicable strife,
To find the good and snatch the crown of life.
But in the mire of venal fight embroiled,
Have we not seen the noblest scutcheons soiled?
Not the proud thought that many a splendid fray,
When crowns obeyed the fortunes of the day,
To stalwart arms its pregnant issue owed,
Whose glorious blood in their own body flowed;
Not the remembrance that their sires did share
The toils that made this England great and fair;
Not their resplendent pedigree, nor all
The line of haught fierce faces on the wall,
That tells the tale of their ancestral hall,
Have yet availed, in days like these, to hold
Men, thus seduced, from the coarse race for Gold.
Have we not seen the generous beast, whose sires
Once bore their fathers into battle's fires,
By titled gamblers' mercenary taste
His once stout loins to nimble flanks debased,
Made for curst gold to sweat through all his pores,
The panting pet of blacklegs, lords, and whores?
On such a course what dismal woes await,
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Let the world learn by young Lucullus' fate.
Whilst yet the bloom of boyhood matched his cheek,
And all his duty was to master Greek.
Make a long score, bound o'er the running brook,
Cleave the clear wave, Lucullus had a book.
No glorious volume was't, whose subtle page
The wisdom breathed of many a studious age.
No wealth of wit, no Learning's garnered sheaves
Lay, like a treasure, lurking in its leaves.
But, in their place, crabbed Calculation scrawled
Symbols which shocked and figures that appalled.
Not for sweet Fancy, nor the simple stake
Of generous sports, did he his tasks forsake.
Ere sentiment could move, or sense control,
Adventurous Greed had swallowed up his soul.
If Gold Acrisius' Tower of Brass could flout,
How will the playground shut the monster out?
Thus by his own base instincts first betrayed,
The race of harpies lend their shameful aid,
With evil eye his smiling lands behold,
And smooth his path to infamy with gold.
At length behold him grown to man's estate,
Rich, noble, noted, lord of his own fate.
Here Duty beckons, Honour there incites,
And Love entices to its saving rites.
He heeds them not; he joins the madding crowd,
King of the base, the vulgar, and the loud;
Builds his most precious friendships on a bet,
And through the gutter trails his coronet.
Vain fool! inflamed by flattery and conceit,
He marks no pitfalls yawning at his feet;
But, winning, deems the cunning snare his luck,
And losing, pays, to plume him on his pluck;
Accepts each challenge, doubles every stake,
While tipsy plaudits follow in his wake.
But what avails, if Fortune quits his side?
Curse on the jade, he cries, she always lied!
Well, now's an end! . . . A comrade plucks his gown:
An end as yet, man! cut the timber down.
The luck will turn; you lost for want of skill;
Come, play again-you'll win. . . . By G-, I will!
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Done soon as said. The swift sure axe resounds
Through the green stretch of his ancestral grounds.
The soaring elm, whose topmost boughs defied
The scaling valour of his boyish pride;
The umbrageous beech, beneath whose courtly shade
The loves that issued in his life were made;
The lordly oak, young when his line was young,
To which with pride inherited had clung
His sires and they from whom his sires were sprung;
Behold them now, around the naked hall,
One after one in fell succession fall.
Lo, the wide woods which centuries had seen
By frosts unmoved, mid thunder-fugues serene,
By thousand suns, by tens of thousand showers,
Fostered and fed, one greedy day devours.
And all in vain! Lured by the severed spoil,
The foul fierce harpies fasten on the soil.
`My lands on luck.' We take you. Clear the course;
Twenty to one upon Lucullus' horse!
One minute more, and poor Lucullus flies,
The beggared heir of all the centuries.
Then scoffed, and scourged, and stripped of all his wealth,
His last friends leave him-energy and health.
Anxiety and fierce Excitement's flame
Have scorched his blood and shrivelled up his frame.
`Plum to a pony!' hear the cripple call;
`Ere six months pass, the grave will end it all.'
Lucky at last, he wins his bootless bet,
And dies of drink, debauchery, and debt.
Gone are the times indeed when savage Might
Usurped the throne and claimed the wage of Right.
No longer now the tiller of the soil
Sees his fair fields the lusty robber's spoil;
No timid burgher now grows rich by stealth,
Lest some rude noble swoop upon his wealth;
The quiet citizen no longer fears
A raid upon his money or his ears,
That local turmoil or imperial strife
Will wreck his home or leave him bare for life.
But say, is Force the only fearful foe,
502
Or the keen Sword worst source of human woe?
Wielding base weapons Violence disdained,
Cunning prevails where once Compulsion reigned.
The tyrant's lance, Oppression's piercing shaft,
Torment no more, but abdicate to Craft.
Could feudal despot swooping on his prey,
Could bandit burning for the unequal fray,
Could fire, sword, famine, spread more wreck abroad,
Than marks the path of Greed allied with Fraud;
Or waits on life, where no rude signs portend
When the dread bolt of Ruin will descend?
See the poor father, who for years has toiled,
At one fell stroke of all his store despoiled.
His was the pious wish, by daily care
And safe degrees to make his hearth more fair;
His the ambition-far too meek to roamTo swell the simple luxuries of home;
By loving thrift to deck his comely spouse
With some poor gem, the summit of her vows;
To instruct his boys in every generous art
Which trains the man to act a shining part;
By culture's aid to see his daughters armed
With each fair grace that in their mother charmed;
Year after year, as strength and vigour waned,
To find his fondest forecasts all attained;
And then, since faithful to the final stage,
Doff the hard harness from the back of age.
But watchful Greed with jealous eye beheld
Day after day his little earnings swelled;
Studied the tender workings of his mind,
Marked the fond aims to which his heart inclined;
With specious lips his trusting senses stole,
And with false visions fired his prudent soul.
Poor wretch! but yesterday in modest state
He lived, secure from every bolt of Fate.
To-day, he wanders feverish and depressed,
As though whole Andes weighed upon his breast.
To-morrow, back unto his home he crawls,
A beggared man, and at the threshold falls.
Now will no more his trustful wife behold
The gladsome face returning as of old,
503
And read in sparkling eye and smiling cheek
The day's good tidings e'en before he speak;
Never again in hastening footsteps guess
Some pretty love-gift, token of success.
Their blooming boys, for whom parental hope
So oft had cast the fairest horoscope,
And seen with fond anticipating eyes
Each proud successive civic honour rise,
Torn from their noble studies, have to crave
From base pursuits the pittance of a slave,
Pour the soul's wine into the body's sieve,
And grand life lose in mean attempts to live.
Perchance, at home their humble wants denied,
Gaunt Hunger drives them from their mother's side;
Leaves her to weep alone o'er what hath been,
And places ocean, pitiless, between.
The tender girls, their father's pride and joy,
Whose dreams a fiend had scrupled to destroy;
From childhood's earliest days whose only care
Was to be gracious, virtuous, and fair,
And who from Heaven could nothing else implore
Save to be all their mother was before;
Who pictured as their perfect scheme of life
A clinging daughter and a helpful wife,At one rude flash behold the world enlarge,
And stand, pale victims, trembling on the marge.
Little, alas, now boots it where they roam,
Since they must leave the tranquil shores of home.
Whether, poor slaves, they crawl with aching feet
Hour after hour from dreary street to street,
Or, as in mockery of home, alas!
Beneath the stranger's icy portal pass,
And thankless task and miserable wage
Their exiled cheerless energies engage,
Their youth, their life, is blasted at the core,
And Hope's sweet sap will mount their veins no more.
Should every door their humble prayers repel,
Scorning to buy what Hunger kneels to sell,
And they, half thankful that the strangers spurn,
To their own roof be driven to return,
How strange the scene that meets their wearied gaze!
How changed the hearth, the home, of other days!
504
Contracting Care usurps the mother's face,
Whose smiles of old spread sunshine through the place.
Alone she weeps; but should she chance to hear
Her husband's steps, she hides the furtive tear;
Follows his movements with an anxious dread,
Studies his brow, and scans his restless tread;
Assails his woe with every female wile,
Prattles of hope, and simulates a smile.
He, broken man, wrapt in perpetual gloom,
Wanders anon from vacant room to room;
Then, creeping back, the image of despair,
With a deep sigh he sinks into his chair.
He seldom speaks; and when his voice is heard,
Peevish its tone, and querulous his word;
And vain laments and childish tears attest
The lamp of life is dying in his breast.
Perhaps his death some timely pittance frees,
Secured by prudence in their days of ease;
And, O the pity! posthumous relief
Stanches love's wounds, and blunts the edge of grief.
Unless, indeed-for this too hath been knownAll-grasping Greed hath made that mite its own,
Filched from the widow her last hopes of bread,
And whom it ruined living, plunders dead!
These are thy triumphs, Gold! thy trophies these,
To nurture fraud, and rob the world of ease,
Faith to befool, young genius to seduce,
And blight at once its beauty and its use.
Thine is the bait, as loveless hearths avouch,
Which drags fresh victims to the venal couch;
Thine the foul traps wherewith our ways are rife,
That lure them first, then close upon their life;
Thine, thine the springes, set in regions fair,
Whose unseen nooses strangle whom they snare;
The cynic glory thine to lie in wait
To make men little who had else been great,
Frustrate our plenty, aggravate our dearth,
And keep eternal feud 'twixt Heaven and Earth!
Lo, where huge London, huger day by day,
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O'er six fair counties spreads its hideous sway,
A tract there lies by Fortune's favours blest,
And at Fame's font yclept the happy West.
There, as by wizard touch, for miles on miles,
Rise squares, streets, crescents of palatial piles.
In the brave days when England's trusty voice
Made grappling rivals tremble or rejoice;
When, foremost shield of Weakness or of Right,
She scorned to warn unless resolved to smite;
When, few but firm, her stalwart children bore
The terror of her Flag from shore to shore,
Purged Christ's dear tomb from sacrilege and shame,
And made the Moslem quake at Richard's name;
Taught the vain Gaul, though gallant, still to kneel,
And Spain's proud sons the weight of northern steel;Then were her best in no such splendour nursed
As now awaits her basest and her worst.
No kingly Harry glittering with renown,
No Edward radiant in a peaceful crown,
Was housed as now, at turn of Fortune's wrist,
Some lucky navvy turned capitalist,
Some convict's bastard who a-sudden shines
In the bright splendour of Australian mines,
Or subtle Greek, who, skilled in Eastern ways,
Exposes all Golconda to our gaze.
These, as to Pomp's pretentious peaks they rush,
Heed not the crowds their sordid conquests crush:
Secure in glaring opulence, they scan
With placid eyes the miseries of man;
Fat units, watch the leanness of the whole,
And gag remonstrance with a paltry dole:
Mid harrowing want, with conscience unafraid,
Die on the golden dirt-heaps they have made.
Here Plenty gorges gifts from every zone,
There thankful Hunger gnaws its meagre bone;
Profusion here melts more than pearls in wine,
There craves gaunt Penury some shucks from swine;
And whilst rich rogues quaff deep round roaring fires,
At Dives' portal Lazarus expires!
Betwixt these fierce extremes of wealth and woe,
A crowd of strugglers hustles to and fro,
506
Whose one sole aim and only hope in life
Are just to wrench subsistence from the strife.
To what base shifts these hideous straits compel
The straining wretches, let our records tell.
Victims of greedy Competition's craft,
We drain cheap poison in each sparkling draught,
Purchase a lie in every vaunted ware,
And swallow filth in the most frugal fare.
Building a refuge for our age, we find
The crumbling mortar lets in wet and wind;
Face the rude waves, by science freed from awe,
To sink, poor dupes, on life-belts made of straw!
Nor this the worst! When ripened Shame would hide
Fruits of that hour when Passion conquered Pride,
There are not wanting in this Christian land
The breast remorseless and the Thuggish hand,
To advertise the dens where Death is sold,
And quench the breath of baby-life for gold!
Nor man alone, case-hardened man, surveys
These shocking contrasts with a careless gaze.
Fair melting woman of the tender breast
Here finds no room for pity as her guest.
Unsexed, she strains to Ostentation's goal,
While Splendour's dreams demoralise her soul;
Drains, like a goddess, hecatombs of lives,
Nor heeds who lags, provided she arrives.
See Claribel, by every gift designed
Mid anguish keen to be an angel kind,
Once plunged in rival factions' golden fight,
Turned to a demon in her own despite.
Behold, to-morrow in the Royal smile
Will bask the birth and wealth of all the Isle.
She, long abroad, received the summons late.
What's to be done? Nor time nor tide will wait.
She turns her wardrobe over, racks her brain;
Nothing will do. She wants a dress and train.
Drive to the modiste's. Not a finger free.
There's only Clara. Clara let it be.
But Clara's sick and sorry. Give her gold;
Her aches will cease, her sorrows be consoled.
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It must be done. Sure Lilian there will glow
In gorgeous newness decked from top to toe;
Shall it be said that Claribel did less?
To-morrow, then, in time the train and dress.
So Clara drags her weary limbs from bed,
O'er the brave finery hangs her throbbing head;
Still as her senses swim sews on and on,
Till day dies out and twilight pale is gone.
Then, by the taper's soft and silent light,
Like a pale flower that opens most by night,
Her pace she quickens, and the needle moves
Subtler and swifter through the gauzy grooves;
But as the dawn on guttering sockets gains,
Her tired lids drop, and sleep arrests her pains.
But sleep how short! She feels her shoulder clutched:
`Clara, awake! the train's not even touched!
Day strides apace. See, there's the morning sun,
And ere again he sinks, 't must all be done.'
Again, again, the shooting thread she plies,
In silent agony of smothered sighs.
She seems to breathe her breath into the gown,
To give it life the while she lays hers down.
Fast as the task advances set by pride,
So fast within her ebbs the vital tide.
The daylight goes, and softly comes the moon's,
And then poor Clara over the last stitch swoons.
Meanwhile, the panting Claribel awaits
The precious gown within her golden gates.
It comes-it comes. Now who shall shine her down?
Not Lilian, surely? No, not the entire Town.
She not for worlds had lost this courtly chance;
And Clara dies that Claribel may dance!
If private worth, thus languishing, expires,
Will public Virtue keep alive her fires?
The slaves of wealth, in Britain as in Rome,
Bring to the Forum vices formed at home.
First the community, and then the State,
Falls to their fangs, which naught can satiate.
Not born nor bred to rule, of culture void,
508
And by no wave of young ambition buoyed,
Anxious on heights conspicuous to flaunt
Nought but the tawdry trophies they can vaunt,
They woo the grasping crowd with golden guile,
And spread Corruption's canker through the Isle.
You want a seat? Then boldly sate your itch.
Be very radical, and very rich.
Sell your opinions first to please the pure,
Then buy the sordid, and your triumph's sure.
Do all, in brief, that honest men abhor,
And England hails another Senator.
See the vain Tribune who, in lust of power,
Bows to the base exactions of the hour,
And, fooled by sycophants, stands forth at last
A devotee turned sworn iconoclast!
Behind him sit dense rows of golden mutes,
Deaf to whate'er demonstrates or refutes,
Ready to vote, rescind, obey in all
The whip demands, as hounds the huntsman's call.
They neither know nor reck what helpful deeds
In this grave hour their perilled Country needs.
They want to see their daughters nobly wed,
Their wives at Court, their own names trumpeted,
Their private Bills advanced another stage,
Their schemes of plunder foisted on the age.
Leave them but these, the gamblers come to call,
Nor heed an Empire nodding to its fall!
When Power is built on props like these, how vain
The hope that Law the giddy will restrain!
Spoilt by twin sops, servility and gold,
The headstrong crowd is then but ill controlled.
In vain they now would sway who lately served,
And Riot cows Authority unnerved.
Better that such base compromise should end,
And the dread bolt of Anarchy descend!
Goths of the gutter, Vandals of the slum,
Thieves and Reformers, come! Barbarians, come!
Before your might let rails and rules be hurled,
And sweep Civilisation from the world!
509
Nor now, alas, do Commoners alone
To private ends the public weal postpone.
Those too, whom worth ancestral plants on seats
High above where all vulgar Clamour beats,
With paltry fear to their clipped ermine cling,
And shrink from right, lest right should ruin bring.
The Peers stand firm; the Commons disagree.
The Peers be-well, it now is close on three.
By five, a world of reasons will be found.
Throw Jonas over, or the ship's aground.
You know the fury of the hand that steers;
And what were Britain with no House of Peers?
Would Primogeniture its fall survive,
Or even Property be kept alive?
Let Herbert fume, or frantic Cecil chafe,
Better a deal to choose the side that's safe;
Bow to the will of Finlen and his hordes,
And still thank Heavën for a House of Lords!
Thus may the British breast exult to think.
That noble names can sell ignoble ink;
That ill-got gains, if deftly spent, unlock
Birth's choicest circles to the ambitious smock;
That Dives foul mounts fine Aristo's stairs,
If but Aristo Dives' plunder shares;
And half Debrett urbanely flocks to White's,
To back the boor who saves them from the kites.
His son succeeds him. `Make the son a Peer.
Why not? His income's eighty thousand clear.
New blood is wanted. Here's the very stuff.
Besides, he wields the county vote.' Enough.
But hold! there's Cato. `Cato! are you sane?
Why, Cato's means but one small hearth sustain.
Ennoble Cato, you'll have Peers for life,
Or else forbid the man to take a wife.
He can't maintain the necessary state,
And would you have a poor name legislate?
No, Dives' son's the very man we need.
What says the Crown?' The Crown! Of course, Agreed.
And the young fool, enriched by parent knaves,
From Ruin's jaws our Constitution saves!
Is there no path of honour for the great,
510
No sound and clean salvation for the State?
Must we for ever fly to shifts like this,
And trust to Gold to save us from the abyss?
Must honours old by new-got wealth be vamped,
And Valour's stock by plutocrats be swamped?
Back to your lands, base sons of splendid sires!
From spendthrift squares back to your native shires!
Back, back from Baden, and leave Homburg's shades
To dazzling Jews and mercenary jades.
Leave London's round of vulgar joys to those
Who seek in such from base pursuits repose.
Cease to contend with upstart Wealth's parade,
To wring your lands to vie with tricks of trade;
And, proudly spurning Glitter's transient lies,
At least be honest, if you can't be wise!
Worship your household gods, and spend at home
The solid earnings of the generous loam.
Delve, fence, and drain; the dripping waste reclaim;
With spreading woodlands multiply your fame.
Yours let it be to screen the reverent hind,
Who loves your presence, 'gainst the frost and wind;
Scorning to count the profit, raise his lot;
Lure the shy Graces to his lowly cot;
Be, one and all, acknowledged, far and wide,
Patriarchs and patterns of the country side.
And whether demagogues shall rise or fall,
A Cleon mount, or Boänerges bawl,
True to yourselves and native duty, thus
Save this poor England by being virtuous!
And you, Sir, hope of this once famous isle,
Round whom its halo plays, its favours smile,
Hark to the Muse, which, poised on Candour's wings,
Flouts the base crowd, but scorns to flatter kings.
Hark, while she tells you, nor her counsel spurn,
From giddy Pleasure's gilded toys to turn;
That not from minions opulent or coarse
Do Princes gain their lustre and their force;
That Reverence anchors not in deep carouse,
And that a Crown fits only kingly brows!
Fired by each bright example, shun the shade,
Where Scandal best can ply her noxious trade.
511
Learn from your pious Father how to share
With hands, too lonely now, a Kingdom's care.
Be by your fair loved Consort's pattern moved,
And like your virtuous Mother, stand approved;
Do for this England all the Sceptre can,
And be at least a stainless gentleman.
Be this too much, you well may live to find
That firmest Thrones can fail the weak and blind,
And, though no Samson, sharing half his fate,
Pull down the pillars of a mighty State!
Whilst our domestic fortunes thus obey
All-searching Gold's demoralising sway,
We hug the limits of our puny shore,
And Glory knows our once great name no more.
First are we still in every bloodless fray,
Where piles of gold adventurous prows repay;
But when flushed Honour sets the world on fire,
We furl our sails and to our coasts retire;
And, basely calm whilst outraged nations bleed,
Invent new doctrines to excuse our greed.
When gallant Denmark, now the spoiler's prey,
Flashed her bright blade, and faced the unequal fray,
And, all abandoned both by men and gods,
Fell, faint with wounds, before accursèd odds,Where, where was England's vindicating sword,
Her promised arm, to stay the invading horde;
Bid the rude German drop his half-clutched spoil,
And scare the robber from ancestral soil?
The fair young Dane, beloved by every Grace,
And all the Virtues shining in her face,
Who, more an angel than a princess deemed,
Withal was even sweeter than she seemed,
With noisy throats we summoned o'er the foam,
And with cheap cheers escorted to her home.
But when with streaming eye and throbbing breast
She, pious child, her loving fears confessed,
And, leagued with Honour's voice and Valour's ire,
Prayed us to save her country and her sire,
We turned away, and opulently cold,
Put back our swords of steel in sheaths of gold!
512
And yet what sandy base doth Gold afford,
Though crowned by Law, and fenced round by the Sword,
Learn from that Empire which, a scorn for aye,
Grew in a night and perished in a day!
Helped by a magic name and doubtful hour,
See the Adventurer scale the steeps of Power.
Upon him groups of desperate gamesters wait,
To snatch their profit from a sinking State.
Folly, and Fate which Folly still attends,
Conspire to shape and expedite their ends.
The Hour, the Man are here! No pulse? No breath?
Wake, Freedom, wake! In vain! She sleeps like Death.
The impious hands, emboldened by her swoon,
Choke in the night, and slay her in the noon!
Then, when vain crowds with dilatory glaive
Rush to avenge the life they would not save,
The prompt conspirators with lavish hand
Fling their last pieces to a pampered band,
Bribe cut-throat blades Vengeance' choked ways to hold,
And bar the avenues of rage with gold!
Then mark how soon, amid triumphant hymns,
The Imperial purple girds the blood-stained limbs.
The perjured hands a golden sceptre gain,
A crown of gold screens the seared brow of Cain,
And golden eagles, erst of simpler ore,
Assert the Caesar, and his rod restore.
See round his throne Pomp's servile tributes swell,
Not Nero knew, e'er Rome to ruin fell,
Far from his feet the lust of glitter spread,
And the vain herd on Splendour's follies fed!
Nor they alone, the shallow, base, and gay,
Bend to this Idol with the feet of clay:
Statesmen and soldiers kneel with flattering suit,
Kings are his guests, e'en queens his cheeks salute;
Senates extol him, supple priests caress,
And even thou, O Pius, stoop'st to bless!
And the World's verdict, ever blind as base,
Welcomes the `Second Saviour' of the race!
And yet how weak this Empire girt with gold
Did prove to save when Battle's torrents rolled,
513
Have we not seen in ruin, rout, and shame,
Burnt deep in Gaul's for ever broken fame?
What then availed her courts of pomp and pride,
What her bright camps with glittering shows allied?
What, in that hour, the luxury which passed
To soldiers' lips the sybarite repast?
Did all her gold suffice, when steel withstood
Her stride, to make her rash, vain challenge good?
Behold her Chief, in comfort longwhile slung,
By War's rough couch and random fare unstrung
His vaunted Leaders, who to Power had mown
Their path with swords that propped a venal Throne,
Brandishing rival blades, his brain confound,
While still, but sure, the solid foe press round.
See her soft sons, whom arms enervate lead,
Spurn the long marches which to victory speed,
And, fondly deeming Science served by Wealth
Will snatch the fight at distance and by stealth,
Smitten with fear at Valour's downright face,
And taught swift limbs in Flight's ignoble chase!
See one, see all, before the Victor fleet,
Then lay their swords, submissive, at his feet!
O hapless France! e'en then insurgent ire
Had your soiled scutcheon lifted from the mire,
Placed the bright helm on Honour's front once more,
And laurels reaped more lasting than of yore,
Had not rich ease your manhood's marrow stole,
And gold emollient softened all your soul.
O, what a sight-a sight these eyes beheldHer fair green woods by the invader felled;
Her fields and vineyards by the Teuton trod,
Those she once smote encamped upon her sod;
Her homes, in dread, abandoned to the foe,
Or saved from rapine by obsequience low;
Her cities ransomed, provinces o'erawed,
Her iron strongholds wrenched by force or fraud;
Her once proud Paris grovelling in the dust,
And-crowning irony, if lesson justThe grasping victor, loth to quit his hold,
Coaxed slowly homewards o'er a bridge of gold!
514
Is there no warning, England, here, for thee?
Or are Heaven's laws balked by a strip of sea?
Are thy foundations, Albion, so approved,
Thou canst behold such downfall all unmoved?
Have we not marked how this Briarean Gold
Doth all our life and energies enfold?
And as our practice, so our doctrines tooWe shape new ethics for our vices new;
Our sires forswear, our splendid Past defame,
And in high places glory in our shame!
Hear our loud-tinkling Tribunes all declare
Once lavish England hath no blood to spare,
No gold to spend; within her watery wall
She needs to roll and wallow in it all.
Doth towering Might some poor faint Cause oppress,
They bid her turn, impartial, from distress;
Indulge her tears, but hide her ire from sight,
Lest a like doom her angry front invite.
And when this craven caution fails to save
Her peaceful fortunes from the braggart glaive,
They bid her still be moral and be meek,
Hug tight her gold, and turn the other cheek.
Her very sons, sprung from her mighty loins,
We aliens make, to save some paltry coins;
With our own hands destroy our Empire old,
And stutter, `All is lost, except our gold!'
With languid limbs, by comfortable fire,
We see our glories, one by one, expire;
A Nelson's flag, a Churchill's flashing blade,
Debased to menials of rapacious Trade;
Lost by a Cardwell what a Wellesley won,
And by a Gladstone Chatham's world undone!
Pale, gibbering spectres fumbling at the helm,
Whilst dark winds howl, and billowy seas o'erwhelm.
Yet deem you, England, that you thus will save,
Even your wealth from rapine or the grave?
Will your one chain of safety always hold,
Or `silver streak' for ever guard your gold?
If through long slumbrous years the ignoble rust
Of selfish ease your erst bright steel encrust,
When Storm impends, you vainly will implore
The Gods of Ocean to protect your shore.
515
Bribed by the foe, behold Britannia stand
At Freedom's portals with a traitress hand,
Help the Barbarian to its sacred hold,
Then, like Tarpeia, sink oppressed with Gold!
Perish the thought! O, rather let me see
Conspiring myriads bristling on the sea,
Our tranquil coasts bewildered by alarms,
And Britain, singly, face a World in arms!
What if a treacherous Heaven befriend our foes?
Let us go down in glory, as we rose!
And if that doom-the best that could betideBe to our Fame by envious Fate denied,
Then come, primeval clouds and seasons frore,
And wrap in gloom our luckless land once more!
Come, every wind of Heaven that rudely blows,
Plunge back our Isle in never-ending snows!
Rage, Eurus, rage! fierce Boreas, descend!
With glacial mists lost Albion befriend!
E'en of its name be every trace destroyed,
And Dark sit brooding o'er the formless Void!
~ Alfred Austin

IN CHAPTERS



   5 Philosophy
   5 Integral Yoga
   4 Christianity


   4 Nolini Kanta Gupta
   3 Plotinus
   2 Sri Aurobindo
   2 Jorge Luis Borges


   3 The Secret Doctrine
   3 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02
   2 Plotinus - Complete Works Vol 03


01.02 - Sri Aurobindo - Ahana and Other Poems, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
  
   What is the world that Sri Aurobindo sees and creates? Poetry is after all passion. By passion I do not mean the fury of emotion nor the fume of sentimentalism, but what lies behind at their source, what lends them the force they have the sense of the "grandly real," the vivid and pulsating truth. What then is the thing that Sri Aurobindo has visualised, has endowed with a throbbing life and made a poignant reality? Victor Hugo said: Attachez Dieu au gibet, vous avez la croixTie God to the gibbet, you have the cross. Even so, infuse passion into a thing most prosaic, you create sublime poetry out of it. What is the dead matter that has found life and glows and vibrates in Sri Aurobindo's passion? It is something which appears to many poetically intractable, not amenable to aesthetic treatment, not usually, that is to say, nor in the supreme manner. Sri Aurobindo has thrown such a material into his poetic fervour and created a sheer beauty, a stupendous reality out of it. Herein lies the greatness of his achievement. Philosophy, however divine, and in spite of Milton, has been regarded by poets as "harsh and crabbed" and as such unfit for poetic delineation. Not a few poets indeed foundered upon this rock. A poet in his own way is a philosopher, but a philosopher chanting out his philosophy in sheer poetry has been one of the rarest spectacles.1 I can think of only one instance just now where a philosopher has almost succeeded being a great poet I am referring to Lucretius and his De Rerum Natura. Neither Shakespeare nor Homer had anything like philosophy in their poetic creation. And in spite of some inclination to philosophy and philosophical ideas Virgil and Milton were not philosophers either. Dante sought perhaps consciously and deliberately to philosophise in his Paradiso I Did he? The less Dante then is he. For it is his Inferno, where he is a passionate visionary, and not his Paradiso (where he has put in more thought-power) that marks the nee plus ultra of his poetic achievement.
  

01.03 - Mystic Poetry, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
  
   Among the ancients, strictly speaking, the later classical Lucretius was a remarkable phenomenon. By nature he was a poet, but his mental interest lay in metaphysical speculation, in philosophy, and unpoetical business. He turned away from arms and heroes, wrath and love and, like Seneca and Aurelius, gave himself up to moralising and philosophising, delving 'into the mystery, the why and the how and the whither of it all. He chose a dangerous subject for his poetic inspiration and yet it cannot be said that his attempt was a failure. Lucretius was not a religious or spiritual poet; he was rather Marxian,atheistic, materialistic. The dialectical materialism of today could find in him a lot of nourishment and support. But whatever the content, the manner has made a whole difference. There was an idealism, a clarity of vision and an intensity of perception, which however scientific apparently, gave his creation a note, an accent, an atmosphere high, tense, aloof, ascetic, at times bordering on the supra-sensual. It was a high light, a force of consciousness that at its highest pitch had the ring and vibration of something almost spiritual. For the basic principle of Lucretius' inspiration is a large thought-force, a tense perception, a taut nervous reactionit is not, of course, the identity in being with the inner realities which is the hallmark of a spiritual consciousness, yet it is something on the way towards that.
  

01.05 - Rabindranath Tagore: A Great Poet, a Great Man, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
  
   Tagore was a poet; this poetic power of his he put in the service of the great cause for the divine uplift of humanity. Naturally, it goes without saying, his poetry did not preach or propagandize the truths for which he stoodhe had a fine and powerful weapon in his prose to do the work, even then in a poetic way but to sing them. And he sang them not in their philosophical bareness, like a Lucretius, or in their sheer transcendental austerity like some of the Upanishadic Rishis, but in and through human values and earthly norms. The especial aroma of Tagore's poetry lies exactly here, as he himself says, in the note of unboundedness in things bounded that it describes. A mundane, profane sensuousness, Kalidasian in richness and sweetness, is matched or counterpointed by a simple haunting note imbedded or trailing somewhere behind, a lyric cry persevering into eternity, the nostalgic cry of the still small voice.2
  

2.0 - THE ANTICHRIST, #Twilight of the Idols, #Friedrich Nietzsche, #Philosophy
  on the pre-existent form of which Epicurus had waged war. One has
  only to read Lucretius in order to understand what Epicurus combated,
  _not_ Paganism, but "Christianity," that is to say the corruption of

2.2.1.01 - The World's Greatest Poets, #Letters On Poetry And Art, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  
  I am not prepared to classify all the poets in the universeit was the front bench or benches you asked for. By others I meant poets like Lucretius, Euripides, Calderon, Corneille, Hugo. Euripides (Medea, Bacchae and other plays) is a greater poet than Racine whom you want to put in the first ranks. If you want only the very greatest, none of these can enteronly Vyasa and Sophocles. Vyasa could very well claim a place beside Valmiki, Sophocles beside Aeschylus. The rest, if you like, you can send into the third row with Goethe, but it is something of a promotion about which one can feel some qualms. Spenser too, if you like; it is difficult to draw a line.
  

30.01 - World-Literature, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
  
   REAL poetry, the acme of poetical art, says Victor Hugo, is characterised by immensity alone. That is why Aeschylus, Lucretius, Shakespeare and Corneille had conquered his heart. Had he been acquainted with Sanskrit literature he would have included Valmiki and the Vedic seers. As a matter of fact, what we want to derive from poetry or any other artistic creation is a glimpse of the Infinite and the Eternal. When the heart opens wide, it soars aloft to clasp the whole universe with its outspread wings. In the absence of the spirit of universality any work of art, however fascinating, exq1Jisite, subtle or deep, is incomplete; it betrays an imperfection. And where this element of immensity is present, we get something superior even if it contains nothing else; whether it is charged with a grand significance or not, we get something that surpasses all other virtues and we see our heart full to the brim. Whatever be the matter, the, subject, the thought, the emotion or anything else, that does not touch the core of poetry. Through all these or reaching beyond them what is required is a glimpse of the vast, the waves of delight pervading the universe.
  

Aeneid, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  of the Aeneid that its virtues seemed secondary. Marchesi was so
  splendid on Lucretius, then central to me, that with an illogical extension of trust, I allowed his estimate of the Aeneid to usurp my
  own reading.

BOOK III. - The external calamities of Rome, #City of God, #Saint Augustine of Hippo, #Christianity
  
  When Tarquin the tyrant was expelled, L. Tarquinius Collatinus, the husb and of Lucretia, was created consul along with Brutus. How justly the people acted, in looking more to the character than the name of a citizen! How unjustly Brutus acted, in depriving of honour and country his colleague in that new office, whom he might have deprived of his name, if it were so offensive to him! Such were the ills, such the disasters, which fell out when the government was "ordered[Pg 113] with justice and moderation." Lucretius, too, who succeeded Brutus, was carried off by disease before the end of that same year. So P. Valerius, who succeeded Collatinus, and M. Horatius, who filled the vacancy occasioned by the death of Lucretius, completed that disastrous and funereal year, which had five consuls. Such was the year in which the Roman republic inaugurated the new honour and office of the consulship.
  

BOOK II. -- PART II. THE ARCHAIC SYMBOLISM OF THE WORLD-RELIGIONS, #The Secret Doctrine, #H P Blavatsky, #Theosophy
  all its gross realism, the first miserable state of humanity, the striking picture of which was traced for
  us after AEschylus by Lucretius, and the exact truth of which is now confirmed by science; and then
  one may understand better that a new life really began for man, on that day when he saw the first

BOOK I. -- PART I. COSMIC EVOLUTION, #The Secret Doctrine, #H P Blavatsky, #Theosophy
  those atoms aggregated, rotatory motion, through mutual collisions producing lateral movements.
  Epicurus and Lucretius taught the same, only adding to the lateral motion of the atoms the idea of
  affinity -- an occult teaching.

BOOK I. -- PART III. SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE CONTRASTED, #The Secret Doctrine, #H P Blavatsky, #Theosophy
  
  is claimed to be a modification and refinement of the idea of Lucretius. Let us then examine the
  modern concept from several scientific volumes containing the admissions of the physicists
  --
  
  from Anaxagoras down to Epicurus, the Roman Lucretius, and finally even to Galileo, all those
  Philosophers believed more or less in ANIMATED atoms, not in invisible specks of so-called "brute"
  --
  What Anaxagoras called "Chaos" in his Homoiomeria is now called "primitive fluid" by Sir W.
  Thomson. The Hindu and Greek Atomists -- Kanada, Leucippus, Democritus, Epicurus, Lucretius,
  etc., etc., are now reflected as in a clear mirror, in the supporters of the atomic theory of our modern
  --
  of the Universe; it only claims the absolute necessity of mechanicians of some sort behind those
  Elements (or within) -- a dogma with us. It is not the fortuitous assistance of the atoms of Lucretius,
  who himself knew better, that built the Kosmos and all in it. Nature herself contradicts such a theory.

Book of Imaginary Beings (text), #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  conduct.
  In Book V of his poem De rerum natura, Lucretius declares the Centaur impossible since the equine species
  reaches maturity before the human, and at the age of three

ENNEAD 03.07 - Of Time and Eternity., #Plotinus - Complete Works Vol 03, #Plotinus, #Christianity
  
  93 Lucretius, v. 1095.
  

ENNEAD 06.05 - The One and Identical Being is Everywhere Present In Its Entirety.345, #Plotinus - Complete Works Vol 04, #Plotinus, #Christianity
  
  In the fourth book of the Second Ennead the treatment of matter is original, and is based on comparative studies. Evil has disappeared from the horizon; and the long treatment of the controversy with the Gnostics393 is devoted to explaining away evil as misunderstood1274 good. Although he begins by finding fault with Stoic materialism,394 he asserts two matters, the intelligible and the physical. Intelligible matter395 is eternal, and possesses essence. Plotinos goes on396 to argue for the necessity of an intelligible, as well as a physical substrate (hypokeimenon). In the next paragraph397 Plotinos seems to undertake a historical polemic, against three traditional teachers (Empedocles, Anaxagoras, and Democritus) under whose names he was surely finding fault with their disciples: the Stoics, Numenius, and possibly such thinkers as Lucretius. Empedocles is held responsible for the view that elements are material, evidently a Stoical view. Anaxagoras is held responsible for three views, which are distinctly Numenian: that the world is a mixture,398 that it is all in all,399 and that it is infinite.400 We might, in passing, notice another Plotinian contradiction in here condemning the world as mixture, approved in the former passage.401 As to the atomism of Democritus, it is not clear with which contemporaries he was finding fault. Intelligible matter reappears402 where we also find again the idea of doubleness of everything. As to the terms used by the way, we find the Stoic categories of Otherness or Variety403 and Motion; the conceptual seminal logoi, and the "Koin ousia" of matter; but in his psychology he uses "logos" and "nosis," instead of "nous" and "phronesis," which are found in the Escorial section, and which are more Stoical. We also find the Aristotelian category of energy, or potentiality.
  

ENNEAD 06.07 - How Ideas Multiplied, and the Good., #Plotinus - Complete Works Vol 03, #Plotinus, #Christianity
  
  If fire also be a reason engaged in matter, and in this respect resemble the earth, it was not born by chance. Whence would it come?93 Lucretius thought it came from rubbing (sticks or stones). But fire existed in the universe before one body rubbed another; bodies already possess fire when they rub up against one another; for it must not be believed that matter possesses fire potentially, so that it is capable of producing it spontaneously. But what is fire, since the principle which produces the fire, giving it a form, must be a "reason"? It is a soul capable of producing the fire, that is, a "reason" and a life, which (fuse) into one thing. That is why Plato says that in every object there is a soul94; that is, a power capable of producing the sense-fire. Thus the principle which produces the fire in our world is a "fiery life," a fire that is more real than ours. Since then the intelligible Fire is a fire more real than ours, it also possesses a moral life. The Fire-in-itself therefore possesses life. There is a similar "reason" in the other elements, air and water. Why should not these things be as animated as earth is? They are evidently contained in the universal living Organism, and they constitute parts thereof. Doubtless life is not manifest in them, any more than in the earth; but it can be recognized in them, as it is recognized in the earth, by its productions; for living beings are born in the fire, and still more in the water, as is better known; others also are formed in the air. The flames that we daily see lit and extinguished do720 not manifest in the universal Soul (because of the shortness of their duration); her presence is not revealed in the fire, because she does not here below succeed in reaching a mass of sufficient permanency.
  WATER AND AIR AS INTELLIGIBLE ENTITIES.

Talks With Sri Aurobindo 1, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  SRI AUROBINDO: No, in their miserable state itself they get relief. (After a little
  pause and smiling) Lucretius the Roman poet says somewhere, "It is sweet
  to sit on the shore and see people struggling in the sea." (Laughing) A Christian Father also says, "It is a great joy see people in Hell being tortured."

The Act of Creation text, #The Act of Creation, #unset, #Zen
  flourished during the heroic age of Greek science and was still partially
  upheld by Epicureans such as Lucretius, went into a long period of
  hibernation, but awoke with renewed vigour at the dawn of the

The Fearful Sphere of Pascal, #Labyrinths, #Jorge Luis Borges, #Poetry
  that dispirited century, the absolute space which had inspired the hexameters
  of Lucretius, the absolute space which had meant liberation to Bruno,
  became a labyrinth and an abyss for Pascal. He abhorred the universe and

Timaeus, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  
  The style and plan of the Timaeus differ greatly from that of any other of the Platonic dialogues. The language is weighty, abrupt, and in some passages sublime. But Plato has not the same mastery over his instrument which he exhibits in the Phaedrus or Symposium. Nothing can exceed the beauty or art of the introduction, in which he is using words after his accustomed manner. But in the rest of the work the power of language seems to fail him, and the dramatic form is wholly given up. He could write in one style, but not in another, and the Greek language had not as yet been fashioned by any poet or philosopher to describe physical phenomena. The early physiologists had generally written in verse; the prose writers, like Democritus and Anaxagoras, as far as we can judge from their fragments, never attained to a periodic style. And hence we find the same sort of clumsiness in the Timaeus of Plato which characterizes the philosophical poem of Lucretius. There is a want of flow and often a defect of rhythm; the meaning is sometimes obscure, and there is a greater use of apposition and more of repetition than occurs in Plato's earlier writings. The sentences are less closely connected and also more involved; the antecedents of demonstrative and relative pronouns are in some cases remote and perplexing. The greater frequency of participles and of absolute constructions gives the effect of heaviness. The descriptive portion of the Timaeus retains traces of the first Greek prose composition; for the great master of language was speaking on a theme with which he was imperfectly acquainted, and had no words in which to express his meaning. The rugged grandeur of the opening discourse of Timaeus may be compared with the more harmonious beauty of a similar passage in the Phaedrus.
  

WORDNET



--- Overview of noun lucretius

The noun lucretius has 1 sense (no senses from tagged texts)
                  
1. Lucretius, Titus Lucretius Carus ::: (Roman philosopher and poet; in a long didactic poem he tried to provide a scientific explanation of the universe (96-55 BC))




--- Synonyms/Hypernyms (Ordered by Estimated Frequency) of noun lucretius

1 sense of lucretius                          

Sense 1
Lucretius, Titus Lucretius Carus
   INSTANCE OF=> philosopher
     => scholar, scholarly person, bookman, student
       => intellectual, intellect
         => person, individual, someone, somebody, mortal, soul
           => organism, being
             => living thing, animate thing
               => whole, unit
                 => object, physical object
                   => physical entity
                     => entity
           => causal agent, cause, causal agency
             => physical entity
               => entity
   INSTANCE OF=> poet
     => writer, author
       => communicator
         => person, individual, someone, somebody, mortal, soul
           => organism, being
             => living thing, animate thing
               => whole, unit
                 => object, physical object
                   => physical entity
                     => entity
           => causal agent, cause, causal agency
             => physical entity
               => entity




--- Hyponyms of noun lucretius
                                    




--- Synonyms/Hypernyms (Ordered by Estimated Frequency) of noun lucretius

1 sense of lucretius                          

Sense 1
Lucretius, Titus Lucretius Carus
   INSTANCE OF=> philosopher
   INSTANCE OF=> poet










--- Coordinate Terms (sisters) of noun lucretius

1 sense of lucretius                          

Sense 1
Lucretius, Titus Lucretius Carus
  -> philosopher
   => nativist
   => Cynic
   => eclectic, eclecticist
   => empiricist
   => epistemologist
   => esthetician, aesthetician
   => ethicist, ethician
   => existentialist, existentialist philosopher, existential philosopher
   => gymnosophist
   => libertarian
   => mechanist
   => moralist
   => naturalist
   => necessitarian
   => nominalist
   => pluralist
   => pre-Socratic
   => realist
   => Scholastic
   => Sophist
   => Stoic
   => transcendentalist
   => yogi
   HAS INSTANCE=> Abelard, Peter Abelard, Pierre Abelard
   HAS INSTANCE=> Anaxagoras
   HAS INSTANCE=> Anaximander
   HAS INSTANCE=> Anaximenes
   HAS INSTANCE=> Arendt, Hannah Arendt
   HAS INSTANCE=> Aristotle
   HAS INSTANCE=> Averroes, ibn-Roshd, Abul-Walid Mohammed ibn-Ahmad Ibn-Mohammed ibn-Roshd
   HAS INSTANCE=> Avicenna, ibn-Sina, Abu Ali al-Husain ibn Abdallah ibn Sina
   HAS INSTANCE=> Bacon, Francis Bacon, Sir Francis Bacon, Baron Verulam, 1st Baron Verulam, Viscount St. Albans
   HAS INSTANCE=> Bentham, Jeremy Bentham
   HAS INSTANCE=> Bergson, Henri Bergson, Henri Louis Bergson
   HAS INSTANCE=> Berkeley, Bishop Berkeley, George Berkeley
   HAS INSTANCE=> Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius
   HAS INSTANCE=> Bruno, Giordano Bruno
   HAS INSTANCE=> Buber, Martin Buber
   HAS INSTANCE=> Cassirer, Ernst Cassirer
   HAS INSTANCE=> Cleanthes
   HAS INSTANCE=> Comte, Auguste Comte, Isidore Auguste Marie Francois Comte
   HAS INSTANCE=> Condorcet, Marquis de Condorcet, Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat
   HAS INSTANCE=> Confucius, Kongfuze, K'ung Futzu, Kong the Master
   HAS INSTANCE=> Democritus
   HAS INSTANCE=> Derrida, Jacques Derrida
   HAS INSTANCE=> Descartes, Rene Descartes
   HAS INSTANCE=> Dewey, John Dewey
   HAS INSTANCE=> Diderot, Denis Diderot
   HAS INSTANCE=> Diogenes
   HAS INSTANCE=> Empedocles
   HAS INSTANCE=> Epictetus
   HAS INSTANCE=> Epicurus
   HAS INSTANCE=> Haeckel, Ernst Heinrich Haeckel
   HAS INSTANCE=> Hartley, David Hartley
   HAS INSTANCE=> Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
   HAS INSTANCE=> Heraclitus
   HAS INSTANCE=> Herbart, Johann Friedrich Herbart
   HAS INSTANCE=> Herder, Johann Gottfried von Herder
   HAS INSTANCE=> Hobbes, Thomas Hobbes
   HAS INSTANCE=> Hume, David Hume
   HAS INSTANCE=> Husserl, Edmund Husserl
   HAS INSTANCE=> Hypatia
   HAS INSTANCE=> James, William James
   HAS INSTANCE=> Kant, Immanuel Kant
   HAS INSTANCE=> Kierkegaard, Soren Kierkegaard, Soren Aabye Kierkegaard
   HAS INSTANCE=> Lao-tzu, Lao-tse, Lao-zi
   HAS INSTANCE=> Leibniz, Leibnitz, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz
   HAS INSTANCE=> Locke, John Locke
   HAS INSTANCE=> Lucretius, Titus Lucretius Carus
   HAS INSTANCE=> Lully, Raymond Lully, Ramon Lully
   HAS INSTANCE=> Mach, Ernst Mach
   HAS INSTANCE=> Machiavelli, Niccolo Machiavelli
   HAS INSTANCE=> Maimonides, Moses Maimonides, Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon
   HAS INSTANCE=> Malebranche, Nicolas de Malebranche
   HAS INSTANCE=> Marcuse, Herbert Marcuse
   HAS INSTANCE=> Marx, Karl Marx
   HAS INSTANCE=> Mead, George Herbert Mead
   HAS INSTANCE=> Mill, John Mill, John Stuart Mill
   HAS INSTANCE=> Mill, James Mill
   HAS INSTANCE=> Montesquieu, Baron de la Brede et de Montesquieu, Charles Louis de Secondat
   HAS INSTANCE=> Moore, G. E. Moore, George Edward Moore
   HAS INSTANCE=> Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
   HAS INSTANCE=> Occam, William of Occam, Ockham, William of Ockham
   HAS INSTANCE=> Origen
   HAS INSTANCE=> Ortega y Gasset, Jose Ortega y Gasset
   HAS INSTANCE=> Parmenides
   HAS INSTANCE=> Pascal, Blaise Pascal
   HAS INSTANCE=> Peirce, Charles Peirce, Charles Sanders Peirce
   HAS INSTANCE=> Perry, Ralph Barton Perry
   HAS INSTANCE=> Plato
   HAS INSTANCE=> Plotinus
   => Popper, Karl Popper, Sir Karl Raimund Popper
   HAS INSTANCE=> Pythagoras
   HAS INSTANCE=> Quine, W. V. Quine, Willard Van Orman Quine
   HAS INSTANCE=> Radhakrishnan, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
   HAS INSTANCE=> Reid, Thomas Reid
   HAS INSTANCE=> Rousseau, Jean-Jacques Rousseau
   HAS INSTANCE=> Russell, Bertrand Russell, Bertrand Arthur William Russell, Earl Russell
   HAS INSTANCE=> Schopenhauer, Arthur Schopenhauer
   HAS INSTANCE=> Schweitzer, Albert Schweitzer
   HAS INSTANCE=> Seneca, Lucius Annaeus Seneca
   HAS INSTANCE=> Socrates
   HAS INSTANCE=> Spencer, Herbert Spencer
   HAS INSTANCE=> Spengler, Oswald Spengler
   HAS INSTANCE=> Spinoza, de Spinoza, Baruch de Spinoza, Benedict de Spinoza
   HAS INSTANCE=> Steiner, Rudolf Steiner
   HAS INSTANCE=> Stewart, Dugald Stewart
   HAS INSTANCE=> Tagore, Rabindranath Tagore, Sir Rabindranath Tagore
   HAS INSTANCE=> Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
   HAS INSTANCE=> Thales, Thales of Miletus
   HAS INSTANCE=> Theophrastus
   HAS INSTANCE=> Weil, Simone Weil
   HAS INSTANCE=> Whitehead, Alfred North Whitehead
   HAS INSTANCE=> Williams, Sir Bernard Williams, Bernard Arthur Owen Williams
   HAS INSTANCE=> Wittgenstein, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Ludwig Josef Johan Wittgenstein
   HAS INSTANCE=> Xenophanes
   HAS INSTANCE=> Zeno, Zeno of Citium
   HAS INSTANCE=> Zeno, Zeno of Elea
  -> poet
   => bard
   => elegist
   => odist
   => poetess
   => poet laureate
   => poet laureate
   => sonneteer
   HAS INSTANCE=> Alcaeus
   HAS INSTANCE=> Apollinaire, Guillaume Apollinaire, Wilhelm Apollinaris de Kostrowitzki
   HAS INSTANCE=> Arnold, Matthew Arnold
   HAS INSTANCE=> Arp, Jean Arp, Hans Arp
   HAS INSTANCE=> Auden, W. H. Auden, Wystan Hugh Auden
   HAS INSTANCE=> Baudelaire, Charles Baudelaire, Charles Pierre Baudelaire
   HAS INSTANCE=> Benet, Stephen Vincent Benet
   HAS INSTANCE=> Blake, William Blake
   HAS INSTANCE=> Blok, Alexander Alexandrovich Blok, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok
   HAS INSTANCE=> Boccaccio, Giovanni Boccaccio
   HAS INSTANCE=> Bradstreet, Anne Bradstreet, Anne Dudley Bradstreet
   HAS INSTANCE=> Brecht, Bertolt Brecht
   HAS INSTANCE=> Brooke, Rupert Brooke
   HAS INSTANCE=> Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning
   HAS INSTANCE=> Browning, Robert Browning
   HAS INSTANCE=> Burns, Robert Burns
   HAS INSTANCE=> Butler, Samuel Butler
   HAS INSTANCE=> Byron, Lord George Gordon Byron, Sixth Baron Byron of Rochdale
   HAS INSTANCE=> Calderon, Calderon de la Barca, Pedro Calderon de la Barca
   HAS INSTANCE=> Carducci, Giosue Carducci
   HAS INSTANCE=> Carew, Thomas Carew
   HAS INSTANCE=> Catullus, Gaius Valerius Catullus
   HAS INSTANCE=> Chaucer, Geoffrey Chaucer
   HAS INSTANCE=> Ciardi, John Ciardi, John Anthony Ciardi
   HAS INSTANCE=> Coleridge, Samuel Taylor Coleridge
   HAS INSTANCE=> Corneille, Pierre Corneille
   HAS INSTANCE=> Cowper, William Cowper
   HAS INSTANCE=> Crane, Hart Crane, Harold Hart Crane
   HAS INSTANCE=> Cynewulf, Cynwulf
   HAS INSTANCE=> Dante, Dante Alighieri
   HAS INSTANCE=> de la Mare, Walter de la Mare, Walter John de la Mare
   HAS INSTANCE=> Dickinson, Emily Dickinson
   HAS INSTANCE=> Donne, John Donne
   HAS INSTANCE=> Dryden, John Dryden
   HAS INSTANCE=> Eliot, T. S. Eliot, Thomas Stearns Eliot
   HAS INSTANCE=> Fitzgerald, Edward Fitzgerald
   HAS INSTANCE=> Frost, Robert Frost, Robert Lee Frost
   HAS INSTANCE=> Garcia Lorca, Frederico Garcia Lorca, Lorca
   HAS INSTANCE=> Gilbert, William Gilbert, William S. Gilbert, William Schwenk Gilbert, Sir William Gilbert
   HAS INSTANCE=> Ginsberg, Allen Ginsberg
   HAS INSTANCE=> Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
   HAS INSTANCE=> Gongora, Luis de Gongora y Argote
   HAS INSTANCE=> Gray, Thomas Gray
   HAS INSTANCE=> Herrick, Robert Herrick
   HAS INSTANCE=> Hesiod
   HAS INSTANCE=> Hoffmannsthal, Hugo von Hoffmannsthal
   HAS INSTANCE=> Hogg, James Hogg
   HAS INSTANCE=> Homer
   HAS INSTANCE=> Hopkins, Gerard Manley Hopkins
   HAS INSTANCE=> Horace
   HAS INSTANCE=> Housman, A. E. Housman, Alfred Edward Housman
   HAS INSTANCE=> Hughes, Ted Hughes, Edward James Hughes
   HAS INSTANCE=> Hugo, Victor Hugo, Victor-Marie Hugo
   HAS INSTANCE=> Ibsen, Henrik Ibsen, Henrik Johan Ibsen
   HAS INSTANCE=> Jarrell, Randall Jarrell
   HAS INSTANCE=> Jeffers, Robinson Jeffers, John Robinson Jeffers
   HAS INSTANCE=> Jimenez, Juan Ramon Jimenez
   HAS INSTANCE=> Jonson, Ben Jonson, Benjamin Jonson
   HAS INSTANCE=> Karlfeldt, Erik Axel Karlfeldt
   HAS INSTANCE=> Keats, John Keats
   HAS INSTANCE=> Key, Francis Scott Key
   HAS INSTANCE=> Klopstock, Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock
   HAS INSTANCE=> Lindsay, Vachel Lindsay, Nicholas Vachel Lindsay
   HAS INSTANCE=> Li Po
   HAS INSTANCE=> Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
   HAS INSTANCE=> Lovelace, Richard Lovelace
   HAS INSTANCE=> Lowell, Amy Lowell
   HAS INSTANCE=> Lowell, Robert Lowell, Robert Traill Spence Lowell Jr.
   HAS INSTANCE=> Lucretius, Titus Lucretius Carus
   HAS INSTANCE=> MacLeish, Archibald MacLeish
   HAS INSTANCE=> Mallarme, Stephane Mallarme
   HAS INSTANCE=> Mandelstam, Osip Mandelstam, Osip Emilevich Mandelstam, Mandelshtam
   HAS INSTANCE=> Marini, Giambattista Marini, Marino, Giambattista Marino
   HAS INSTANCE=> Marlowe, Christopher Marlowe
   HAS INSTANCE=> Marti, Jose Julian Marti
   HAS INSTANCE=> Martial
   HAS INSTANCE=> Marvell, Andrew Marvell
   HAS INSTANCE=> Masefield, John Masefield, John Edward Masefield
   HAS INSTANCE=> Masters, Edgar Lee Masters
   HAS INSTANCE=> Mayakovski, Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovski
   HAS INSTANCE=> Meredith, George Meredith
   HAS INSTANCE=> Milton, John Milton
   HAS INSTANCE=> Moore, Marianne Moore, Marianne Craig Moore
   HAS INSTANCE=> Moore, Thomas Moore
   HAS INSTANCE=> Morris, William Morris
   HAS INSTANCE=> Musset, Alfred de Musset, Louis Charles Alfred de Musset
   HAS INSTANCE=> Neruda, Pablo Neruda, Reyes, Neftali Ricardo Reyes
   HAS INSTANCE=> Noyes, Alfred Noyes
   HAS INSTANCE=> Omar Khayyam
   HAS INSTANCE=> Ovid, Publius Ovidius Naso
   HAS INSTANCE=> Palgrave, Francis Turner Palgrave
   HAS INSTANCE=> Petrarch, Petrarca, Francesco Petrarca
   HAS INSTANCE=> Pindar
   HAS INSTANCE=> Plath, Sylvia Plath
   HAS INSTANCE=> Poe, Edgar Allan Poe
   HAS INSTANCE=> Pope, Alexander Pope
   HAS INSTANCE=> Pound, Ezra Pound, Ezra Loomis Pound
   HAS INSTANCE=> Pushkin, Alexander Pushkin, Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin
   HAS INSTANCE=> Racine, Jean Racine, Jean Baptiste Racine
   HAS INSTANCE=> Riley, James Whitcomb Riley
   HAS INSTANCE=> Rilke, Rainer Maria Rilke
   HAS INSTANCE=> Rimbaud, Arthur Rimbaud, Jean Nicholas Arthur Rimbaud
   HAS INSTANCE=> Robinson, Edwin Arlington Robinson
   HAS INSTANCE=> Rostand, Edmond Rostand
   HAS INSTANCE=> Seeger, Alan Seeger
   HAS INSTANCE=> Sexton, Anne Sexton
   HAS INSTANCE=> Shakespeare, William Shakespeare, Shakspere, William Shakspere, Bard of Avon
   HAS INSTANCE=> Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley
   HAS INSTANCE=> Shevchenko, Taras Grigoryevich Shevchenko
   HAS INSTANCE=> Sidney, Sir Philip Sidney
   HAS INSTANCE=> Silverstein, Shel Silverstein, Shelby Silverstein
   HAS INSTANCE=> Sitwell, Dame Edith Sitwell, Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell
   HAS INSTANCE=> Southey, Robert Southey
   HAS INSTANCE=> Spender, Stephen Spender, Sir Stephen Harold Spender
   HAS INSTANCE=> Spenser, Edmund Spenser
   HAS INSTANCE=> Stevens, Wallace Stevens
   HAS INSTANCE=> Suckling, Sir John Suckling
   HAS INSTANCE=> Swinburne, Algernon Charles Swinburne
   HAS INSTANCE=> Symons, Arthur Symons
   HAS INSTANCE=> Synge, J. M. Synge, John Millington Synge, Edmund John Millington Synge
   HAS INSTANCE=> Tasso, Torquato Tasso
   HAS INSTANCE=> Tate, Allen Tate, John Orley Allen Tate
   HAS INSTANCE=> Teasdale, Sara Teasdale
   HAS INSTANCE=> Tennyson, Alfred Tennyson, First Baron Tennyson, Alfred Lord Tennyson
   HAS INSTANCE=> Thespis
   HAS INSTANCE=> Thomas, Dylan Thomas, Dylan Marlais Thomas
   HAS INSTANCE=> Trumbull, John Trumbull
   HAS INSTANCE=> Tzara, Tristan Tzara, Samuel Rosenstock
   HAS INSTANCE=> Uhland, Johann Ludwig Uhland
   HAS INSTANCE=> Verlaine, Paul Verlaine
   HAS INSTANCE=> Villon, Francois Villon
   HAS INSTANCE=> Virgil, Vergil, Publius Vergilius Maro
   HAS INSTANCE=> Voznesenski, Andrei Voznesenski
   HAS INSTANCE=> Warren, Robert Penn Warren
   HAS INSTANCE=> Watts, Isaac Watts
   HAS INSTANCE=> Wheatley, Phillis Wheatley
   HAS INSTANCE=> Whitman, Walt Whitman
   HAS INSTANCE=> Whittier, John Greenleaf Whittier
   HAS INSTANCE=> Williams, William Carlos Williams
   HAS INSTANCE=> Wordsworth, William Wordsworth
   HAS INSTANCE=> Wyatt, Sir Thomas Wyatt, Wyat, Sir Thomas Wyat
   HAS INSTANCE=> Wylie, Elinor Morton Hoyt Wylie
   HAS INSTANCE=> Yeats, William Butler Yeats, W. B. Yeats
   HAS INSTANCE=> Yevtushenko, Yevgeni Yevtushenko, Yevgeni Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko
   HAS INSTANCE=> Young, Edward Young










--- Grep of noun lucretius
lucretius
titus lucretius carus





IN WEBGEN [10000/79]

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