Here you will find the Long Poem Book II - Part 01 - Proem of poet Lucretius

Book II - Part 01 - Proem

'Tis sweet, when, down the mighty main, the winds 
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.