Here you will find the Long Poem Book II - Part 02 - Atomic Motions of poet Lucretius

Book II - Part 02 - Atomic Motions

Now come: I will untangle for thy steps 
Now by what motions the begetting bodies 
Of the world-stuff beget the varied world, 
And then forever resolve it when begot, 
And by what force they are constrained to this, 
And what the speed appointed unto them 
Wherewith to travel down the vast inane: 
Do thou remember to yield thee to my words. 
For truly matter coheres not, crowds not tight, 
Since we behold each thing to wane away, 
And we observe how all flows on and off, 
As 'twere, with age-old time, and from our eyes 
How eld withdraws each object at the end, 
Albeit the sum is seen to bide the same, 
Unharmed, because these motes that leave each thing 
Diminish what they part from, but endow 
With increase those to which in turn they come, 
Constraining these to wither in old age, 
And those to flower at the prime (and yet 
Biding not long among them). Thus the sum 
Forever is replenished, and we live 
As mortals by eternal give and take. 
The nations wax, the nations wane away; 
In a brief space the generations pass, 
And like to runners hand the lamp of life 
One unto other. 
But if thou believe 
That the primordial germs of things can stop, 
And in their stopping give new motions birth, 
Afar thou wanderest from the road of truth. 
For since they wander through the void inane, 
All the primordial germs of things must needs 
Be borne along, either by weight their own, 
Or haply by another's blow without. 
For, when, in their incessancy so oft 
They meet and clash, it comes to pass amain 
They leap asunder, face to face: not strange- 
Being most hard, and solid in their weights, 
And naught opposing motion, from behind. 
And that more clearly thou perceive how all 
These mites of matter are darted round about, 
Recall to mind how nowhere in the sum 
Of All exists a bottom,- nowhere is 
A realm of rest for primal bodies; since 
(As amply shown and proved by reason sure) 
Space has no bound nor measure, and extends 
Unmetered forth in all directions round. 
Since this stands certain, thus 'tis out of doubt 
No rest is rendered to the primal bodies 
Along the unfathomable inane; but rather, 
Inveterately plied by motions mixed, 
Some, at their jamming, bound aback and leave 
Huge gaps between, and some from off the blow 
Are hurried about with spaces small between. 
And all which, brought together with slight gaps, 
In more condensed union bound aback, 
Linked by their own all intertangled shapes,- 
These form the irrefragable roots of rocks 
And the brute bulks of iron, and what else 
Is of their kind... 
The rest leap far asunder, far recoil, 
Leaving huge gaps between: and these supply 
For us thin air and splendour-lights of the sun. 
And many besides wander the mighty void- 
Cast back from unions of existing things, 
Nowhere accepted in the universe, 
And nowise linked in motions to the rest. 
And of this fact (as I record it here) 
An image, a type goes on before our eyes 
Present each moment; for behold whenever 
The sun's light and the rays, let in, pour down 
Across dark halls of houses: thou wilt see 
The many mites in many a manner mixed 
Amid a void in the very light of the rays, 
And battling on, as in eternal strife, 
And in battalions contending without halt, 
In meetings, partings, harried up and down. 
From this thou mayest conjecture of what sort 
The ceaseless tossing of primordial seeds 
Amid the mightier void- at least so far 
As small affair can for a vaster serve, 
And by example put thee on the spoor 
Of knowledge. For this reason too 'tis fit 
Thou turn thy mind the more unto these bodies 
Which here are witnessed tumbling in the light: 
Namely, because such tumblings are a sign 
That motions also of the primal stuff 
Secret and viewless lurk beneath, behind. 
For thou wilt mark here many a speck, impelled 
By viewless blows, to change its little course, 
And beaten backwards to return again, 
Hither and thither in all directions round. 
Lo, all their shifting movement is of old, 
From the primeval atoms; for the same 
Primordial seeds of things first move of self, 
And then those bodies built of unions small 
And nearest, as it were, unto the powers 
Of the primeval atoms, are stirred up 
By impulse of those atoms' unseen blows, 
And these thereafter goad the next in size; 
Thus motion ascends from the primevals on, 
And stage by stage emerges to our sense, 
Until those objects also move which we 
Can mark in sunbeams, though it not appears 
What blows do urge them. 
Herein wonder not 
How 'tis that, while the seeds of things are all 
Moving forever, the sum yet seems to stand 
Supremely still, except in cases where 
A thing shows motion of its frame as whole