Here you will find the Long Poem Book V - Part 01 - Proem of poet Lucretius
O who can build with puissant breast a song 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.