Here you will find the Long Poem Book V - Part 05 - Origins Of Vegetable And Animal Life of poet Lucretius

Book V - Part 05 - Origins Of Vegetable And Animal Life

And now to what remains!- Since I've resolved 
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 ba