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

Book VI - Part 01 - Proem

'Twas Athens first, the glorious in name, 
That whilom gave to hapless sons of men 
The sheaves of harvest, and re-ordered life, 
And decreed laws; and she the first that gave 
Life its sweet solaces, when she begat 
A man of heart so wise, who whilom poured 
All wisdom forth from his truth-speaking mouth; 
The glory of whom, though dead, is yet to-day, 
Because of those discoveries divine 
Renowned of old, exalted to the sky. 
For when saw he that well-nigh everything 
Which needs of man most urgently require 
Was ready to hand for mortals, and that life, 
As far as might be, was established safe, 
That men were lords in riches, honour, praise, 
And eminent in goodly fame of sons, 
And that they yet, O yet, within the home, 
Still had the anxious heart which vexed life 
Unpausingly with torments of the mind, 
And raved perforce with angry plaints, then he, 
Then he, the master, did perceive that 'twas 
The vessel itself which worked the bane, and all, 
However wholesome, which from here or there 
Was gathered into it, was by that bane 
Spoilt from within- in part, because he saw 
The vessel so cracked and leaky that nowise 
'Tcould ever be filled to brim; in part because 
He marked how it polluted with foul taste 
Whate'er it got within itself. So he, 
The master, then by his truth-speaking words, 
Purged the breasts of men, and set the bounds 
Of lust and terror, and exhibited 
The supreme good whither we all endeavour, 
And showed the path whereby we might arrive 
Thereunto by a little cross-cut straight, 
And what of ills in all affairs of mortals 
Upsprang and flitted deviously about 
(Whether by chance or force), since Nature thus 
Had destined; and from out what gates a man 
Should sally to each combat. And he proved 
That mostly vainly doth the human race 
Roll in its bosom the grim waves of care. 
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. 
Wherefore the more will I go on to weave 
In verses this my undertaken task. 

And since I've taught thee that the world's great vaults 
Are mortal and that sky is fashioned 
Of frame e'en born in time, and whatsoe'er 
Therein go on and must perforce go on 

The most I have unravelled; what remains 
Do thou take in, besides; since once for all 
To climb into that chariot' renowned 

Of winds arise; and they appeased are 
So that all things again... 

Which were, are changed now, with fury stilled; 
All other movements through the earth and sky 
Which mortals gaze upon (O anxious oft 
In quaking thoughts!), and which abase their minds 
With dread of deities and press them crushed 
Down to the earth, because their ignorance 
Of cosmic causes forces them to yield 
All things unto the empery of gods 
And to concede the kingly rule to them. 
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. 
Wherefore the more are they borne wandering on 
By blindfold reason. And, Memmius, unless 
From out thy mind thou spewest all of this 
And casteth far from thee all thoughts which be 
Unworthy gods and alien to their peace, 
Then often will the holy majesties 
Of the high gods be harmful unto thee, 
As by thy thought degraded,- not, indeed, 
That essence supreme of gods could be by this 
So outraged as in wrath to thirst to seek 
Revenges keen; but even because thyself 
Thou plaguest with the notion that the gods, 
Even they, the Calm Ones in serene repose, 
Do roll the mighty waves of wrath on wrath; 
Nor wilt thou enter with a serene breast 
Shrines of the gods; nor wilt thou able be 
In tranquil peace of mind to take and know 
Those images which from their holy bodies 
Are carried into intellects of men, 
As the announcers of their form divine. 
What sort of life will follow after this 
'Tis thine to see. But that afar from us 
Veriest reason may drive such life away, 
Much yet remains to be embellished yet 
In polished verses, albeit hath issued forth 
So much from me alrea