Here you will find the Long Poem Of The Nature Of Things: Book I - Part 02 - Substance Is Eternal of poet Lucretius

Of The Nature Of Things: Book I - Part 02 - Substance Is Eternal

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, 
Which, teaching us, hath this exordium: 
Nothing from nothing ever yet was born. 
Fear holds dominion over mortality 
Only because, seeing in land and sky 
So much the cause whereof no wise they know, 
Men think Divinities are working there. 
Meantime, when once we know from nothing still 
Nothing can be create, we shall divine 
More clearly what we seek: those elements 
From which alone all things created are, 
And how accomplished by no tool of Gods. 
Suppose all sprang from all things: any kind 
Might take its origin from any thing, 
No fixed seed required. Men from the sea 
Might rise, and from the land the scaly breed, 
And, fowl full fledged come bursting from the sky; 
The horned cattle, the herds and all the wild 
Would haunt with varying offspring tilth and waste; 
Nor would the same fruits keep their olden trees, 
But each might grow from any stock or limb 
By chance and change. Indeed, and were there not 
For each its procreant atoms, could things have 
Each its unalterable mother old? 
But, since produced from fixed seeds are all, 
Each birth goes forth upon the shores of light 
From its own stuff, from its own primal bodies. 
And all from all cannot become, because 
In each resides a secret power its own. 
Again, why see we lavished o'er the lands 
At spring the rose, at summer heat the corn, 
The vines that mellow when the autumn lures, 
If not because the fixed seeds of things 
At their own season must together stream, 
And new creations only be revealed 
When the due times arrive and pregnant earth 
Safely may give unto the shores of light 
Her tender progenies? But if from naught 
Were their becoming, they would spring abroad 
Suddenly, unforeseen, in alien months, 
With no primordial germs, to be preserved 
From procreant unions at an adverse hour. 
Nor on the mingling of the living seeds 
Would space be needed for the growth of things 
Were life an increment of nothing: then 
The tiny babe forthwith would walk a man, 
And from the turf would leap a branching tree- 
Wonders unheard of; for, by Nature, each 
Slowly increases from its lawful seed, 
And through that increase shall conserve its kind. 
Whence take the proof that things enlarge and feed 
From out their proper matter. Thus it comes 
That earth, without her seasons of fixed rains, 
Could bear no produce such as makes us glad, 
And whatsoever lives, if shut from food, 
Prolongs its kind and guards its life no more. 
Thus easier 'tis to hold that many things 
Have primal bodies in common (as we see 
The single letters common to many words) 
Than aught exists without its origins. 
Moreover, why should Nature not prepare 
Men of a bulk to ford the seas afoot, 
Or rend the mighty mountains with their hands, 
Or conquer Time with length of days, if not 
Because for all begotten things abides 
The changeless stuff, and what from that may spring 
Is fixed forevermore? Lastly we see 
How far the tilled surpass the fields untilled 
And to the labour of our hands return 
Their more abounding crops; there are indeed 
Within the earth primordial germs of things, 
Which, as the ploughshare turns the fruitful clods 
And kneads the mould, we quicken into birth. 
Else would ye mark, without all toil of ours, 
Spontaneous generations, fairer forms. 
Confess then, naught from nothing can become, 
Since all must have their seeds, wherefrom to grow, 
Wherefrom to reach the gentle fields of air. 
Hence too it comes that Nature all dissolves 
Into their primal bodies again, and naught 
Perishes ever to annihilation. 
For, were aught mortal in its every part, 
Before our eyes it might be snatched away 
Unto destruction; since no force were needed 
To sunder its members and undo its bands. 
Whereas, of truth, because all things exist, 
With seed imperishable, Nature allows 
Destruction nor collapse of aught, until 
Some outward force may shatter by a blow, 
Or inward craft, entering its hollow cells, 
Dissolve it down. And more than this, if Time, 
That wastes with eld the works along the world, 
Destroy entire, consuming matter all, 
Whence then may Venus back to light of life 
Restore the generations kind by kind? 
Or how, when thus restored, may daedal Earth 
Foster and plenish with her ancient food, 
Which, kind by kind, she offers unto each? 
Whence may the water-springs, beneath the sea, 
Or inland rivers, far and wide away, 
Keep the unfathomable ocean full? 
And out of what does Ether feed the stars? 
For lapsed years and infinite age must else 
Have eat al