Enabling JavaScript in your browser will allow you to experience all the features of our site. . The winds, 'Tis clear, are sightless bodies sweeping through The sea, the lands, the clouds along the sky, Vexing and whirling and seizing all amain; And forth they flow and pile destruction round, Even as the water's soft and supple bulk Becoming a river of abounding floods, Which a wide downpour from the lofty hills Swells with big showers, dashes headlong down Fragments of woodland and whole branching trees; Nor can the solid bridges bide the shock As on the waters whelm: the turbulent stream, Strong with a hundred rains, beats round the piers, Crashes with havoc, and rolls beneath its waves Down-toppled masonry and ponderous stone, Hurling away whatever would oppose. 99-ca. in English The Introduction . Word Count: 460. This ultimate stock we have devised to name Procreant atoms, matter, seeds of things, Or primal bodies, as primal to the world. We should expect from the beginning then that we are in the hands of a wise and learned guide as soon as we open his Lucretius, and this expectation is certainly borne out by the quality of this sensitive and thoughtful edition. Wherefore Religion now is under foot, And us his victory now exalts to heaven. . But we don’t need to attribute these things to the gods – they happen by themselves, In fact, there’s just too much wrong with the world to say that these perfect gods are ordering things to be as they are, Fire is a reaction that seems spontaneous but it needs to feed off of wood – its flames start small & grow, Grass & trees grow from seeds of their own kind, Atoms, when moving, don’t move in a completely straight way – they swerve a little, If they didn’t, they’d all fall completely down, The collision of atoms comes from this swerving of atoms, Heavier objects collide into smaller ones that give way in the void, The atoms must swerve a little, but no more than that, This swerve is related to our free will on earth – allowing us to go where we choose by swerving a little from what seems to be a pre-planned path by the swerving of all the atoms of the body together, Our bodies can be dragged against their will just like the atoms can, No matter is crammed in or spread thin. 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, too, the selfsame power might end alike All things, were they not still together held By matter eternal, shackled through its parts, Now more, now less. Men from the sea Might rise, and from the land the scaly breed, And, fowl full fledged come bursting from the sky; The hornèd 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. FreeBookSummary.com . And since 'tis thou alone Guidest the Cosmos, and without thee naught Is risen to reach the shining shores of light, Nor aught of joyful or of lovely born, Thee do I crave co-partner in that verse Which I presume on Nature to compose For Memmius mine, whom thou hast willed to be Peerless in every grace at every hour— Wherefore indeed, Divine one, give my words Immortal charm. For lapsèd years and infinite age must else Have eat all shapes of mortal stock away: But be it the Long Ago contained those germs, By which this sum of things recruited lives, Those same infallibly can never die, Nor nothing to nothing evermore return. Another case: A ring upon the finger thins away Along the under side, with years and suns; The drippings from the eaves will scoop the stone; The hookèd ploughshare, though of iron, wastes Amid the fields insidiously. The poem, written in dactylic hexameter, is divided into six books, and concentrates heavily on Epicurean physics. Thus on they rave With uproar shrill and ominous moan. Meticulous, judicious and reader-friendly in equal measure, it embodies the fruits of a lifetime's study of Lucretius' poetic masterpiece. Lucretius also tells us in this prayer that he is writing this work for his friend, Memmius. You can view Barnes & Noble’s Privacy Policy. Commentary: Many comments have been posted about On the Nature of Things. Gets the nature of most things dead wrong, but still of historical significance. Interested in On the Nature of Things by Lucretius? --Gordon Campbell, Hermathena, The translation is accurate, clear, readable, and vigorous. However, his 1969 translation of De Rerum Natura--long out of print--is virtually unknown. And thus his will and hardy wisdom won; And forward thus he fared afar, beyond The flaming ramparts of the world, until He wandered the unmeasurable All. Hardcover. Public Domain (P)2007 Audio Connoisseur. Whence he to us, a conqueror, reports What things can rise to being, what cannot, And by what law to each its scope prescribed, Its boundary stone that clings so deep in Time. Pour from those lips soft syllables to win Peace for the Romans, glorious Lady, peace! The background on what is known of Lucretius' life, contemporary events, and Epicureanism is all very helpful. Properties of the atoms: atoms are constantly in motion, and tend to move downwards. Helpful. 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 fixèd 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? Lull to a timely rest O'er sea and land the savage works of war, For thou alone hast power with public peace To aid mortality; since he who rules The savage works of battle, puissant Mars, How often to thy bosom flings his strength O'ermastered by the eternal wound of love— And there, with eyes and full throat backward thrown, Gazing, my Goddess, open-mouthed at thee, Pastures on love his greedy sight, his breath Hanging upon thy lips. No matter is born or dies, No force can change the universe or alter the nature of things, Although things are in initial motion, all things are at peace, except motions of each body, When stepping back, you can see how in spite of all the collisions & violent movements, all matter & void is in harmony, Atoms take different shapes for all the different types there are, They can’t all be the same size or shape, & tend to be as variable as animals, all unique enough to be recognized individually by their mothers, who’ll never be satisfied as long as their young are missing, Even plants & grains have a least some minor variation but still within the same kind, Light atoms are smaller & faster than water atoms, Oil is thinker & slower than wine or water, There’s variation in taste – milk & honey are sweet & pleasant while other things can be harsh & bitter, The different forms have different textures: smooth, sharp, causing physical revulsion, they can make our eyes water, they can be grating, chaffing, pleasant or rough feeling, Tightly packed & interlocked atoms are hard & firm, some have a liquid form or are sharp & prickly, while others are sticky or salty, There is a limited amount of variations of atomic shapes, While there are many, seemingly there are few compared to how many there are in the universe, They can combine to make mixtures of different qualities, Nature has ways of allowing things/atoms to grow & combine but it also has ways of destroying them, forcing nature to have to start all over again, drawing from the endless source of atoms, These lethal collisions don’t go on forever killing off all life, Life prevails or has to seek refuge from disaster, This is nature destroying in order to rebuild later, The earth is considered the Mother of gods, beasts & humans, Those who “sully” Mother Earth’s laws are unworthy of bearing children who live, Those abide in her & honor her will reap the rewards of doing so…, Those who reject this way of thinking will remove all the sorrow & danger promised by the “gods”, If we insist on calling the sea, “Neptune”, that’s fine as long as the name is the only aspect of religion we keep. 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