Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DE RERUM NATURA: BOOK 1, SELECTION, by TITUS LUCRETIUS CARUS

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DE RERUM NATURA: BOOK 1, SELECTION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Mother of mighty rome's imperial line
Last Line: To rescue rome, and vindicate her name.
Alternate Author Name(s): Lucretius

MOTHER of mighty Rome's imperial line,
Delight of man and of the powers divine,
Venus, all bounteous queen! whose genial power
Diffuses beauty in unbounded store
Through seas, and fertile plains, and all that lies
Beneath the starr'd expansion of the skies.
Prepared by thee, the embryo springs to-day,
And opes its eyelids on the golden ray.
At thy approach, the clouds tumultuous fly,
And the hush'd storms in gentle breezes die;
Flowers instantaneous spring; the billows sleep;
A wavy radiance smiles along the deep;
At thy approach, th' untroubled sky refines,
And all serene Heaven's lofty concave shines.
Soon as her blooming form the Spring reveals,
And Zephyr breathes his warm prolific gales,
The feather'd tribes first catch the genial flame,
And to the groves thy glad return proclaim.
Thence to the beasts the soft infection spreads;
The raging cattle spurn the grassy meads,
Burst o'er the plains, and frantic in their course
Cleave the wild torrents with resistless force.
Won by thy charms, thy dictates all obey,
And eager follow where thou lead'st the way.
Whatever haunts the mountains, or the main,
The rapid river, or the verdant plain,
Or forms its leafy mansion in the shades,
All, all thy universal power pervades,
Each panting bosom melts to soft desires,
And with the love of propagation fires.
And since thy sovereign influence guides the reins
Of nature, and the universe sustains;
Since nought without thee bursts the bonds of night,
To hail the happy realms of heavenly light;
Since love and joy and harmony are thine,
Guide me, O Goddess, by thy power divine,
And to my rising lays thy succour bring,
While I the Universe attempt to sing.
O, may my verse deserved applause obtain
Of him, for whom I try the daring strain,
My Memmius; him whom thou profusely kind
Adorn'st with every excellence refined.
And that immortal charms my song may grace,
Let war, with all its cruel labours, cease;
O, hush the dismal din of arms once more,
And calm the jarring world from shore to shore.
By thee alone the race of man foregoes
The rage of blood, and sinks in soft repose:
For mighty Mars, the dreadful god of arms,
Who wakes or stills the battle's dire alarms,
In love's strong fetters by thy charms is bound,
And languishes with an eternal wound.
Oft from his bloody toil the god retires
To quench in thy embrace his fierce desires.
Soft on thy heaving bosom he reclines,
And round thy yielding neck transported twines;
There fix'd in ecstasy intense surveys
Thy kindling beauties with insatiate gaze,
Grows to thy balmy mouth, and ardent sips
Celestial sweets from thy ambrosial lips.
O, while the god with fiercest raptures bless'd
Lies all dissolving on thy sacred breast,
O, breathe thy melting whispers to his ear,
And bid him still the loud alarms of war.
In these tumultuous days, the Muse, in vain,
Her steady tenor lost, pursues the strain,
And Memmius' generous soul disdains to taste
The calm delights of philosophic rest;
Paternal fires his beating breast inflame,
To rescue Rome, and vindicate her name.

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