In honor of Charles Darwin's birthday today, I'm sharing an excerpt from a book written by his grandfather.
From The Temple of Nature; or, the Origin of Society: A Poem, with Philosophical Notes (1803)
written by Erasmus Darwin
"Ere Time began, from flaming Chaos hurl'd
Rose the bright spheres, which form the circling world;
Earths from each sun with quick explosions burst,
And second planets issued from the first.
Then, whilst the sea at their coeval birth,
Surge over surge, involv'd the shoreless earth;
Nurs'd by warm sun-beams in primeval caves
Organic Life began beneath the waves.
"First Heat from chemic dissolution springs,
And gives to matter its eccentric wings;
With strong Repulsion parts the exploding mass,
Melts into lymph, or kindles into gas.
Attraction next, as earth or air subsides,
The ponderous atoms from the light divides,
Approaching parts with quick embrace combines,
Swells into spheres, and lengthens into lines.
Last, as fine goads the gluten-threads excite,
Cords grapple cords, and webs with webs unite;
And quick Contraction with ethereal flame
Lights into life the fibre-woven frame.—
Hence without parent by spontaneous birth
Rise the first specks of animated earth;
From Nature's womb the plant or insect swims,
And buds or breathes, with microscopic limbs.
Some may call this work didactic, but I think it's a fine early effort at using poetry to make science accessible to the average citizen.
I do hope you'll take some time today to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected by Kimberley Moran at Written Reflections. Happy poetry Friday friends!