Lucretius (lucretius) wrote,

Prescription of Painful Ends

Lucretius felt the change of the world in his time, the great republic riding to the height

Whence every road leads downward; Plato in his time watched Athens

Dance down the path. The future is a misted landscape, no man sees clearly, but at cyclic turns

There is a change felt in the rhythm of events, as when an exhausted horse

Falters and recovers, then the rhythm of the running hoofbeats is changed: he will run miles yet,

But he must fall: we have felt it again in our own life time, slip, shift and speed-up

In the gallop of the world; and now perceive that, come peace or war, the progress of Europe and America

Becomes a long process of deterioration - starred with famous Byzantiums and Alexandrias,

Surely - but downward. One desires at such times

To gather the insights of the age summit against future loss, against the narrowing of mind and the tyrants,

The pedants, the mystagogues, the barbarians: one builds poems for treasuries, time-conscious poems: Lucretius

Sings his great theory of natural origins and of wise conduct; Plato smiling carves dreams, bright cells

Of incorruptible wax to hive the Greek honey.

                                Our own time, much greater and far less fortunate,

Has acids for honey, and for fine dreams

The immense vulgarities of misapplied science and decaying Christianity: therefore one christens each poem in dutiful

Hope of burning off at least the top layer of the time's uncleaness, from the acid-bottles.



By Robinson Jeffers
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