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The Temple of Nature; or, the Origin of Society

A Poem, with Philosophical Notes

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Author: Erasmus Darwin
Published: 1803
Language: English
Wordcount: 77,130 / 244 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 66.5
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 581
Added to site: 2008.10.10 22312
Genre: Poetry

The Poem, which is here offered to the Public, does not pretend to instruct by deep researches of reasoning; its aim is simply to amuse by bringing distinctly to the imagination the beautiful and sublime images of the operations of Nature in the order, as the Author believes, in which the progressive course of time presented them.

Show Excerpt

os, stalk'd along;
Dread scenes of Death, in nodding sables dress'd,
Froze the broad eye, and thrill'd the unbreathing breast. Then the young Spring, with winged Zephyr, leads
The queen of Beauty to the blossom'd meads;
Charm'd in her train admiring Hymen moves,
And tiptoe Graces hand in hand with Loves.
Next, while on pausing step the masked mimes
Enact the triumphs of forgotten times, 150 Conceal from vulgar throngs the mystic truth,
Or charm with Wisdom's lore the initiate youth;
Each shifting scene, some patriot hero trod,
Some sainted beauty, or some saviour god.

III. Now rose in purple pomp the breezy dawn,
And crimson dew-drops trembled on the lawn;
Blaz'd high in air the temple's golden vanes,
And dancing shadows veer'd upon the plains.--
Long trains of virgins from the sacred grove,
Pair after pair, in bright procession move, 160 With flower-fill'd baskets round the altar throng,
Or swing their censers, as they wind along.



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