The Poetry of Science


I was seeking to regale you with the delightsome poetry of Erasmus Darwin and I stumbled upon this wonderful site. It contains something close to 100 poems and I include a couple of highlights here.

from The Botanic Garden
Erasmus Darwin

She comes!--the Goddess!--through the whispering air,
Bright as the morn, descends her blushing car;
Each circling wheel a wreath of flowers intwines,
and gemd with flowers the silken harness shines;
The golden bits with flowery studs are deck'd,
And knots of flowers the crimson reisn connect.--
And now on earth the silver axle rings,
And the shell sinks upon its slender springs;
Light from airy feat the Goddess bounds,
And steps celestial press the pansied grounds.

In my years as geologist one of the great prizes in fossil collecting was a trilobite. I did much of my work in areas where these were not uncommon; however, you often found only bits and pieces. I found a single sclerite (body plate) of the Ohio State fossil--Isotelus gigas (for a photograph see this site)that was more than an inch across it's anterior-posterior dimension. Estimating the overall size, the trilobite would have been on the order of three and a half feet long. Hence this excerpt:

Lay of the Trilobite May Kendall

A mountain's giddy height I sought,
Because I could not find
Sufficient vague and mighty thought
To fill my mighty mind;
And as I wandered ill at ease,
There chanced upon my sight
A native of Silurian seas,
An ancient Trilobite.

So calm, so peacefully he lay,
I watched him even with tears:
I thought of Monads far away
In the forgotten years.
How wonderful it seemed and right,
The providential plan,
That he should be a Trilobite,
And I should be a Man!

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 8, 2002 9:17 AM.

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