Hello Cruel World
Monday, March 29, 2004
Two Years On
No single thing abides; but all things flow.
Fragment to fragment clings-the things thus grow
Until we know and name them. By degrees
They melt, and are no more the things we know.

Globed from the atoms falling slow or swift
I see the suns, I see the systems lift
Their forms; and even the systems and the suns
Shall go back slowly to the eternal drift.

You too, oh earth - your empires, lands, and seas-
Least with your stars, of all the galaxies,
Globed from the drift like these, like these you too
Shalt go. You are going, hour by hour, like these.

Nothing abides. The seas in delicate haze
Go off; those mooned sands forsake their place;
And where they are, shall other seas in turn
Mow with their scythes of whiteness other bays...

The seeds that once were we take flight and fly,
Winnowed to earth, or whirled along the sky,
Not lost but disunited. Life lives on.
It is the lives, the lives, the lives, that die.

They go beyond recapture and recall,
Lost in the all - indissoluble All:-
Gone like the rainbow from the fountain's foam,
Gone like the spindrift shuddering down the squall.

Flakes of the water, on the waters cease!
Soul of the body, melt and sleep like these.
Atoms to atoms - weariness to rest –
Ashes to ashes - hopes and fears to peace!

Titus Lucretius Carus (89 BC)

Because Chris died at Easter, there are two anniversaries each year. We don't know the exact day - the post mortem was just to determine that there were "no suspicious circumstances", and didn't give us a time, so that, like electrons & atoms, it's 'smeared out'. Perhaps that's one reason why I sometimes tend to get more upset at the Easter anniversary than just "sometime between March 28th and 30th".

On Lucretius
Of the Nature of Things
Titus Lucretius Carus

A metrical translation by William Ellery Leonard


On the Nature of Things
By Lucretius
Translated by William Ellery Leonard

The Internet History Sourcebooks are collections of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts presented cleanly (without advertising or excessive layout) for educational use.

Another copy of the plain-text translation above, provided by The Internet Classics Archive.



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 / . Lives in Australia/New South Wales/Sydney, speaks English. Eye color is hazel. I am what my mother calls unique. My interests are photography, reading, natural history/land use, town planning, sustainability.

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Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, English, photography, reading, natural history, land use, town planning, sustainability.