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Therefore the former soul must needs be dead;
But when the body's made, when we begin
But now suppose the mind was fram'd before, And then infus'd: Grant this, I'll afle no more: This proves "ti» mortal too: for while the foul • Insinuates her sobstance o'er the whole, Its par's niust be dissolv d; the nat'ral tie Of union loos'd , . Therefore the soul cm die. 670 As meats, diffus'd through all the members Use Their former nature, diff'rent things compose: So mind-, though safe and whole they fit ft begin To enter, are dissh'd in em'ring in, . - Because thole subtle parts, this soul contains, Mud be uissus'd through all the nerves and veins: And that which enter'd, rules the body now, } Is the fame soul, that dy'd in passing through ;V And therefore souls are born, and perish too. 3
Besides; from carcases, some parts alone,
But grant you can believe, a proper foul
Of matter; hunger, cold, no sharp disease, *j
Besides; why lions fury ? Why the deer From their cold tires derive their nat'ral sear ? "If Why foxes ctaft r Why proper pow'rs aduni Each diff'rent kind, unless the souls are born? For were the souls immortal, could the mind ") Fly off, and leave his former cafe behind, J. And take another of a diff'rent kind? J What change in an'mals manners must appear? • The tyger-dog would Hy pursuing deer; The hawk forget his rage, and learn to f Trembling at ev'ry littie dove that flics; 7j.> Men woul-1 be soolifh all; and beasts be wise. For *tis absurd, that this immortal mind ") Should change according to the diss'tent kind ( Of body, unto which the soul's consin'd. ) For things thus changeable, the nat'ral tie i Of union broke, the Icatter'd parts can fly \. Dispers'd, diforder'd, and themselves can die, J but if they fay, that souls, expell'd by fate, To other bodies of like kind retreat; Then tel! me why: Why does the wisest foul, When creep'd into a child, become a fool? '-t Why cannot new born colts perform the couric With equal straining as a full grown horse? But that the souls are born, increase, and grow, And rife mature, as all their bodies do. Perchance they'll fay; weak minds, and teed:: sense
Belong to tender bodies: Poor defence! This yields the cause: this grants that minds are frail,
Whose former life and pow'rs can change and fall.
Besides; come tell me, why a soul should grow, And rife ma'ure, as all the members do? If 'twerc not Sum? When feeble age comes 00, Why is't in haste, and tager to b? gone? What does it fear, it makes such haste away," To be imprison'd in the stinking clay! What ? does it fear the aged heap's decay? Or that 'twill fall, and crusti the mind beneath? Fond sear! immortal beings arc exempt from death. .
'Tis fond to think, that whilst wild beasts beget, Or bear their young, a thousand souls do wait, Expect the falling body, fight and strive, 7J° Which first shall inter in, and make it live. Or is t agreed, do previous leagues declare, "\ That 'tis her lawful right, who first comes/
there, f To enter in; and so no need of war? J Besides; no trees in hcav'n, no stars below, T The hills no fish, the stones no moisture know; > Fach has its proper place to live and grow. J So neither souls can live without the blood, And nerves, and veins, and bones: for grai.t they
could, -,5'J Then through one single part, as arm, or head, 'i would first be fram'd; and thence o'er uYothtt'
As water, into vessels pour'd, does fall
Therefore the fool, spread o'er the limbs, mutt
And die with them, as years and death prevail.
For that immortal beings should lie confin'd 770 To mortal, and their diff'rent pow'rsbe juin'd, And id on one another, is absurd; [ford, Plain nonsense! What more fond can dreams afThan mortal with immortal joiu'd in one, Should feel those harms, twas free from when alone?
Besides, what is immortal, mutt be so
Ar>d such arc seeds, as I explain'd before:
Then what has bugbear death to frighten man, Since foul can die as well as. bodies can? 810 for as we neither know, nor'felt those harms, 1 Wheu dreadful Carthage frighted Rome with /
arms, t And all the world was (hook with fierce alarms; J Whilst undecided yet, which part should fall, which nation rife the glorious lord of all: So after death, when we lhall be no more, What though the seas forsake their usual shore, And rise 10 heav'a .' What though stars drop from
Kow can all this disturb our perilh'd sense?
But now, suppose the soul when separate, 820 Can live, and think in a divided state; Vet what is that to us, who are the whole, A frame compos'd of body, join'd with foul? »•» grant the scatter'd ashes of our urn Be join'd again, and life and fense return; Vet hriw can that a ncern us when 'tis done; Sjceall the mem'ry of pall life is gone?
Now we ne'er joy, nor grieve to think that we! Were heretofore, nor what those things shall be,( Which, fram'd from us, the foil'wing age shall f
fee. 830J When we revolve how num'rous years have run, How oft the east beheld the rising fun, Ere we began, and how the atoms move, How the unthinking feeds for ever strove; 'l ib probable, and reason's laws allow, These feeds of ours were once combin'd as now: Vet now'who minds, who knows his former state, The interim of death, the hand of fate, Or stnpp'd the feeds, or made them all commence Such motions, as destroy'd the former sense i 840
He that is miserable, must perceive Whilst he is so: he then must be and live: But now, since death permits to feel no more t hose cares, those troubles which we felt before: It follows too, that when we die again, We need not fear; for he mutt live who lives in
But now the dead, though they should all return } To life again, would grieve no more,nor mourn > For evils past, than if they'd ne'er been born. _) Now when you hear a man complain, and
moan, 83 •
And mourn his fate, because, when life is gone,
Ay, but he now is lisatch'd from all his joys; No more shall his chaste wife, or prattling boys Run to their dad with eager haste, and strive Which first shall have a kiss, as when alive. 87* Ay, but he now no more from wars shall come, Bring peace and safety to his friends at home. Wretched, O wretched man! oi:e fatal day Has lnatch'd the vast delights of life away: Thus they bewail, but go no tarcr.er 00; Nor add, that his desires and wants are gone; Which if they thought, how soon would all give o'er
Their empty, causeless fears, and weep no more J
*Tis true, thou fleep'st in death, and there (halt lie.
Why dost thou vex thyself, and beat thy breast,
So when the jolly blades, with garlands crown'd, Sit down to drink, while frequent healths go round,
Some, looking grave, this observation make:
Yet then the mind is well, 'tis whole, it lives, ~)
Then death, if there can be a less than least,
But now, if nature should begin to speak,
more, 93°' Why still desire t' increase thy wretched store, ( And w ish for what must waste like those before f J Net rather free thyself from pains and fear, Aud end thy life, and nccissary care? My.pleasures always in a circle run, The fame returning with the yearly fun. And thus, though thou dost still enjoy thy prime; And though thy limbs feel not the rage of time , Yet I can find no new, no fresh delight, The same dull joys must vex the appetite, 940 Although thou could st prolong thy wretched
breath [death. Tor num'rous years, much more if free from What could we answer, wha excuses trust? We must confess that her reproofs arc just.
But if a wretch a man oppresa'd by fate, Mourns coming death, and begs a longer date,
Him she more fiercely chides: Forbear,triy figls, Thou wretch, cease thy complains, and dry thy
If old, thou hast enjoy'd the mighty store
But nothing sinks to hell, and sulph'rous flames
No wretched Tantalus, as stories tell,
No Tityus there i-- by the eagle torn; No new supplies of liver still are born: For grant him big enough, that all the nine, Those poets acres, his vast limbs confine To narrow bounds; but let him spread o'er all, And let his arms clasp round the wat'ry ball; Yet how could he endure eternal pain? 99» And now his eaten liver grow again? But he's the Tityus here, that lies opprefs'd "J With vexing love, or whom fierce, cares molest: > These are the eagles that stiil tear his breast. J
He's Sisyphus, that strives with mighty pain Po get some offire>, but strives in vain; Who poorly, meanly, begs the people's voice, But still reiusM, ami ne'er enjoys the choice: For dill to seek, aud still in hopes devour, And never to enjoy the long'd-for pow'r, loco What is it hut to roll a weighty stone Against the hill, which straight will tumble dowi! Almost at top. ic must return again, And with Iwiit force roll thiuugh the humble plain.
Lastly, since nature feeds with gay delight, ■ And never fills the greedy appetite, Since ev'ry year, with the returning springs, She Dcw delights, and joyi, and pleasures bring;:
Aid jet our minds, amidst this mighty store,
The furies, Cerberus, black hell, and flames,
But more to comfort thee
Consider, even he, that mighty he,
Scipio, that scourge of Carthage, now the grave Keeps pris'ner, like the meanest common stave.
Nay, greatest wits, and poets too, that give Eternity to others, cease to live. 1039 Homer, their prince, that darling of the nine I (Wh?t Troy would at a second fall repine To be thus fung)' is nothing now but fame; A lading, far dissut'd, but empty name. 1
Democritus as feeble age came on, Aud told him ir was time he should be gone; for then his mind's brisk pow'rs grew weak, he cry'd,
I will obey thy summons, fare, and dy'd.
Nay, Epicurus' race of life is run; } That man of wit, who other men outshone, > Aifar as meaner star" the mid-day fun. 1050 )
Then how dar'st thou repine ro die, and grieve, Thou meaner foul, thou dead, ev'n whilst alive? That sieep'st, and drcam'ft the most of life away; Thy night is full as rational as thy day? Still vex'd with cares, who never understood The principles of ill, nor use of good;
Nor whence thy care, proceed: but reel'st about In vain unsettled thoughts, condemn'd to doubt. Did men perceive what 'tis disturbs their rest, "J Whence rile their fears, and that their thought- f
ful breast 1 06 s
Is by the mind's own nat'ral weight oppress'd. J
They grow uneasy with their usual care;
Our life must once have end: in vain we fly
What though a thousand years prolong thy breath,
How can this shorten the long slate of death?
NOTES ON BOOK III.
Ver. 1. Ik the first thirty-two verses of this book, Lucretius addresses himself to Epicurus of Athens, and calls him the father of the Epicurean philosophy. Democritus, indeed, was the first who set it on foot; but Epicurus so improved aid perfected it, that the poet, with good reason, styles him the parent and inventor of it. He praises him for the happiness of his wit, and
acknowledges the benefits he has conferred on mankind, ip having explained the Nature of Things, overthrown all belief of Providence, and expelled the fears and terrors that arose from that opinion. Then he asserts almost the fame thing, that L. Torquatus does, in Cicero, lib. i. de Finib. "Ego arbitror Epicurum unutn vidisse verum, maximisejue erroribus hominum animos liberasse, et omnia tradidisse, quz pertinent ad bene beateque vivendum." I am of opinion, that Epicurus only discovered the truth, that he delivered the minds of men from the greatest errors, and taught all things that conduce to a good and happy life.
Ver. 3. He means Epicurus. See the note on ver. 88 Book i.
Ver. 5. The words in the original are,
Quid enim contendat hirundo
And how our translator came to change the swallow to larks, I cannot well tell; nor why, in this place, he gives to the swan the epithet of vigorous: Lucretius certainly alludes to the sing, ing of the swan, not to his strength: Besides, the Ink is a tuneful bird, and perhaps sings sweeter than the swan ; for swans and geese, I believe, are alike melodious; though the first of them have had the good fortune to be celebrated by all the ancient poets for the sweetness of their voice: And even Macrobiu*, on the dream of Scipio, lib. ii. cap. 3. fays, " Aves quoque, ut lufciniæ, ut cygni aharque id genus, cantum veluti quadam discipline artis exercent." See the note on ver. 479 of Book ii. But swallows, on the contrary, are blamed for their harsh chattering. Thus Anacreon, Ode xii.
T*Vd/ £h>.«5 U6t¥IT0tl i
Ti %UTlM %f\tiar;
Foolish prater, what dost thou
With thy tuneless serenade i Co-wlty.
Yet from the sabulous, though universally received traditions of the sweet singing of swans before their death, the poets have assumed to themselves the title of swans. And Horace would even be thought to be changed into a swan:
Jam jam residunt cruribus afperas
Superne, nafeunturque leves
Fcr digitos humerofquc plumz.
Lib. ii. OJ. Jo.
And the Anthology gives the fame name to Pindar:
Tuneful Pindar, the Heliconian swan of ancient Thebes: Thus too Virgil is called " Mantuanus Olor.'^the Swan of Mantua: And Theocritus terms the poets Mar.'* SjmAf, the birds of the muses, as the commentators fay, in allusion to swans, which Callimachus calls tmtm' and
in another place, 'at^ /^w; waoti tsi, the associates of Apollo, which is indeed a bold expression; but they were consecrated to him, and consequently beloved by the muses and poets. Moreover, Oicero, in Tuscul. i. says, that the swallow being an importunate, chattering bird, represents the ignorant; but the swan, who never sings till he feels his death approaching, seems by that to
foresee that there is some good in death, and therefore it is an emblem of the.learned • Whence j the Greek adage, ToJ amrtu r.tvi ,, er«» j eiwTMttrr The swans will sing, when the jays hold their peace, is said of those silly tattlers, who ought to be silent in presence os the learned.
Ver. II. An excellent comparison! Lucreu'ui avouches, that, like the industrious bee, he gathers honey from the most fragrant flowers, while be collects and follows the wife doctiine and Iutoiii of Epicurus.
Ver. 13. Fabcr believes he alludes in this place to the >:*!.'« "Eva, golden verses of Pythagoras.
Ver. 17. For what reason is there that men should fear the gods, whom they now know not to have been the authors of this world, nor U> take any notice or care of the affairs of it.'
Ver. 19. " Apparet divum nomen," fays Lucretius, looking through the gaping walls o[ the world, I plainly fee the gods, no less than I do ail things else; but " nusquam apparent Ack,:... templa,"
No hell, no sulph'rous lakes, Do pools appear.
Therefore there are none, and they are only idle dreams, and empty 6ctinni. The words of the original axe,
——Sedcsque quietæ, Qua* neque coneutiunt venti, neque nubila tmU Adspergunt, neque nix acri concreta pruina Cana cadens violai semperque innubilus .-ether Integit, et large dissuso lumine ridet.
Which Lucretius translated from this passage ot Homer:
"EftjieiMu" iV Kh«m« TitUs-mlctt, Uri vn •»•(•
Ait* T*l, HTi VyjL V ;T. TlXtetlxt' a>.\~ ti~A *lty
nijrjttlcu unQiXoi, Xiv%ri# i;r<2s£)j*fM»
Ver. 23. That is to fay, for the gods. Thos too, Book i. ver. 81. speaking of the nature 0' the gods, he asserts it to be
Sufficient to its own felicity;
And that it wants nothing that is in our power ts give it.
Ipsa suis pollens opibus, nil indiga nostri.
Lutr. 1.1.». 6r
Ver. 26. Lucretius fays only,
—Nusquam apparent Acherusia templa.
See the note. Book i. ver. 15 2. And methinli our translator, in this place, seems to have had in view, not so much the fabulous hell of the heathens, which Lucretius denied, and derided, as that real place of eternal torment that we Christians justly believe, and tremble at; aud which u thus excellently painted by Milton, in all iu b«ror: