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Lucretius, De Rerum Natura (ed. William Ellery Leonard) 4 0 Browse Search
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Lucretius, De Rerum Natura (ed. William Ellery Leonard), BOOK V, line 821 (search)
xt the twain, Yet neither, and from either sex remote- Some gruesome Boggles orphaned of the feet, Some widowed of the hands, dumb Horrors too Without a mouth, or blind Ones of no eye, Or Bulks all shackled by their legs and arms Cleaving unto the body fore and aft, Thuswise, that never could they do or go, Nor shun disaster, nor take the good they would. And other prodigies and monsters earth Was then begetting of this sort- in vain, Since Nature banned with horror their increase, And powerless were they to reach unto The coveted flower of fair maturity, Or to find aliment, or to intertwine In works of Venus. For we see there must Concur in life conditions manifold, If life is ever by begetting life To forge the generations one by one: First, foods must be; and, next, a path whereby The seeds of impregnation in the frame May ooze, released from the members all; Last, the possession of those instruments Whereby the male with female can unite, The one with other in mutual ravishments.
Lucretius, De Rerum Natura (ed. William Ellery Leonard), BOOK V, line 925 (search)
Against the cold, nor hairy pelts to use And clothe their bodies with the spoils of beasts; But huddled in groves, and mountain-caves, and woods, And 'mongst the thickets hid their squalid backs, When driven to flee the lashings of the winds And the big rains. Nor could they then regard The general good, nor did they know to use In common any customs, any laws: Whatever of booty fortune unto each Had proffered, each alone would bear away, By instinct trained for self to thrive and live. And Venus in the forests then would link The lovers' bodies; for the woman yielded Either from mutual flame, or from the man's Impetuous fury and insatiate lust, Or from a bribe- as acorn-nuts, choice pears, Or the wild berries of the arbute-tree. And trusting wondrous strength of hands and legs, They'd chase the forest-wanderers, the beasts; And many they'd conquer, but some few they fled, A-skulk into their hiding-places... . . . . . . With the flung stones and with the po