martes, 18 de mayo de 2010

Erasmus Darwin's Poetry

Erasmus Darwin, Charles's grandfather, was as we all know a leading naturalist in his time, and one of the early pioneers of the concept of evolution. In fact, he stated very clearly that he believed all animals had one common ancestor which lived millions of years ago. What some may not know, however, is that he was an avid and rather accomplished poet. In fact, notable poets such as Wordsworth and Coleridge later praised his works.

His best known work, The Botanical Garden, Erasmus combines his love for poetry with his passion for nature. Here is a short poem from the book about plant fertilization:

Woo'd with long care, CURCUMA cold and shy
Meets her fond husband with averted eye:
Four beardless youths the obdurate beauty move
With soft attentions of Platonic love.

With vain desires the pensive ALCEA burns,
And, like sad ELOISA, loves and mourns.
The freckled IRIS owns a fiercer flame,
And three unjealous husbands wed the dame.
CUPRESSUS dark disdains his dusky bride,
One dome contains them, but two beds divide.
The proud OSYRIS flies his angry fair,
Two houses hold the fashionable pair.

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