Darwin’s The Temple of Nature

Temple of Nature

Another great poetry must read includes Erasmus Darwin‘s The Temple of Nature. Taking a leaf from Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura, Darwin eulogises the interdependency of all things in the process of continual, spontaneous evolution that was brought into being by a Divine First Cause.

This exquisite poem is related in a series of soliloquies between the Muse Urania and a supplicant hierophant who is being inducted into the Eleusinian mysteries. The young hierophant’s mind is replete with questions for Urania to answer, including:

  • How does life derive from non-living matter?
  • How and why does the human mind excel that of all other creatures?

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