Deep Sea Poetry From Darwin

Not that Darwin, the other Darwin. Erasmus Darwin was Charles Darwin’s grandfather. A doctor and naturalist in his own right as well. He also was a poet and penned down many verses in his life, often quite racy and sensual (for the pre-Victorian era). Here is a poem titled The Temple of Nature penned in 1802. Erasmus actually formulated his own theory of evolution which is similar in many ways to Lamarck’s but includes the concepts of competition and sexual selection. This poem highlights some of that thinking.

Organic life beneath the shoreless waves

Was born and nurs’d in ocean’s pearly caves;

First forms minute, unseen by spheric glass,

Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass;

These, as successive generations bloom,

New powers acquire and larger limbs assume;

Whence countless groups of vegetation spring,

And breathing realms of fin and feet and wing.

One Reply to “Deep Sea Poetry From Darwin”

  1. Thanks for this. I love this site for the sheer breadth and variety of items that you post. Great stuff!!

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