Then land-marks limited to each his right: For all before was common as the light.
though all land had earlier been common,
available to all to freely enjoy, now fences,
signposts prohibited collective access
Nor was the ground alone requir’d to bear Her annual income to the crooked share,
crooked, awry, disproportionate
But greedy mortals, rummaging her store, Digg’d from her entrails first the precious oar;
“greedy mortals”, mining, not only from
“the ground alone”, but from the earth’s
very “entrails”, her “oar”,or ore
Which next to Hell, the prudent Gods had laid; And that alluring ill, to sight display’d.
the “prudent Gods” had set the precious
metals near that unholy place to ward off,
however ineffectually, eventually, potential
Thus cursed steel, and more accursed gold, Gave mischief birth, and made that mischief bold:
or again “Truth, modesty, and shame, the
world forsook: / Fraud, avarice, and force,
their places took.“, lines 3 and 4 from the
And double death did wretched Man invade, By steel assaulted, and by gold betray’d,
double death, assault and betrayal, invade,
become components, properties, of Man
Now (brandish’d weapons glittering in their hands) Mankind is broken loose from moral bands;
No rights of hospitality remain: The guest, by him who harbour’d him, is slain, The son-in-law pursues the father’s life; The wife her husband murders, he the wife. The step-dame poyson for the son prepares; The son inquires into his father’s years.
the stuff, at present, of all of our arts and
literature, of our collective consciousness,
we are the Iron Age
Faith flies, and piety in exile mourns; And justice, here opprest, to Heav’n returns.
And with diffusive light adorn their heav’nly place.
diffusive, evanescent,aetherial, nearly
Then, every void of Nature to supply, With forms of Gods he fills the vacant sky: New herds of beasts he sends, the plains to share: New colonies of birds, to people air: And to their oozy beds, the finny fish repair.
Ye Gods, from whom these miracles did spring, Inspire my numbers with coelestial heat; ‘Till I my long laborious work compleat: And add perpetual tenour to my rhimes, Deduc’d from Nature’s birth, to Caesar’s times.
poets have traditionally called upon their related