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Cunninghans, groeph Thomas

The Round Table Series

76348

CHARLES DARWIN

NATURALIST

EDINBURGH: WILLIAM BROWN

2 6 PRINCES STREET

MDCCCLXXXVI

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RUGGED sage, strange confidant wert thou

Of Nature's choice to learn long secret lore,

Age-baffling riddles answerless before! Ah, woman-like, she in the end must bore 10 patience of pursuit, to constant vow,

To cunning study, yielding more and more,

To thy long siege, until the very core Of her thought showed, invisible till now.

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And thou art crowned with measureless acclaim

The greatest son of Science' brightest day, To Newton's self at least co-equal fame :

Nay more, thou art a rock above the seas Of superstition, and by thee the way

To a new church is given, and the keys !

M

AN'S thought is like Antaus, and must be

Touched to the ground of Nature to regain

Fresh force, new impulse, else it would remain Dead in the grip of strong Authority. But, once thereon reset, 'tis like a tree,

Sap-swollen in spring-time : bonds may not restrain ;

Nor weight repress; its rootlets rend in twain Dead stones and walls and rocks resistlessly.

Thine then it was to touch dead thoughts to earth,
Till of old dreams sprang new philosophies,

From visions systems, and beneath thy spell
Swiftly uprose, like magic palaces,-
Thyself half-conscious only of thy worth-

Calm priest of a tremendous oracle !

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