Ephemeri vita, or, The natural history and anatomy of the Ephemeron, a fly that lives but five hours written originally in Low-Dutch by Jo. Swammerdam ...
Swammerdam, Jan, 1637-1680., Tyson, Edward, 1650-1708.
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On the History of the Ephemeron.
ALthough the Great Creators Wisdom shone
Both in his Foot-stool, and his Throne,
Though greater Bodies make the louder noise,
Yet in the lesser is a Voice,
A Voice, though still
That doth the mind with Admiration fill,
And gives to man the Product of his will.
The Insect-world but lately known,
Doth both his Skill and Glory too, declare,
They a Creator own
No less than does the Sun,
Their Rise, their Life, their End,
Sparks of Wise pow'r comprehend.
Nay, if we Great with Small compare,
We sind these Little-Heraulds too, Proclaim
Jehovah's Mighty Name,
They tell his praise,
And Trophies to his Wisdom raise,
That does in Little much express,
Like the best Limners art, that most affects the less.
The smallest Ant does Providence Teach,
Does Foresight to the Sluggard Preach,
And here in this Ephemeron we see
An Embleme both of Change, and of Mortality.
How strong must be the Plastick force
That the small Eggs contain?
That Water makes not worse,
A Body fluid, cold;
Nay hatches 'em at last,
As well as gentle heat of Hen, or Sun,
A thing so strange, so bold,
As scarce perhaps no Author ever told,
Or heretofore was done:
Truth in new moulds is cast,
Page [unnumbered]And Future Age may more unfold,
What from the Former we expect in vain,
This Treasure, where's enough, we from the Deep regain.
What instinct has the Worm to bore a Cell
Wherein he may securely dwell?
Whose hard fare, joyn'd with Ease, and Sloth,
Perhaps does something to retard his growth.
Though meat be dry, yet drink there is good store,
Tipple still streaming by his door,
Like other Natives both begot and bred,
Where Thetis shews her Briny head,
And Neptune swaggers o'r the dead.
Well may both Worm and Man that Element desire,
Both moistening so require,
Which is so natural nought can be more,
Congenial to their first beginning
As to a Spider is her Spinning,
And is a means to both of getting higher.
After a long Subaqueous abode,
The Watry Native longs to range abroad,
Shoots through his liquor, and no sooner spye▪
The Stranger Element, the Skies,
The Poets Metamorphosis
Was not more strange, more quick than this,
Vnstrips, his burthen leaves, and then more nimbly Flies.
How many parts the Inside does contain?
All here made plain
And obvious to the mean'st Capacity,
What parts the Worm, and Fly,
What makes the Change of Name,
What parts are alter'd, what the same,
Into all which he that desires to pry,
Needs now no Microscope, but sees with half an eye.