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Says Professor Shaler in his thoughtful little volume, “ The Interpretation of Nature,”—
“So long as learning remains in the shape in which the investigator leaves it, it is generally useless to the uninitiated in the science. It is only when the poet does his work, when he phrases the truth in a form to appeal to the imagination ... that the public has a profit from the inquiry.”
Wait, and Love himself will bring
Science does not speak with this accent, nor does it add this final, consummating word.
“Let knowledge grow from more to more,”
sings the same poet, with the great facts of science in mind, then adds yet again the consummating word: so do we move on to
“ The closing cycle rich in good.”
Firm is the faith in growing knowledge; but the end must be “rich in good.” When growing knowledge leads to another goal than this, then shall it be thrust aside,
“ Not only cunning casts in clay :
Let Science prove we are, and then
The immortality of life and love, the end "rich in good”—these science itself will not be per
mitted to violate. At these its authority stops; at these the poet makes a beginning, puts on his prophet's robe, and presses hopefully forward.
Such, roughly speaking, is the attitude of poetry toward science; but while bearing it in mind, we are not to forget that the poet has, beyond the power of summarizing and revoicing the knowledge uncovered by others, that surpassing gift, his own peculiar might in original investigation,
“The poet in his vigil hears
Time flowing through the night,-
And bearing down delight:
He listens, till his soul
The meaning of their roll."
John Vance a