Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/844

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

To go into further detail would be impossible; limits of space are already exhausted. Passing reference only can be made to the fact that, while in Tennyson's works, upon the whole, we find the fullest poetic interpretation as yet given to modern thought, writers like Browning, Whitman, and Emerson, and among those still living Robert Buchanan, William Watson, and Mathilde Blind, have each of them revealed in different ways a healthy tendency on the part of poetry to look at the facts of life from the point of view of present thought rather than from the point of view of past thought, and to recognize the supreme fact that if we find cause to complain, with William Morris, of the emptiness of our own life, it is the fault of ourselves and not the fault of our times. But here the subject must be left for the present; and the discussion of many important questions arising in connection with the above-outlined theory, held over till a more convenient season. Enough, perhaps, has been said to indicate the view we have been trying to develop of the relations of poetry to science, to show that there is no essential antagonism between them, and to point out that recognition of the one as the supplement of the other does not at all imply, as is so often thought, any absurd confusion of their methods and aims. For myself I read without fear the French critic's prediction that fifty years hence no one will care to read poetry. "Of all forms of mistake, prophecy is the most gratuitous," says George Eliot, and such a statement may be quietly disregarded. On any large principle of education, poetry has its secure place in the scheme of life; but our emotions must respond to our knowledge, not our knowledge to our emotions. The business of the poet in his capacity of spiritual teacher is to help us to clothe fact with the beauty of fancy; not to try to force fancy into the place of fact. Let us understand what is scientifically true, socially right, and our feelings will adjust themselves in due course. It is for science to lead the way, and the highest mission of the poet is ever to follow in the wake, and in the name of poetry and religion claim each day's new thought as his own.



The locality of Florissant, Colorado, a lake deposit of the geological age called Oligocene, is famous for the extraordinary abundance and variety and the excellent condition of its insect remains. No group of insects perhaps, according to Mr. Samuel H. Scudder, shows this more strikingly than the family of "crane flies" or "daddy longlegs." Several hundred species have been collected there, and in a very considerable number of them, representing many species, the venation of the wings is completely represented with all their most delicate markings, and also the slender and fragile legs with their clothing of hairs and spurs, and, to some degree at least, the antennæ and palpi. Even the facets of the compound eye are often preserved as in life.