Everyone laughed at Col. Prichard
For buying an engine so powerful
That it wrecked itself, and wrecked the grinder
He ran it with.
But here is a joke of cosmic size:
The urge of nature that made a man
Evolve from his brain a spiritual life —
Oh miracle of the world! —
The very same brain with which the ape and wolf
Get food and shelter and procreate themselves.
Nature has made man do this,
In a world where she gives him nothing to do
After all — (though the strength of his soul goes round
In a futile waste of power.
To gear itself to the mills of the gods) —
But get food and shelter and procreate himself!

Analysis, meaning and summary of Edgar Lee Masters's poem Professor Newcomer

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