Two centuries ago the contents of this book might have struck the ordinary reader as neither curious nor over-bold. Today it smacks of hubris. Science dissolves the enchantment of nature into a set of probabilistic hypotheses. Art suspends belief and gives birth to autonomous realms constructed with appearances. Metaphysics puts the same reality into a larger context as part of a nonhypothetical truth. Collis tries to blend these perspectives in discussing Nature and man's place in it. We conquer nature through the progress of our science and technology. By these means we brutalize the environment and may very well effect our own demise. Collis' poetic ecology does not add much to what we have already been told about these dangers by Barry Commoner, et al. He does however restore for us a sense of wonderment, a nonrepressive vision of life which does not renounce scientific reason.