Of the Attraction of the Poles, and of Frost

1

The North and South do with the sun agree,
For in them all contracting motions be.
The sun as he with scorching heat doth burn,
So cold is sharp, where North and South Pole turn:2
For atoms there are like to pincers small,                            5
By which they do attract, and pull3 withall.4
When motion from the poles shoots them about,
Mixing with porous bodies when they’re out.
And with those pincers small those bodies nip,5
So close and hard, they cannot from them get,6                  10
Unless some sharp and fiery atoms get7
Betwixt those pincers small, and so do set8
Those bodies free, just9 like an awl that bores,
Or like a picklock, which doth open doors.
For when they’re opened by those fiery awls,                      15
Let go their holds,10 which men11 a thaw straight calls.
If not, they pinch those bodies close together,
And then we12 say it is hard13 frosty weather.

  1. In 1653 this poem is called “The Attraction of the Poles, and of Frost”
  2. The North and South do with the sun agree, / For in them all contracting motions be. / The sun as he with scorching heat doth burn, / So cold is sharp, where North and South Pole turn:] The North and South Attracts, Contracts, are like the Sun, / They freeze as hard, as he with Heate doth burne. 1653
  3. do attract, and pull] draw, and others pull 1653
  4. A marginal note in Cavendish’s 1653 text reads: “At the poles.” This note is not in 1664 or 1668.
  5. small those bodies nip,] they do nip so close 1664, 1668
  6. So close and hard, they cannot from them get,] Those Bodies, as they can no ways get loose, 1664, 1668
  7. some sharp and fiery atoms get] that fiery Atomes sharpe do peirce 1653
  8. and so do set] so do release. 1653
  9. bodies free, just]  Porous Atomes, 1653
  10. Let go their holds,]  They let them loose, 1664, 1668
  11. men] Man 1664, 1668
  12. And then we] Then men do 1653
  13. it is hard] ’tis Cold and 1664, 1668