The Reason Why the Thoughts Are Only in the Head

Each sinew is a small and slender string,1
Which to the body all the senses bring.2
And they like3 pipes or gutters hollow be,
Where animal spirits run continually.
Though small, yet they4 such matter do contain           5
As in the skull doth lie, which we call brain.
That makes if anyone doth strike the heel,
The thought of that sense in the brain doth feel.
Yet ’tis5 not sympathy, but ’tis the same6
Which makes us think and feel the pain.7                     10
For had the heel such quantity of brain
As8 doth the head and skull therein contain,
Then would such thoughts, which in the brain dwell high,
Descend down low, and in the heel9 would lie.
In sinews small, brain scattered lies about;                 15
It wants both room and quantity, no doubt.
For if a sinew so10 much brain could hold,11
Or had so large a skin it12 to enfold
(As hath13 the skull), then might the toe or knee,
Had they an optic nerve, both hear and see.               20
Had sinews room fancy therein to breed,
Copies of verses might from the heel14 proceed.

  1. Each sinew is a small and slender string,] The Sinewes are small, slender Strings, 1653
  2. all the senses bring.] Senses brings; 1653
  3. And they like] Yet like to 1653
  4. small, yet they] they are small, 1653
  5. Yet ’tis] It is 1664, 1668
  6. but ’tis the same] but all one thing, 1664, 1668
  7. makes us think and feel the pain.] causes us to think, and pain doth bring; 1664; causes us to think, and Pain doth bring: 1668
  8. As] Which 1653
  9. down low, and in the heel] into our Heels, and there 1664, 1668
  10. so] could so 1653
  11. could hold,] hold, 1653
  12. so large a skin it] a Skin so large for 1653
  13. hath] in 1653
  14. the heel] th’Heel 1664, 1668