Nothing is so like fire, as a fly’s sting,
If we compare th’effect which both do bring.
For flies when they sting the flesh,1 no blood they2 draw,
But blisters raise, the skin made red, the flesh raw.3
Were there as many stings as fiery atoms small,4 5
Would pierce into the flesh, bones turn to ashes all.5
Thus we find flies do carry everywhere
Fire in their tails, yet do their breech6 not fear.
- For flies when they sting the flesh,] For when they sting the flesh, 1653; For Flies, when they do sting, 1664; For Flyes, when they do sting, 1668
- no blood they] they no blood 1653
- the skin made red, the flesh raw.] and make the Flesh all raw; 1664; and make the flesh all raw: 1668
- fiery atoms small,] as points in Fire, 1664; as Points in Fire 1668
- Would pierce into the flesh, bones turn to ashes all.] They would consume each Body, that’s entire; 1664; They would consume each Body that’s entire. 1668
- yet do their breech] their Breech they do 1653