The reason fire by water is quenched1 out
Is that round atoms do2 put to a rout
The sharp,3 for when a house on fire is set,4
Then atoms sharp are5 in great armies met,6
Where they themselves range into7 ranks and files, 5
And strive always to havoc and make spoils,
Running about as nimble as may be8
From side to side, as in great fires9 we see.
But atoms round do like a rescue come,1011
And separate the sharp, which in heaps run.12 10
For being separate, they have no force,
Like to a troop or regiment of horse,
Which when great cannon bullets are shot through,
They disunite, and quite their strength undo.
So water that is thrown on flaming fire 15
Doth separate and make that strength expire.
- fire by water is quenched] Water Fire quenches 1653
- that round atoms do] Atomes round the sharpe 1653
- A marginal note in Cavendish’s 1653 text reads: “They separate the sharp atoms.” In 1664 and 1668, the note reads, “That is, separate the sharp atoms.”
- The sharp, for when a house on fire is set,] For when a House is on a Fire set, 1653
- Then atoms sharpe are] Is, Atomes sharpe do 1653
- met,] meet. 1653
- Where they themselves range into] And then they range themselves in 1653
- Cavendish includes an asterisk at the end of line 7 in 1653, but doesn’t appear to have included a corresponding note.] There is no asterisk or note in 1664 or 1668.
- fires] Fire 1653
- do like a rescue come,] lest Sharp should more increase, 1664; lest sharp should more encrease, 1668
- A marginal note in Cavendish’s 1653 text reads: “When water is thrown on fire.”
- And separate the sharp, which in heaps run.] Do like a rescue come, and make them cease; 1664; Do like a rescue come, and make them cease: 1668