The pointed atoms all to fire do turn,
And being sharp, do pierce, which we call burn.
But by their dryness they become so light
As they do get above the rest in flight,
Where by consent a wheel of fire they make, 5
Which being spherical, doth round motion take.
This motion makes round atoms turn about,
Which atoms round are water, without doubt,
And makes the sea go round, like watermill,
For as the sun, so water turns round still. 10
The reason Earth attracts much like the sun,
Is atoms sharp out from the Earth do come:
From its circumference, like bees they rise,
When from a swarm dispersed apart, each flies.
And as they wander, meet with duller forms, 5
Wherein they stick their point, then back returns.
For like a bee that’s loaden on each thigh,
Hath a great weight and cannot nimbly fly,
So when their points are loaded, heavy grow,
Can pierce no further: backward must they go. 10
And as their hives to Earth return again.
Thus by their travel, they the Earth maintain.
When all those atoms which in rays do spread
Are ranged long, like to a slender thread,
They do not scattered fly, but join in length,
And being joined, though small, add to their strength.
The further forth they stream, more weak become, 5
Although those beams are fastened to the sun.
For all those rays which Motion down doth send
Sharp atoms are, which from the sun descend;
And as they flow in several streams and rays,
They stick their points in all that stop their ways, 10
Like needle points, whereon doth something stick,
No passage make, having no force to prick.
Thus being stopped, they straightways back do run,
Drawing those bodies with them to the sun.
If porous atoms by the sharp are found,
They’re born away on points, as prisoners bound.
But as they mount, atoms of their own kind
If chance to meet, straight help them to unbind.
For porous atoms, being soft and wet, 5
When numbers meet, do close together get.
And being glut, they join together all:
By one consent they pull, and backward fall.
If they be round, in showering drops they join,
And so return, as beads strung on a line. 10
But if their figures different be from those,
Then like a thick and foggy mist it shows.
The rays are not so hot as is the sun,
Because they do more loose and scattered run.
For when within a glass those beams unite,
They pierce, and sharp through everything do bite.
But being separate, they weak become, 5
And then like cowards several ways they run.
Those splendent beams which forth the sun doth spread
Are loose sharp atoms, rangèd long like thread.
If streaming they on porous bodies fall
They pierce into, which touch we “heat” do call.
If that the sun so like a candle is
That all the air doth take a light from his—
Not by reflection, but by kindling all
That part, which we our hemisphere do call—
If so, the air whereon his light is cast 5
Would ne’er go out, unless that substance waste.
Or ’less the sun extinguishers should throw
Upon the air, to cause light out to go.
But sure the sun’s reflection gives the light,
For when he’s gone, to us it is dark night. 10
And why? The sun is atoms sharp entire,
Which wedged in round, do make a wheel of fire.
About this wheel continually do flow
Sharp streaming atoms, which like flame do show.
And in this flame the Earth itself doth see, 15
As in a glass, as clear as e’er may be.
But when the Earth doth turn aside its face,
It is not seen, but darkness doth take place.
Or when the moon doth come betwixt that light,
Then is the Earth shut up as in dark night. 20
The sun is of the sharpest atoms made,
Close knit together, and exactly laid.
Its fabric is just like a wheel made round,
And in the midst of all, the planets found.
And as the planets move about the sun, 5
Their motions make the loose sharp atoms run.
All atoms sharp to every center fly,
And in the midst of th’Earth and planets lie,
And in those planets there are centers too,
Where the sharp atoms with quick motion go.
And to the center of the Earth they run, 5
There gathering close, and so become a sun.
This is the ax whereon the Earth turns round,
And gives the heat which in the Earth is found;
A world of fire: thus may we guess the sun,
If all sharp atoms to the center run. 10
For why the sun amongst the planets round,
Just as a center, in the midst is found.
And fixèd stars, which give a twinkling light
Are center-worlds of fire, which do shine bright.
The Earth, we find, is very cold and dry,
And must therefore have fire and water nigh
To wash and bathe, then dry herself without,
Else she would useless be, without all doubt.