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.
Sometimes we find it hot, and sometimes cold,
Yet equal in degrees the sun doth hold.
And in a winter’s day more heat is found
Than summer, when the sun should parch the ground.
For if this heat doth make him gallop fast, 5
’T must ever equal be, or stay his haste.
If so, then seas which send up vapor may
His fiery courage cool in the midway.
Besides, the middle region, which is cold
And full of ice, will of his strength take hold. 10
Then ’tis not heat that makes him run so fast,
But running fast doth heat upon Earth cast,
And Earth sends vapors cold to quench his heat,
Which break his strength, and make his beams so weak.
The sun doth not to the Earth’s center go;
He cannot shoot his beams so deep and low.
For a thick wall will break his arrows small,
So that his heat can do no hurt at all.
And Earth hath arms so thick, to keep out all 5
His fiery darts which he on her lets fall.
As heat about the heart always keeps nigh,
So doth a fire about the center lie.
This heat disperses through the body round,
And when that heat is not, no life is found.
So this heat makes all things to bud and bear, 5
Although the sun’s hot beams do ne’er come there.
Yet doth the sun nourish all things without,
Though fire within the Earth gives life, no doubt.
Thus heat within begets with child the Earth,
And heat without is midwife to her birth. 10
Tis thought an unctuous matter comes from the sun
In streaming beams, which Earth doth feed upon,
And that the Earth by them, when they ascend,
Unto the sun a nourishment doth send.
And so each beam the sun doth make a chain, 5
Which brings down food and draws food back again.
Or we may well those beams to ships compare,
Where each is laden with the richest ware.
Each ship is fraught with heat; through air it sails
And brings this heat to th’Earth, which never fails 10
By traffic’s laws equal returns to make,
And sends instead of heat moist vapor back.
Great danger is, if ships be overfraught,
For many times they sink with their own weight:
And those gilt ships such fate do often find, 15
They sink with too much weight or split with wind.