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
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.
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.
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.
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
Although the Earth to all gives form and feature,
Yet is the sun the nurse to every creature.
For none could live unless the sun give heat,
Which is to them as nourishing as meat.
Just as a child is got and born of man, 5
It must be fed, or ’twill soon die again.