Of the Center of the World


In infinites2 no center can be laid,
But if the world has limits, center’s made.3
For all that with circumference is4 faced,
A center in the midst must needs be5 placed.
This makes each form that’s limited6 and bound        5
To have a center and circumference round.
This7 is the cause: the world in circle runs8
Because a center hath whereon it turns.9
The center’s10 small, circumference11 big without,
Which by the weight doth make it turn about.           10

All Sharp Atoms Do Run to the Center, and Those that Settle Not, by Reason of the Straightness of the Place, Fly out to the Circumference. Sharp Atoms Running to the Center Make a Sun.


All atoms sharp to every center fly,
And in the midst of th’Earth and2 planets lie,
And in those planets there are centers too,3
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.4
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-worlds5 of fire, which do shine6 bright.

If Infinite Worlds, There Must Be Infinite Centers.



If infinites of worlds, they must be placed
At such a distance, as between lies waste.
If they were joined close, moving about,
By jostling they would push each other out.
And if they swim in air, as fishes do                                   5
In water, they would meet as they did go.2
But if the air doth every world3 enclose
And compass4 all about, as5 water flows,
It keeps6 them equal in their proper seat,7
That as they move shall not each other beat.8                 10
Or if like wheels which turn by water round,9
So air about these10 worlds is running found.11
And12 by that motion they do turn about
No further than that motion’s strength runs out.13
Like to a bowl which will no14 further go,                        15
But runs according as that strength did15 throw.
And thus like16 bowls, the worlds do turn and run,
But still the jack and center is the sun.17

A Fire is in the Center of the Earth.



As heat about the heart always2 keeps nigh,
So doth a fire about the3 center lie.
This heat disperses4 through the body round,
And when that heat is not,5 no life is found.
So this heat6 makes all things to bud7 and bear,                  5
Although the sun’s hot beams do ne’er come there.
Yet doth the sun nourish all things8 without,
Though9 fire within the Earth gives life, no doubt.
Thus10 heat within begets with child the Earth,
And heat without is midwife to her birth.                           10

The Motion of Thoughts

Musing one time alone,1 mine eyes being2 fixed
Upon the ground, my sight with gravel mixed,
My feet did walk without direction’s guide;
My thoughts did travel far and wander wide.
At last they chanced upon3 a hill to climb,                                 5
And being there, saw things that were divine.
        First, what4 they saw: a glorious light did5 blaze,
Whose splendor made it painful for the6 gaze.
No separations nor shadows by stops7 made,
No darkness did8 obstruct this light with shade.                     10
This light had no dimension, nor no bound,9
No limits, but it10 filled all places round.11
Always in motion ’twas,12 yet fixed did prove,
Like to the twinkling stars, which never move.
This motion working, running several ways,                           15
Seemed as if contradictions it would13 raise,
For with itself it seemed not to agree,14
Like to15 a skein of thread, if’t knotted be.
For some did go straight in an even line,
But some again did cross, and some did twine.                        20
Yet at the last, all several motions run
Into the first Prime Motion, which begun.
In various forms and shapes did life run through,
Which was eternal, but the shapes were16 new;
No17 sooner made, but quickly18 passed away,                         25
Yet while they were, they did desire19 to stay.
But motion to one form can ne’er constant20 be,
For life, which motion is, joys in21 variety.
For the22 First Motion everything can make,
But cannot add unto itself, nor take.                                           30
Indeed no other matter could it23 frame:
Itself was all, and in itself the same.
Perceiving now this fixèd point of light,
I spied24 a union: Knowledge, Power, and Might,
Wisdom, Truth, Justice,25 Providence, all one,                          35
No attribute was by itself26 alone.
Not like to27 several lines drawn to one point,
For what doth meet may be again28 disjoint.
But this same29 point, from whence all lines did30 flow,
Nought can diminish it, or31 make it grow.                               40
’Tis its own center and circumference round,
Yet neither has a limit nor32 a bound.
A fixed eternity,33 and so will last:
All present is, nothing to come or34 past.
A fixed perfection; nothing can add more;                               45
All things is it, and itself doth35 adore.
My thoughts then wondering at what they did see,
Found at the last themselves the same to be,36
Yet were37 so small a branch, as they38 could not
Know39 whence they sprung, nor how they40 were begot.    50
        Some say, all that41 we know of Heaven above
Is that we joy, and that we love.42
But who43 can tell that? For all we know,44
Those passions we call joy and love below45
May by excess such other passions grow;                                  55
None in the world is capable to know.
Just like our bodies, although46 they shall rise,
And as St. Paul says, see God with our eyes,
Yet may we in the change such difference find,
Both in our bodies, and also in mind,47                                      60
As if we never had been of48 mankind,
And that these49 eyes we see with now were blind.
Say we can measure all the planets high,
And number all the stars be50 in the sky,
And we can circle51 all the world about,                                    65
And can find all52 th’effects of nature out:53
Yet all54 the wise and learnèd cannot tell55
What’s done in Heaven, or how we there shall dwell.