Of Fire in the Flint

The reason fire lies1 in flint unseen
Is other figured atoms lie2 between.
For being bound and overpowered by
A multitude, they do in prison lie.
Unless motion do come and let3 them out                           5
With a strong power, which make them4 fly about.
But if that flint be beat to powder small,
To separate the grossest,5 released are all.
And6 when they once are out, they ne’er come back,7
But seek about another form to make.8                               10

Atoms and Motion Fall out.

When Motion and all atoms disagree,
Thunder in skies1 and sickness in men be.
Earthquakes and winds, which make disorder great,
Are when as Motion doth all atoms2 beat.
In this confusion, a horrid noise they make,3                5
For Motion lets them not their places4 take,
Like frighted flocks that do together keep,5
Which Motion worries, as a wolf doth sheep.6

Motion Directs, While Atoms Dance.

Atoms will in just measures dance, and join1
All one by one in a2 round circle-line,3
Run in and out, as we do dance the hay,
Crossing about, yet keep just time and way,
While4 Motion doth direct. And thus they dance,5     5
And meet all by consent, not by mere chance.6
This harmony is health, makes life live long,7
But when they’re out,8 ’tis death, so dancing’s done.

The Difference of Atoms and Motion in Youth and Age

In all things which are young, Motion is swift,1
But moving long, is2 tired and groweth stiff.3
So4 atoms are in youth more nimble, strong5
Than6 in old age, but apt more7 to go wrong.
Thus youth by false notes and wrong steps doth die;     5
In age atoms and Motion weary lie.8
Motion’s ease is change, weary soon doth grow,9
If in one figure she doth often go.10

Motion Makes Atoms a Bawd for Figure.

Did not wild Motion, with his subtle wit,1
Make atoms as his bawd, new forms to get,2
They still would constant be in one figure,3
And as they place themselves, would last forever.4
But Motion, he persuades new forms to make,           5
Because he5 doth in change great pleasure take,
And makes all atoms run from place to place,
That figures young he might have to embrace.
For some short time he loves to make a stay,6
But after he is tired, he’ll run away.7                            10
And by his change most figures are8 undone,
For young take place of th’old when they are gone.9
Yet ’tis but like a batch of bread, which still10
Is of the same flower and seed. Thus will11
Inconstant Motion a new figure bake,12                       15
Only that he may13 have a new hot cake.

Motion Is According to the Figure.


A figure spherical, the motion’s so;2
Straight figures in a darting motion go:3
As several figures in small atoms be,
So several motions are, if we could see.
If atoms join, meet in another form,4                      5
Then motion alters as the figures turn,5
For if the bodies weighty are and great,6
Then motion’s slow, and goes upon less feet.7
Out of a shuttlecock a feather pull,
And flying strike it, as when it was full,                 10
The motion of it alters, which seems strange,8
When th’motion of the hand doth no ways change.9
Yet motion, matter,10 can new figures find,
And the substantial figures turn and wind.
Thus several figures several motions take,             15
And several motions several figures make.
But figure, matter, motion, all is one,
Can never11 separate, nor be alone.

Of the Subtlety of Motion

Could we the several motions of life know,
The subtle windings, and the ways they go,
We should of unknown things dispute no more,1
How they be2 done, but the great God adore.3
But we with ignorance about do run                           5
To know the ends and how they first begun,
Spending that life—which God in us did raise4
To worship him and in his works to praise—5
With fruitless, vain, impossible pursuits
In schools, lectures, and6 quarrelling disputes.        10
We7 never give him thanks that did us make,
But proud8 as petty gods ourselves do take.