Of the Attraction of the Poles, and of Frost

1

The North and South do with the sun agree,
For in them all contracting motions be.
The sun as he with scorching heat doth burn,
So cold is sharp, where North and South Pole turn:2
For atoms there are like to pincers small,                            5
By which they do attract, and pull3 withall.4
When motion from the poles shoots them about,
Mixing with porous bodies when they’re out.
And with those pincers small those bodies nip,5
So close and hard, they cannot from them get,6                  10
Unless some sharp and fiery atoms get7
Betwixt those pincers small, and so do set8
Those bodies free, just9 like an awl that bores,
Or like a picklock, which doth open doors.
For when they’re opened by those fiery awls,                      15
Let go their holds,10 which men11 a thaw straight calls.
If not, they pinch those bodies close together,
And then we12 say it is hard13 frosty weather.

The Quenching out and Smothering of Heat and Light Doth Not Change the Property nor Shape of Sharp Atoms.

1

’Tis not that atoms sharp have alterèd2
Their form when fire’s put out, but motion’s fled.3
Which being4 gone,5 sharp atoms cannot prick,
Having no force in any thing to stick.
For as the sun, if6 motion moved it not,                                     5
Would7 neither shine, nor be to us so hot,
Just so, when creatures die, their form’s not gone,8
But motion, which gave life, away is flown.910
For animal spirits, which we life do call,
Are only of the sharpest atoms small.                                        10
Thus life is atoms sharp, which we call fire;
When those are stopped or quenched,11 life doth expire.

Of the Sound of Water, Air and Flame

1

When crowds of atoms meet, not joinèd close,
By Motion quick they2 give each other blows.3
So atoms hollow, which are long and round,
When they do strike, do make the greatest sound.
Not that there’s anything that moves therein                      5
To make rebounds, but that their form’s more thin.4
For being thin, they larger are, and wide,
Which make them apt to strike each other’s side.
In larger bulks, encounters are more fierce
When they do5 strike, though not so quick to pierce.       10
This is the reason water, air, and flame
Do make most noise when motions move the same.
For atoms loose are like to people rude,
And make great6 noise when in a multitude.

If Infinite Worlds, There Must Be Infinite Centers.

1

 

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

Flame Compared to the Tide of the Sea

1

 

Like as the tide, so flame doth2 ebb and flow,
For it will sink3 and then straight higher grow.
And if suppressed, it in a rage breaks4 out,
Spreading5 itself in several parts about.
Some think the salt doth make6 the sea to move,7              5
If so, then salt in flame the like may prove.
And if it be that8 salt all motions makes,
Then life, the chief, from salt its motion9 takes.

Of the Motion of the Sun

Sometimes we find it hot, and sometimes cold,
Yet equal in degrees the sun1 doth hold.
And in a winter’s day more heat is2 found
Than summer, when the sun should parch the ground.
For if this3 heat doth make him gallop fast,                         5
’T must4 ever equal be, or stay his haste.
If so, then seas which send up vapor may5
His fiery courage cool in the midway.6
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 Earth7 cast,
And Earth sends vapors cold to quench his heat,8
Which break his strength, and make9 his beams so weak.

Of Light and Sight

Some learnèd men, which think1 to reason well,
Say light and color in the brain do dwell,
That motion in the brain doth light beget,2
And if no brain, the world in darkness shut.3
But be it4 that the brain hath eyes to see,                           5
Then5 eyes and brain would6 make the light to be.
If so, poor Donne was out when he did say
If all the world were blind, ’twould still be day.
Say they, light would not in the air7 reign,
Unless you’ll grant8 the world were one great brain.     10
Some ages in some opinions all agree;9
The next doth strive to make them false to be.
But10 what is new doth all so pleasing sound,11
That reasons old are as mere nonsense found.12
But all opinions are by fancy fed,                                        15
And truth lies under those opinions,13 dead.

According as the Notes in Music Agree with the Motions of the Heart or Brain, Such Passions Are Produced Thereby.

1

 

The eights in music, when they2 equal are,
If one be struck, the other seems to jar.
So the heartstrings, if equally be3 stretched
To4 those of music, love from thence is fetched.
For when one’s struck, the other moves just so,       5
And with delight as evenly doth go.

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.

Of the Motion of the Blood

1

 

Some by their industry and2 learning found
That all the blood like to the sea runs round:
From two great arteries it doth begin,3
Runs through all veins, and so comes back again.4
The muscles like the tides do ebb and flow                   5
According as the several spirits go.
The sinews, as small pipes, come from the head,
And5 all about the body they are6 spread,
Through which the animal spirits are conveyed
To every member, as the pipes are laid.                        10
And from those sinews-pipes each sense doth take
Of those pure spirits, as they us do make.