Of Earth

Why’s earth1 not apt to move, but slow and dull?
Flat atoms have no vacuum, but are2 full.
That form admits no empty place to bide;
All parts are filled, having no hollow side.3
And where no vacuum is, motion is4 slow,                   5
Having no empty places for to go.
Though atomes all are small, as small may be,
Yet by their forms doth motion5 disagree.
For atoms sharp do make themselves a way,6
Cutting through other atoms as they stray.                 10
But atoms flat will dull and lazy lie,7
Having no edge or point to make a way.8

Motion is the Life of All Things.

As darkness a privation is of light,
That’s when the optic nerve is stopped from sight,1
So death is even a cessation in
Those forms and bodies wherein motions spin.
As light which cannot2 shine but in the eye,                  5
So life doth only in a motion lie.
Thus life is out when motion leaves to be,
Like as3 an eye that’s shut no light can see.

Of Vacuum

Some think the world would fall and not hang so,
If it had any empty place to go.
One cannot think that vacuum is so vast
That the great world might1 in that gulf be cast.
But vacuum is like to a2 porous skin,                             5
Where vapor doth go3 out and air comes4 in,5
And since6 that vapor fills those places small,
We cannot think but they7 were empty all:
For were they all first full,8 they could not make
Room for succeeding atoms, place9 to take.                 10
Wherefore, if10 atoms pass and repass through,
They needs must11 empty places have to go.12

Of the Motion of the Sea

If as we see the sea1 doth run about
The earth, it leaves a space where’t first came out.2
For if the water were as much as land,34
The water5 would not stir, but still would6 stand.
Which shows that though the water doth go7 round, 5
Yet is there still more land than8 water9 found.
But say the air that’s moveable without,
And10 thin, doth give it11 leave to run about,
Or like a wheel which water makes to go:12
So air may cause the sea to move and13 flow.14          10
But if that air hath15 not room to move,
It cannot16 any other body shove.
Besides, what drives must needs be stronger far17
Than what it drives, or else it would not stir.18
If so, then infinites of strengths must be19                   15
In motion’s power, to move eternally.
But say all things run in a circle-line,20
And every part doth to another21 join:
They cannot in each other’s places stir,22
Unless23 some places be24 left empty bare.25               20
For stop a wheel’s circumference26 without,
Its27 center too, it cannot turn about.
If breadth and depth were full, leaving no space,
Nothing could stir nor move out of its28 place.29

Vacuum in Atoms

If all the atoms, long, sharp, flat, and round,
Be only of one sort of matter found,
The hollow atoms must all empty be,
For there is nought to fill vacuity.
Besides1 being several bodies, though but small,                 5
Betwixt those bodies there is nought at all.
For as they range about from place to place,
Betwixt2 their bodies there is left a space.
How should they move, having no space between?3
For, joining close, they would as one lump seem.4             10
Nor could they move into each other’s place,5
Unless there were somewhere an empty space.6
For though their matter’s infinite as time,7
They must be fixed, if altogether join.8
And were all matter fluid, as some say,                                 15
It could not move, having no empty way.
Like water that is stopped close in a glass:
It cannot stir, having no way to pass.
Nor could the fishes swim in water thin,
Were there no vacuum9 to crowd those10 waters in.          20
For as they crowd, those waters driven up high11
Must to some places rise12 that empty lie.
For though the water’s thin wherein they move,
Yet none could13 stir if water did not shove.

Of Contracting and Dilating, Whereby Vacuum Must Needs Follow

Contracting and dilating of each part:
These are1 the chiefest works2 of Motion’s art.
But3 Motion can’t dilate nor yet contract
A body which is close, firm, and4 compact,
Unless at first an empty place be5 found,                            5
Wherein to6 spread those compact bodies round.
Neither can matter fluid contract so7 close,
But by contracting it some place must lose.