Of Fire and Moisture

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If hay be not quite dry, but stacked up wet,
That moisture will in time2 a fire beget.
This proves that fire may from moisture grow;3
We proof have none, moisture from fire flow.4
This shows that fire in itself is free:5                           5
No other element in it can be.
For fire is pure and still doth keep6 the same;
Where oily moisture’s not, no fire can flame.

Air Begot by Heat and Moisture

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When heat and moisture join2 with equal merit,
They get a body3 thin of air, or spirit,
Which is a smoke or steam begot from both.
If Mother Moisture4 rule, ’tis full of sloth,
But if the5 Father Fire predominates,                       5
Then it is active, quick, and elevates.
This airy child is sometimes good or bad
According to the nourishment it had.

Wind Is Made in the Air, Not in the Earth.

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How can we think winds come from th’Earth2 below,
When from the sky they3 down upon us blow?
If they came4 from the Earth, they must ascend,5
And back again their strength against it bend;6
They cannot freely blow, lest7 Earth were made                     5
Like to a bowling-green, and8 level laid.
But there are rocks, and hills, and mountains great
Which stop their ways and make them soon retreat.
Then sure it is, the sun draws vapor out
And makes9 it thin, then blows it all10 about.                            10
By11 heat condensed, it turneth12 into rain,
And by its weight falls to the Earth again.
Thus moisture and the sun do cause the winds,
And not the crudities in hollow mines.13

Of Cold Winds

As water rarified doth make1 winds blow,
So winds when rarified2 do colder grow.
For if they thin are3 rarified, then they
Do further blow, and spread out every way.
So cold they are, and sharp as needle points,4                          5
For by the thinness breaks and disunites,5
Into such6 atoms fall, sharp figures be,7
Which porous bodies pierce, if we could8 see.
Yet some will think, if air were parted so
The winds could not have such strong force to blow.             10
’Tis true, if atoms all were blunt and flat,9
Or round like rings, they could not pierce, but pat.10
But by dividing, they so sharp do grow,11
That12 through all porous bodies they do go.13
But when the winds are soft, they intermix,                             15
As water doth, and in one body fix.
They rather14 wave than blow as fans are spread,
Which ladies use to cool their cheeks when red,
Or like as water drops that disunite15
Feel harder than when mixed they16 on us light,                     20
Unless such streams upon our heads do17 run,
As we a shelter seek, the wet to shun.
But when a drop congealèd is with cold,
As hailstones are, then it more strength18 doth hold.
For19 flakes of snow may have more quantity                          25
Than hailstones, yet not have more20 force thereby.
They fall so soft that they scarce21 strike our touch;
Hailstones we feel and know their weight too much.
But figures that are flat are dull and slow,
Make weak impressions22 wheresoe’er they go.                      30
For let ten times the quantity of steel
Be beaten thin,23 no hurt by that you’ll feel.
But if that one will take a needle small,
Whose point is sharp, and prick24 the flesh withal,
Straight it shall hurt, and put the flesh to pain,                        35
Which greater strength doth not of what is25 plain.
For though26 you press it hard against the skin,
’T may27 heavy feel, but cannot28 enter in.
And so29 the wind that’s thin and30 rarified
May press31 us down, but never32 pierce the side.                   40
Or take a blade that’s flat, though strong and great,
And with great strength upon one’s head it33 beat:
You’ll break the skull, but not knock out his34 brains,
Which arrows sharp soon do, and with less pains.
Thus what is small is subtler and more35 quick,                       45
For all small points36 in porous bodies stick.
Winds broken small to atoms, when they37 blow,
Are colder much than when they38 streaming flow,
For all which knit39 and united close40
Much stronger are, and give41 the harder blows.                     50
This shows what’s closest in itself42 to be,
Although an atom in43 its small degree.
Take quantity, for quantity alike,
Union44 more than mixture hard shall strike.

A Fire is in the Center of the Earth.

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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

What Makes Echo

The same motion which from the mouth doth move1
Runs through the air, which we by echo prove.2
As several letters in one word do join,3
So several figures through the air combine.
The air is wax, words seal, and give the print,           5
And so4 an echo in the air do mint.
And while those figures last, they life5 maintain;
When motion wears them out, echo is6 slain.
As sugar in the mouth doth melt with7 taste,
So echo in the air itself doth waste.                             10

What Makes Echo Rebound

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Rebounds resisting substance must work on,2
Both in itself, and what it beats upon,3
For yielding bodies which do bow or break
Can ne’er rebound, nor like an4 echo speak.
Then every word of aïr forms5 a ball,                                      5
And every letter like a ball doth fall.
Words are condensèd air, which heard, do grow
As water which by cold doth turn to snow.
And as when snow is pressed hard balls become,6
So words being pressed as balls do backward run.7           10