Long atoms, which the streaming air do make,
Are hollow, from which form air softness takes.
This makes that air and water ne’er agree,
Because in hollowness alike they be.
For airy atoms made are like a pipe, 5
And wat’ry atoms, round and cymbal-like.
Although the one is long, and th’other round,
Yet in the midst a hollowness is found.
This makes us think that water turns to air,
And air runs often into water fair. 10
And like two twins they are mistaken oft,
Because their hollowness makes both them soft.
When I say atoms small as small can be,
I mean quantity, quality, and weight agree.
Not in the figure, for some may show
Much bigger, and some lesser: so
Take water fluid and ice, and you will see, 5
They do in weight but not in bulk agree.
So atoms: some are soft, others more knit,
According as each atom’s figurèd.
Atoms whose forms are hollow, long, and round
Bend more than flat or sharp, which close are bound. 10
And being hollow, they are spread more thin
Than other atoms which are close within.
And atoms which are thin are softer much,
When atoms close are of a harder touch.
When atoms round do join into one ball,
Then they swell high and grow hydropical.
And joining thus they do so powerful grow,
As they all other atoms overflow.
The reason fire by water is quenched out
Is that round atoms do put to a rout
The sharp, for when a house on fire is set,
Then atoms sharp are in great armies met,
Where they themselves range into ranks and files, 5
And strive always to havoc and make spoils,
Running about as nimble as may be
From side to side, as in great fires we see.
But atoms round do like a rescue come,
And separate the sharp, which in heaps run. 10
For being separate, they have no force,
Like to a troop or regiment of horse,
Which when great cannon bullets are shot through,
They disunite, and quite their strength undo.
So water that is thrown on flaming fire 15
Doth separate and make that strength expire.
All water’s spherical; when tides do flow,
Beat all those spherical drops as they do go.
So winds do strike those wat’ry drops together,
Which we at sea do call tempestuous weather.
And being spherical and cymbal-like, 5
They make a sound when each ’gainst other strike.
Water is apt to move, since round like balls:
No points it hath, but trundles as it falls.
This makes the sea, when like great mountains high
The waves do rise, it cannot steady lie,
But falls again into a liquid plain 5
When winds disturb it not, there to remain.
Thus wat’ry balls, they do not intermix,
But stick so close, as nothing is betwixt.