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

What Atoms Make Heat and Cold

Such kind of atoms which1 make heat, make cold,
Like pincers sharp that2 nip and do take hold.
But atoms that are pointed sharp pierce through,3
And atoms which are sharp and4 hooked pull to.
Yet all must into pointed figures turn,                                 5
For atoms blunt will never freeze nor burn.
’Cause blunt figures do to a soft form5 bend,
And soft do6 unto wet or liquid tend.

Of the Attraction of the Earth

1

The reason Earth attracts much like the sun,2
Is atoms sharp out from the Earth do come:3
From its4 circumference, like bees they rise,5
When6 from a swarm dispersed apart, each flies.7
And as they wander, meet with duller forms,8                 5
Wherein they stick their point, then back returns.9
For like10 a bee that’s loaden on11 each thigh,
Hath a great weight and12 cannot nimbly fly,
So when their points are loaded, heavy grow,13
Can14 pierce no further: backward must they go.15         10
And as their hives to Earth return again.
Thus by their travel, they the Earth maintain.

Of the Attraction of the Sun

1

When all those atoms which in rays2 do spread
Are3 ranged long, like to a slender thread,
They do not scattered fly, but join in length,
And being joined, though small, add to their strength.
The further forth they stream, more weak become,4         5
Although those beams5 are fastened to the sun.6
For all those rays which Motion down doth send7
Sharp atoms are, which from the sun descend;8
And as they flow in several streams and rays,
They stick their points in all that stop their ways,             10
Like needle points, whereon doth something stick,
No passage9 make, having no force10 to prick.11
Thus12 being stopped, they straightways13 back do run,
Drawing those bodies with them to the sun.

Whether the Sun Doth Set the Air on a Light, as Some Opinions Hold

1

If that2 the sun so3 like a candle is4
That all the air doth take a light from his—5
Not by6 reflection, but by kindling all
That part, which we our hemisphere do call—
If so, the7 air whereon his light is cast8                                 5
Would ne’er go9 out, unless that substance10 waste.
Or ’less11 the sun extinguishers should12 throw
Upon the air, to cause light out to go.13
But sure the sun’s reflection gives the light, 14
For when he’s gone, to us it is dark night.                           10
And why?15 The sun is atoms sharp entire,
Which wedged in round, do make16 a wheel of fire.17
About this18 wheel continually do flow
Sharp streaming atoms, which like flame do show.
And in this flame19 the Earth itself20 doth see,                               15
As in a glass, as clear as e’er21 may be.
But22 when the Earth doth turn aside its23 face,
It is not seen, but darkness doth take24 place.25
Or when the moon doth come betwixt that light,
Then is the Earth shut up as in dark night.26                     20

Of Vapor

Loose and sharp atoms,12 which do rove3 about,
To porous atoms stick and draw them4 out
From those5 more close, for these67 do highest lie:
Thus vapor’s drawn toward8 the region high.
But since they of an equal weight are all,9                             5
For want of strength they cause them back to fall.10