Why’s earth not apt to move, but slow and dull?
Flat atoms have no vacuum, but are full.
That form admits no empty place to bide;
All parts are filled, having no hollow side.
And where no vacuum is, motion is slow, 5
Having no empty places for to go.
Though atomes all are small, as small may be,
Yet by their forms doth motion disagree.
For atoms sharp do make themselves a way,
Cutting through other atoms as they stray. 10
But atoms flat will dull and lazy lie,
Having no edge or point to make a way.
Motion the sharpest atoms doth mount high,
And like to arrows swift, doth make them fly.
And being sharp and swift, they pierce so deep,
As they pass through all atoms as they meet.
By their swift motion, to bright fire they turn, 5
And being sharp, they pierce, which we call “burn.”
Such kind of atoms which make heat, make cold,
Like pincers sharp that nip and do take hold.
But atoms that are pointed sharp pierce through,
And atoms which are sharp and 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 form bend,
And soft do unto wet or liquid tend.
Sharp atoms when they meet do get such heat,
Such power and strength, as they all others beat,
And being hot, become so very dry,
They drink life’s moisture up, make motion die.
The reason Earth attracts much like the sun,
Is atoms sharp out from the Earth do come:
From its circumference, like bees they rise,
When from a swarm dispersed apart, each flies.
And as they wander, meet with duller forms, 5
Wherein they stick their point, then back returns.
For like a bee that’s loaden on each thigh,
Hath a great weight and cannot nimbly fly,
So when their points are loaded, heavy grow,
Can pierce no further: backward must they go. 10
And as their hives to Earth return again.
Thus by their travel, they the Earth maintain.
When all those atoms which in rays do spread
Are 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, 5
Although those beams are fastened to the sun.
For all those rays which Motion down doth send
Sharp atoms are, which from the sun descend;
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 passage make, having no force to prick.
Thus being stopped, they straightways back do run,
Drawing those bodies with them to the sun.
Those splendent beams which forth the sun doth spread
Are loose sharp atoms, rangèd long like thread.
If streaming they on porous bodies fall
They pierce into, which touch we “heat” do call.
If that the sun so like a candle is
That all the air doth take a light from his—
Not by reflection, but by kindling all
That part, which we our hemisphere do call—
If so, the air whereon his light is cast 5
Would ne’er go out, unless that substance waste.
Or ’less the sun extinguishers should throw
Upon the air, to cause light out to go.
But sure the sun’s reflection gives the light,
For when he’s gone, to us it is dark night. 10
And why? The sun is atoms sharp entire,
Which wedged in round, do make a wheel of fire.
About this wheel continually do flow
Sharp streaming atoms, which like flame do show.
And in this flame the Earth itself doth see, 15
As in a glass, as clear as e’er may be.
But when the Earth doth turn aside its face,
It is not seen, but darkness doth take place.
Or when the moon doth come betwixt that light,
Then is the Earth shut up as in dark night. 20
The sun is of the sharpest atoms made,
Close knit together, and exactly laid.
Its fabric is just like a wheel made round,
And in the midst of all, the planets found.
And as the planets move about the sun, 5
Their motions make the loose sharp atoms run.
Loose and sharp atoms, which do rove about,
To porous atoms stick and draw them out
From those more close, for these do highest lie:
Thus vapor’s drawn toward the region high.
But since they of an equal weight are all, 5
For want of strength they cause them back to fall.