As water rarified doth make winds blow,
So winds when rarified do colder grow.
For if they thin are rarified, then they
Do further blow, and spread out every way.
So cold they are, and sharp as needle points, 5
For by the thinness breaks and disunites,
Into such atoms fall, sharp figures be,
Which porous bodies pierce, if we could 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,
Or round like rings, they could not pierce, but pat.
But by dividing, they so sharp do grow,
That through all porous bodies they do go.
But when the winds are soft, they intermix, 15
As water doth, and in one body fix.
They rather wave than blow as fans are spread,
Which ladies use to cool their cheeks when red,
Or like as water drops that disunite
Feel harder than when mixed they on us light, 20
Unless such streams upon our heads do run,
As we a shelter seek, the wet to shun.
But when a drop congealèd is with cold,
As hailstones are, then it more strength doth hold.
For flakes of snow may have more quantity 25
Than hailstones, yet not have more force thereby.
They fall so soft that they scarce strike our touch;
Hailstones we feel and know their weight too much.
But figures that are flat are dull and slow,
Make weak impressions wheresoe’er they go. 30
For let ten times the quantity of steel
Be beaten thin, no hurt by that you’ll feel.
But if that one will take a needle small,
Whose point is sharp, and prick the flesh withal,
Straight it shall hurt, and put the flesh to pain, 35
Which greater strength doth not of what is plain.
For though you press it hard against the skin,
’T may heavy feel, but cannot enter in.
And so the wind that’s thin and rarified
May press us down, but never pierce the side. 40
Or take a blade that’s flat, though strong and great,
And with great strength upon one’s head it beat:
You’ll break the skull, but not knock out his brains,
Which arrows sharp soon do, and with less pains.
Thus what is small is subtler and more quick, 45
For all small points in porous bodies stick.
Winds broken small to atoms, when they blow,
Are colder much than when they streaming flow,
For all which knit and united close
Much stronger are, and give the harder blows. 50
This shows what’s closest in itself to be,
Although an atom in its small degree.
Take quantity, for quantity alike,
Union more than mixture hard shall strike.