In infinites^{2} no center can be laid,

But if the world has limits, center’s made.^{3}

For all that with circumference is^{4} faced,

A center in the midst must needs be^{5} placed.

This makes each form that’s limited^{6} and bound 5

To have a center and circumference round.

This^{7} is the cause: the world in circle runs^{8}

Because a center hath whereon it turns.^{9}

The center’s^{10} small, circumference^{11} big without,

Which by the weight doth make it turn about. 10

# Category: Geometry

## In the Center Atoms Never Separate.

## The Motion of Thoughts

Musing one time alone,^{1} mine eyes being^{2} fixed

Upon the ground, my sight with gravel mixed,

My feet did walk without direction’s guide;

My thoughts did travel far and wander wide.

At last they chanced upon^{3} a hill to climb, 5

And being there, saw things that were divine.

First, what^{4} they saw: a glorious light did^{5} blaze,

Whose splendor made it painful for the^{6} gaze.

No separations nor shadows by stops^{7} made,

No darkness did^{8} obstruct this light with shade. 10

This light had no dimension, nor no bound,^{9}

No limits, but it^{10} filled all places round.^{11}

Always in motion ’twas,^{12} yet fixed did prove,

Like to the twinkling stars, which never move.

This motion working, running several ways, 15

Seemed as if contradictions it would^{13} raise,

For with itself it seemed not to agree,^{14}

Like to^{15} a skein of thread, if’t knotted be.

For some did go straight in an even line,

But some again did cross, and some did twine. 20

Yet at the last, all several motions run

Into the first Prime Motion, which begun.

In various forms and shapes did life run through,

Which was eternal, but the shapes were^{16} new;

No^{17} sooner made, but quickly^{18} passed away, 25

Yet while they were, they did desire^{19} to stay.

But motion to one form can ne’er constant^{20} be,

For life, which motion is, joys in^{21} variety.

For the^{22} First Motion everything can make,

But cannot add unto itself, nor take. 30

Indeed no other matter could it^{23} frame:

Itself was all, and in itself the same.

Perceiving now this fixèd point of light,

I spied^{24} a union: Knowledge, Power, and Might,

Wisdom, Truth, Justice,^{25} Providence, all one, 35

No attribute was by itself^{26} alone.

Not like to^{27} several lines drawn to one point,

For what doth meet may be again^{28} disjoint.

But this same^{29} point, from whence all lines did^{30} flow,

Nought can diminish it, or^{31} make it grow. 40

’Tis its own center and circumference round,

Yet neither has a limit nor^{32} a bound.

A fixed eternity,^{33} and so will last:

All present is, nothing to come or^{34} past.

A fixed perfection; nothing can add more; 45

All things is it, and itself doth^{35} adore.

My thoughts then wondering at what they did see,

Found at the last themselves the same to be,^{36}

Yet were^{37} so small a branch, as they^{38} could not

Know^{39} whence they sprung, nor how they^{40} were begot. 50

Some say, all that^{41} we know of Heaven above

Is that we joy, and that we love.^{42}

But who^{43} can tell that? For all we know,^{44}

Those passions we call joy and love below^{45}

May by excess such other passions grow; 55

None in the world is capable to know.

Just like our bodies, although^{46} they shall rise,

And as St. Paul says, see God with our eyes,

Yet may we in the change such difference find,

Both in our bodies, and also in mind,^{47} 60

As if we never had been of^{48} mankind,

And that these^{49} eyes we see with now were blind.

Say we can measure all the planets high,

And number all the stars be^{50} in the sky,

And we can circle^{51} all the world about, 65

And can find all^{52} th’effects of nature out:^{53}

Yet all^{54} the wise and learnèd cannot tell^{55}

What’s done in Heaven, or how we there shall dwell.

## Several Worlds in Several Circles

There may be many worlds like circles round;

In after ages more worlds may be found.^{1}

If we by art of shipping could into^{2}

Each circle slip, we might perhaps it know.^{3}

This world compared to some may be but small: 5

No doubt but^{4} Nature made degrees of all.

If not, Drake ne’er had made so quick a skip^{5}

About the largest circle in^{6} his^{7} ship.

For^{8} some may be so big as none can swim,

Had they the life of old Methusalem. 10

Or had they lives to number with each day,

They would want time to compass half the way.

But if that Drake had lived in Venus’s^{9} star,

His journey shorter might have^{10} been by far.

## The Circle of the Brain Cannot Be Squared.

A circle round divided in four parts

Hath been great^{1} study amongst^{2} men of arts;

Since Archimede’s or Euclid’s time, each brain^{3}

Hath on a line been stretched, yet all in vain,^{4}

And every thought hath been a figure set; 5

Doubts cyphers were, hopes as triangles met;^{5}

There was^{6} division and subtraction made,

And lines drawn out, and points exactly laid.

But none hath yet by demonstration found^{7}

The way by which to square a circle round.^{8} 10

Thus^{9} while the brain is round, no squares^{10} will be:

While thoughts are in divisions,^{11} no figures will agree.

## Another to the Same Purpose

## The Circle of Honesty Squared

^{1}

Within the head of man’s a circle round

Of Honesty, in which no end^{2} is found.

Some think it fit this circle should be squared,^{3}

Though to make Honesty take sides is hard.^{4}

Prudence and Temperance as two lines^{5} take; 5

With Fortitude and Justice, four will^{6} make.

If Temperance do prove too short a line,^{7}

Then do the figure of Discretion join;^{8}

Let^{9} Wisdom’s point draw up Discretion’s figure,^{10}

That make two equal lines joined both together.^{11} 10

Betwixt the line Temperance and Justice,^{12} Truth must point;

Justice’s line draw down to Fortitude,^{13} that corner joint.

Of Fortitude, which line do make agree^{14}

With Prudence; Temperance must also be^{15}

Of equal length with Justice; both must stand^{16} 15

’Twixt Fortitude and Prudence on each hand.^{17}

At every corner must a point be laid,

Where every line that meets, an angle’s made.^{18}

And when those^{19} points too high or low do fall,

Then must the lines be stretched, to make them^{20} all 20

Even. And^{21} thus the circle round, you’ll find,

Is squared with the four virtues of the mind.

## The Same Circle Squared in Prose

A circle is a line without ends, and a square hath^{3} four equal sides, not one longer or shorter than another. To square the circle is to make the square figure^{4} to be equal with the round figure. Honesty is the^{5} circle without ends, that is,^{6} by-respects, for an honest man is honest^{7} for honesty’s sake. But^{8} to square this circle is^{9} very difficult, for it is hard^{10} for Honesty to take part with four sides without Faction. For where there is siding there is^{11} Faction; and where Faction is,^{12} there is Partiality; and where Partiality is, there is Injustice; and where Injustice is, there is Wrong;^{13} and where Wrong is, Truth is not; and where Truth is not, Honesty cares not to live.

But let us see how we can square this circle of Honesty. First, draw four lines: Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude, and Justice. These four lines, let them be cross parallels,^{14} to make a square,^{15} and at each end of every line make a point. At^{16} the line of Justice, a point of Severity at one end and another of Facility at the other end. And at either^{17} end of Fortitude, one of Rashness and another of Timorosity. And at each^{18} end of Temperance, Prodigality and Covetousness. At each end of Prudence, Sloth and Stupidity. Then draw out these points and make them angles: as Severity and Timorosity make one^{19} angle, Rashness and Stupidity another. Sloth and Prodigality make a third angle;^{20} Facility and Covetousness make the fourth.^{21}

Then exactly in the midst of either line, set on^{22} either^{23} side of the line a figure: as Distributive on the outside of the line of Justice, and Communicative within the line. So on the line^{24} of Fortitude, Despair on the outside and Love within. On Prudence line, Experience on the outside^{25} and Industry within. On Temperance^{26} line, Observation on the outside and Ease within.

Then draw a line of Charity^{27} from the point Distribution, and from the point of Observation^{28} a Line of Discretion, and make an angle of^{29} Hope. Then from Community^{30} a line of Clemency,^{31} and from the point of Ease^{32} a line of Comfort, which make an angle of Peace. Then from Despair a line of Hope, and from Industry a line of Fruition, which make an angle of Tranquility. Then from the point of Love a line of Faith, and from the point of Ease a Line of Pleasure; this makes an angle of Joy. Then set a point at every angle,* viz.*,^{33} Obedience, Humility, Respect, and Reverence. And thus the square measured with truth will^{34} be equal with the circle of Honesty.